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Becky Watkins

Knoxville, TN

#1 Sep 30, 2012
The following statements were made by Mayor Aikens and Councilman Simpson and appear in the lead headline article of the Sept.30-Oct.1, 2012, News-Herald: I suggest you read the entire article to see just how stupid our elected officials must think we are (IMHO!). OR,could it be that(with all due respect to the positions they hold) they don't understand what a "Conflict of Interest" really is.

"It has not been a secret in any way that they hold dual offices, so the people know it, and they elect them, and they do a good job," Aikens said about Simpson and Johnson.

"I look at it as if I was working at a private business and being mayor," Aikens said in reference to serving as Chief Deputy Sheriff of Loudon County, AND holding positions of: 1)Mayor(Chief Executive Officer of the City government), and 2)Chairman of City Council, and 3)Chairman of Lenoir City Utilities Board of Directors, "The only time I have a vote under City Charter guidelines is in the case of a tie, so I don't see that as a conflict in any way." he said.(The Mayor is also an ex-officio (non-voting?) member of the City Board of Education.)

In reference to any conflict in Councilman Simpson serving as County Highway Road Superintendent AND serving on City Council, the LCUB Board of Directors, City Finance Committee/ Budget Committee/ Purchasing Committee, LCUB Board Budget Committee, City Planning Committee, and the City Board of Zoning Appeals; Simpson said the following: "Really, the superintendent job is a day job, and the council is a night job, so there is no conflict or anything." "I know everybody." "I think it is a plus for both seats actually."
The Real Goose

Oak Ridge, NC

#2 Sep 30, 2012
Becky, I really don't know of they are stupid or they believe we are stupid. It has got to be one of those two or some combination of those two.
I think they probably know better but think they can smooth talk us. I guess that means they think we are the stupid ones.

Did you see that other article on the front page about Jimmy Wilburn's hardware store? The paper is really kissing the incumbents' butts.
Becky Watkins

Knoxville, TN

#3 Sep 30, 2012
The Real Goose wrote:
Becky, I really don't know of they are stupid or they believe we are stupid. It has got to be one of those two or some combination of those two.
I think they probably know better but think they can smooth talk us. I guess that means they think we are the stupid ones.
Did you see that other article on the front page about Jimmy Wilburn's hardware store? The paper is really kissing the incumbents' butts.
I agree and it is a shame. As long as the people keep voting them into office, they get to think and do whatever they please.

That's why I'm doing my best to win a seat on City Council. They no longer seem to see themselves accountable to the people. Many of whom had become frustrated and stopped voting; but tell me they will be voting again in November for the first time in years.

I'd especially like to unseat the man who suggested my website and forums like this one be shut down simply because we questioned his actions.(Which, by the way, were proven contrary to what he tried to make us believe.)

From what I hear on the campaign trail Randall Brown has become a very popular candidate in his race for Treasurer/Recorder. All the people I have talked to see him as extremely capable and qualified to do a great job for the people of Lenoir City (and hopefully because he is a young man for many years to come.)

(If you want to know more about my campaign and vision for the future of our City, visit my website/blog at www.beckywatkins.com .)
heaven help

Knoxville, TN

#4 Sep 30, 2012
Becky Watkins wrote:
The following statements were made by Mayor Aikens and Councilman Simpson and appear in the lead headline article of the Sept.30-Oct.1, 2012, News-Herald: I suggest you read the entire article to see just how stupid our elected officials must think we are (IMHO!). OR,could it be that(with all due respect to the positions they hold) they don't understand what a "Conflict of Interest" really is.
"It has not been a secret in any way that they hold dual offices, so the people know it, and they elect them, and they do a good job," Aikens said about Simpson and Johnson.
"I look at it as if I was working at a private business and being mayor," Aikens said in reference to serving as Chief Deputy Sheriff of Loudon County, AND holding positions of: 1)Mayor(Chief Executive Officer of the City government), and 2)Chairman of City Council, and 3)Chairman of Lenoir City Utilities Board of Directors, "The only time I have a vote under City Charter guidelines is in the case of a tie, so I don't see that as a conflict in any way." he said.(The Mayor is also an ex-officio (non-voting?) member of the City Board of Education.)
In reference to any conflict in Councilman Simpson serving as County Highway Road Superintendent AND serving on City Council, the LCUB Board of Directors, City Finance Committee/ Budget Committee/ Purchasing Committee, LCUB Board Budget Committee, City Planning Committee, and the City Board of Zoning Appeals; Simpson said the following: "Really, the superintendent job is a day job, and the council is a night job, so there is no conflict or anything." "I know everybody." "I think it is a plus for both seats actually."
I appreciate your time and interest with these issues and wish you success.

