3 Citizen’s Letters to the Editor Published on Wasteful Spending, Tax Increases and Free Speech Restrictions

Government spending is out of control by Richard Hutchens

Banning applause is restriction of free speech by Joe King

Wasteful county spending no laughing matter by Tona Monroe

All 3 attended the Rules Hoc Committee and are concerned about the people of this County and their government.

Wasteful County Spending No Laughing Matter

Government spending isn’t shrinking in Blount County as it should to reflect our economy.  General County government spends 23% more than the average of the 3 other counties in Tennessee closest to our population size.  This is a recipe for massive property tax increases.

At the May Commission meeting, citizen Richard Hutchens admonished the Commission for failing to cut wasteful spending, quoting the “philosopher” Gomer Pyle, “shame shame shame!”  This humor had the Commissioners laughing; despite Hutchens candid statement that he didn’t understand why this Commission failed to cut the waste.

The waste continues because too many Commissioners have conflicts of interest.

Commissioner Holden Lail is a former County educator, married to a school teacher.  Commissioner Tonya Burchfield is a former Juvenile Court employee, recently divorced from a Sheriff’s Deputy.  Commissioner Peggy Lambert’s husband is related to the Sheriff.  Commissioner Mark Hasty is married to a County employee.  Commissioner Brad Harrison works for the Highway Dept. and I hope he does not replace Dunlap.  Commissioner Gary Farmer is a school teacher.  Commissioner Scott Helton works in the Juvenile Court.  Commissioner Mike Caylor is the Administrative Captain of the Maryville Fire Department.  Commissioner Tom Greene participates in the Friendsville Volunteer Fire Department.  Commissioner Ron French is a board member of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department.  While the last 3 are not direct Co. positions, these 3 rub elbows with the good ole boys.

There are tax payers and there are tax consumers.  In Blount County we have too many tax consuming foxes guarding the hen house.  Taxpaying chickens better start pecking or they will be devoured by these tax foxes, with massive tax increases over the next 2 years. Gomer Pyle may be the only philosopher this Commission can understand, but tax increases in this economy are no laughing matter.

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