Citizens for Better Government
Blount County Tennessee
Do our county officials care about incompetence, waste and corruption?
A couple weeks ago, WBCR radio asked us to make the same presentation that we made to the State Comptroller at the end of April. In this presentation we present documentation that shows incompetent accounting, 36 vehicles missing (yes even more missing vehicles have been identified lately) from the Sheriff’s fleet, failure to follow a number of statutes, misuse of funds and falsification of documents.
Harry Grothjahn owner of WBCR thought that this information was important enough that he sent written invitations to Mayor Cunningham, Finance Director Bennett, the Sheriff and all the County Commissioners.
We had a good crowd of citizens attend, but none of our county officials were interested. Commissioners Monika Murrell, David Graham, Wendy Pitts-Reeves and David Ballard are concerned enough about these problems that they all reviewed this information shortly after it became available. The Mayor, Sheriff, Finance Director and remaining Commissioners took their usual “see no evil” approach.
WBIR-TV covered the entire presentation and presented an excellent summary on their news programs. Of course, when asked for comment, our county officials declined. How could they comment? They have consistently refused to look at the evidence.
At the end of the June Commission meeting, Commissioner Ken Melton blamed the County’s problems on “outsiders”. His comments were reminiscent of Nixon’s famous “I am not a crook” speech. He suggested that there are no crooks in the county government and that the county has been well cared for by the political machine, and anybody who doesn’t like it should move out. How could he possibly know? He did not even take the time to look at the evidence. As long as most of our elected representatives continue to bury their heads in the sand, incompetence and corruption will continue in the county.