Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Barb just won't stop.

Is there nothing Barbara Blackmon touches she doesn't corrupt or destroy? The Madison County Journal reports:

"Canton Municipal Utilities has sent its new attorney and an unconfirmed board appointee on an all-expenses paid $6,000 trip to a Nashville electric power expo.

CMU on June 14 held its third special meeting in the past two weeks after ousting longtime General Manager John Wallace.

In a 3-2 vote, the board voted to send its new attorney Barbara Blackmon and appointee Shoney Anderson Harris to the National Conference and Public Power Expo at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville from June 14-19.

Board member William Franklin questioned the motion, since Harris is not technically a member of the board and because CMU ratepayers were footing the bill.

He also questioned whether or not it was appropriate to send Blackmon.

At one point, Franklin asked Blackmon if she needed to go to "figure out how to be the attorney," to which she responded by saying that there are classes for attorneys and commissioners there.

Board Chairman John Noble then said that Harris was appointed to the board illegally and was not in a position to go.

She was appointed to the CMU board on June 6 to replace Noble on June 30 when his five-year term ended.

But Noble alleges that the appointment was an addition to the agenda for a special-called meeting of the Canton Mayor and Board of Aldermen in which the agenda must be posted beforehand.

The minutes from the special-called meeting have yet to be passed by the Canton Mayor and Board of Aldermen because of the appointment issue.

The cost for registration for the Nashville trip was $745 for members and $1,440 for non-members with additional seminars on June 15 for $800.

With airfare, hotel, taxes and meals, the trip will likely cost CMU ratepayers approximately $6,000.

Landres Cheeks, Lanny Slaughter and Cleotha Williams voted in favor of the expense with John Noble and Franklin voting against

Note: No receipts were obtained so the $6,000 report is just an estimate.


Anonymous said...

Question is: why WOULD she stop......

Anonymous said...

Democrats are morally and ethically challenged. That's why, as a republican, I encourage the party of slavery and the KKK to to exercise their constitutional right to be idiots!

Anonymous said...

Right. Like expecting Jesse Jackson to stop stirring shit. His income derives from the scale formed on shit.

Kingfish said...

why indeed.

Anonymous said...

So what exactly did Blackmon do wrong? What did she corrupt or destroy?

The board voted to send her as their attorney. Should she refuse to go against their wishes?

This is weak, Kingfish. You're just trying to stir up more racial animosity.

Kingfish said...

Stay tuned. There is more to come.

Why don't you ask all the black people in Canton who voted against her team?

Anonymous said...

5 days out of the office for an actively practicing attorney costs them well over $6K. I'm no fan of Babs, but sitting in a seminar in Nashville hardly seems like a luxury vacation. Maybe she'll learn something.

When hiring is decided by politics, merit and ability don't come into play, and that's true for both sides of the aisle. Paying to retrain new people is just a cost of doing business this way.

Anonymous said...

@11:51, you don't think that Blackmon will bill her client for the time spent at the seminar?

Anonymous said...

To 10:35:

You have to understand this decision in context. As the article indicates, the determination to send Ms. Blackmon & unconfirmed appointee Shoney Harris on an all-expenses paid trip to Nashville was taken at a special meeting following the board’s decision to fire long-time general manager, John Wallace, and which also followed the recent ousting of Mayor William Truly by Arnel Bolden and replacement of at least four members of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Canton by newcomers (whom, it should be noted, will have the power – once sworn in on July 1st – to remove the CMU commissioners as well as Barbara Blackmon as City Attorney for the City of Canton).

It was a harried decision made for no apparent purpose but to get Wallace (and general counsel Bob Montgomery) out of power and to get “a new face” in (i.e., to put a novice in the manager’s seat to answer to the beck and call of soon-to-be ex-City Attorney Barbara Blackmon). Never mind the fact that the running of the city’s municipal utility is at stake: a small price to pay for political gain, no matter how reckless the action to be taken. Mr. Wallace’s replacement, electrician John Garrett, not only had no comparable managerial experience, but according to reports did not even know that he had been chosen for the post. Mayor William Truly and co. were even present at that meeting with a police officer escort to ensure that Mr. Wallace was swiftly (and, quite literally) removed from power. Immediate resignations within the CMU ranks followed. Mr. Garrett, who cannot be blamed being unwittingly caught up in this last ditch political power-grab, exercised wise judgment and refused to take the position of general manager. The orderly governance of the City’s (very well-run prior to that date) municipal utility was immediately thrown into doubt.

It is in this context, in its first substantive meeting since the above-described action had taken place, that the CMU board took the action that it did: to send Barbara Blackmon, alongside new (unconfirmed) appointee Shoney Harris, to Nashville, to pay for all fees, “airfare, lodging, meals, and taxis” in order to attend a convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville’s “premier hotel” (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnago-gaylord-opryland-resort-and-convention-center/), for an estimated total cost of $6,000, all on the City’s dime .

If you think that “the board” made these decisions entirely of its own volition, think again. If you think that radical and reckless political shenanigans are not at play, think again. If you think that anyone other than primary recipient of this extravagance is the prime impetus behind these determinations, all of which have a direct effect on the financial health of the City, think again. This is not a racial issue. It is about an overreaching abuse of power, completely devoid of rational thought as to potential adverse consequences. It is good that it is being brought to light, as it should be condemned.

Anonymous said...

CMU operates separately from the city, but its board is appointed by some combination of the mayor and board of alderman. From what I understand, CMU maintains a fairly healthy cash reserve to make sure there's money available to recover from a catastrophe such as storms, etc. Fact is that the City is running at a multi-million dollar deficit this year (and others) and they want to raid CMU's piggy bank at the risk of jeopardizing services to those they serve.

Also - 10:35, racist? This is all just typical back room Canton politics and nothing else. You don't need to put that label on it. If anything, Wallace got fired because he is white, but I don't hear that being labeled as racist!

Anonymous said...

City of Canton will drain CMU dry and the lawyers will be in the mix.Soon all money will be gone and the light bill will not be paid.

Anonymous said...

@1:22 - I was basing my belief that she was not billing for her time on the article's assertion that "the trip will likely cost ratepayers approximately $6,000." If she's also billing for her time, the trip is going to cost more like $10,000. (the conference appears to be June 17th & 18th, not the 14th-19th, and I suspect she bills out at around $200/hr.)

I maintain that this type of thing is par for the course for both parties. The people in this state who actually pay taxes should not tolerate it from either side.

Micah Gober said...

Nothing but a bunch of Region 8 crack-heads running a city. Old news Jackson Jambalaya keep moving nothing see here.

Anonymous said...

Please take the time to ascertain facts. The former general manager and former board attorney always attended this conference. Why don't you contact the organization and find out what positions they hold. Why is it when a black person exercises the same rights and privileges as a white person, it becomes an issue? Is it because no attention is paid to it, when a white person does it?!

Kingfish said...

All will be made clear.

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