Mayor Ed Mitchell started a Facebook page in 2014 and posted a few pictures but then posted nothing for nearly 3 years. Mitchell, or someone in his office, has started posting now that it is election time and he has opponents.
Mitchell will likely win reelection because his opponents don’t have the money that it takes to win a county wide race. One of his opponents, Harry Grothjahn, has done more in a year to keep the citizens informed about local government than Mitchell has done in his both of his terms combined.
Before you head to polls, keep in mind a few things about Ed Mitchell.
- Remember when Ed Mitchell threatened to sue the jail consultant to stifle discussion on the jail study that said the status quo would cost $68-124 million (page 30). There was no lawsuit – just obstructionism.
- Remember when he and his finance director assigned $2 million for a jail expansion transition facility but they lacked the authority to express the county’s intent.
- Remember when his purchasing agent asked the commission to hire an IT firm being sued in federal court that wanted to use foreign labor.
- Remember when he really hesitated about voting for fixed rate financing in the November 2014 Budget Committee. Remember that he didn’t go to fully fixed rate in his first term but only did so during his second term when the commission wanted fixed rate financing.
- Remember how Ed Mitchell made the taxpayers pay for a recycling facility that the county was previously getting for free. Remember that the county now has less recycling locations now that the taxpayers are paying for them.
- Remember how he didn’t want to put a fiscally conservative elected woman on the Budget Committee so he nominated an unelected woman who couldn’t manage her own budget by paying her property taxes on time.
- Remember how he made Joni Serratt, from a political machine family, the head of probation, gave her multiple pay raises and she presented a budget that projected losing money.
- Remember when Ed Mitchell voted for and signed one of the biggest property tax increases in recent Blount County history.
- Remember when the purchasing agent and his general service director chose a company that was 3.5 times the lowest offer.
- Remember how his general services director failed to provide information about lawsuits. It’s been more than 2 years and the information still hasn’t been provided.
- Remember how the county has spent millions of dollars on IT but the commission meetings are no longer live streamed.
- Remember when the EPA wanted to regulate nearly all waters in the USA and Ed Mitchell vetoed a common sense resolution asking congress to roll this back. The US House of Representatives had already passed common sense reform.
- Remember how he supported the Evergreen pay scale, which mostly compared Blount County to cities rather than counties, pays above the average of what these cities and those the county was compared to are paying was approved 7 months before the final report was released and gives the higher pay grade employees a bigger percentage pay increase.
- Remember how Ed Mitchell gave himself a big pay raise by signing a budget that gave himself and 3 others pay supplements.
A business owner reminded me recently that Ed Mitchell has lived on the government gravy train his whole life and said that anytime Ed Mitchell wants something all he knows is go to the taxpayers and make them pay for it. Blount County, Tennessee needs a new mayor with private sector work experience.