Our Watchdogs

Last week I reported about all the drama brought on by the self-proclaimed local government watchdogs when commission decided to make a change in the board agenda to make the meetings more citizen friendly. Of course the watchdogs went into spasms over the change, making up outright lies about our motives and making crazy accusations about secret meetings and backdoor deals. But since we wouldn't meet their demands to change back, now it's payback time.

Last Friday Mayor Bradshaw received the request below.

I am requesting to inspect the following records from the period of January 26, 2015 to March 6, 2015:

1.    All written correspondence and/or communications including, but not limited to, notes, letters, memos, faxes, etc. and all electronic communications* including, but not limited to, text messages, e-mails, email attachments, etc. related to county business of any kind and sent or received by Commission Chairman Steve Harrelson, Commissioner Van Shaver, Commissioner Harold Duff, Commissioner Earlena Maples, Commissioner Leo Bradshaw, Commissioner David Meers, Commissioner Matthew  Tinker, Commissioner Bill Satterfield, Commissioner Henry Cullen, Commissioner Kelly Littleton-Brewster, and County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw from January 26, 2015 March 6, 2015.

*Please note that the electronic records requested above include all electronic communications sent or received by each named official on personal email accounts or government email accounts and whether the electronic records were sent or received on a personal, business, government, or other device.

Thank you for your assistance.

Richard Truitt
100 Turner Lane
Lenoir City, TN 37771

I'm sure Mr. Truitt and others some how see this as getting back at commission and the mayor. In reality, the only ones hurt by this frivolous request will be the tax payers, the very folks the watchdogs claim to represent and be looking out for.

Under the law, the request will have to be honored. That means that many man hours will have to be spent compiling a months worth documents and communications. The county attorney will have to be involved at a couple of hundred dollars per hour to over see the requested documents because the law also says that certain documents and information within certain documents may not be released to the public. It will take several county employees days to gather all the material rather than being able to do their regular duties. And all for what? Spite, retribution, just plain old hatefulness? I have no idea.

What they're doing actually doing has a name. It's called fishing. They're just hoping they will find some kind of smoking gun document that shows something that somebody did that.....I don't know what they think they will find.

When it's all said and done there will be absolutely nothing in any of the requested material that will show that anybody has done anything nefarious or secretive and in fact will likely show just how much work goes into making the county government work.

I would like to think that we might get out of this for less than five thousand dollars but it could be much more. So remember the next time Mr. Truitt and cohorts want folks to believe they are watching out for the citizens of Loudon County, I think it's a better bet they're a little more interested in their own egos than the citizens.

Besides, when we have the secret meetings in the cemetery, under the full moon at midnight with our black hoods and capes on we don't write that down. We have secret signs and hand signals we use to communicate.