But as they say 'hold on to your seat folks -you ain't seen nothing yet.' There seems to be a lot unfolding ...

[conflict of interest will seem mild]

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#5 Sep 30, 2012
heaven help wrote:
<quoted text>
I appreciate your time and interest with these issues and wish you success.
But as they say 'hold on to your seat folks -you ain't seen nothing yet.' There seems to be a lot unfolding ...
[conflict of interest will seem mild]
Oh boy! Is there a really GOOD scandal coming?
Phil

Knoxville, TN

#6 Sep 30, 2012
Becky, with all do respect, they don't care if its a conflict... They only care about getting re-elected and staying on the taxpayers payroll...it's obvious to everyone what is going on...but they do their best to get jobs for family and friends in order to secure the votes and stay in office...I sincerely wish you the best of luck in changing the culture
Who Let The Dawgs Out

AOL

#7 Sep 30, 2012
Go Becky! Go Randall! <doin the cabbage patch dance> Ha!
Becky

Knoxville, TN

#8 Sep 30, 2012
Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement. I know there are plenty of honest, hard-working people out here who would be great additions to our City Council. Many much more qualified than I.

One reason we don't see more people willing to run may be that they know they are going to be up against people who are able to spend big bucks on gifts and events to "show appreciation" for votes that are yet to be cast.

With all due respect to Councilman Simpson, if I were taking $110,000/year from the County, City, and LCUB coffers, I would give the people who's taxes and utility bills pay my various salaries more than two hours every four years to pick up a free hot dog lunch.

(An opportunity to ask respectful questions and get honest answers from you would make a nice appreciation gift.)
Becky

Knoxville, TN

#9 Sep 30, 2012
For you spelling and grammer critics out there, I know, that should be "whose taxes" ooops!
heaven help us

Knoxville, TN

#10 Sep 30, 2012
The Real Goose wrote:
<quoted text>Oh boy! Is there a really GOOD scandal coming?
Ya think?
Tube Steak

Knoxville, TN

#11 Oct 10, 2012
If you know how to steal money, give stuff away to those with money, build crapy housing, and show your hooters you can be elected in Loudon County. Otherwise you are just in the way.
Tiger woods

Knoxville, TN

#12 Oct 10, 2012
Becky, the people in Loudon County that know what is happening is very pleased with the job Tony is doing. We don't need your comments.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#13 Oct 10, 2012
Tiger woods wrote:
Becky, the people in Loudon County that know what is happening is very pleased with the job Tony is doing. We don't need your comments.
As if you speak for all the people in Loudon County.
Many are not pleased. Get used to it until things get set right.
Who Let The Dawgs Out

Manchester, TN

#14 Oct 10, 2012
Tiger woods wrote:
Becky, the people in Loudon County that know what is happening is very pleased with the job Tony is doing. We don't need your comments.
KOFF! KOFF! BS!
Becky

Knoxville, TN

#15 Oct 10, 2012
Tiger woods wrote:
Becky, the people in Loudon County that know what is happening is very pleased with the job Tony is doing. We don't need your comments.
Tiger,
You don't want my comments because you don't want anyone asking questions that the politicians in Lenoir City these days seem to have a really difficult time coming up with honest answers to.

Has anyone thought to ask the Mayor or Councilmen how much the city debt was way back in the 90's when some of these councilmen first became members of City Council?

According to the audits over the last five years, the city debt has grown by an average of one million dollars per year (doubling the five million we owed five years ago to over ten million in 2012.

Should we brag about a $400,000 surplus when we pay hundreds of thousands (millions over the long run) in interest on our debts?
(And I'd still like to see what kind of magic was used to bring about a surplus when we had no tax increase, we made several expensive purchases, according to the Mayor; and just a few months ago, I heard our City Administrator say that the city "spends more money than it takes in.")

The School Board debt is an ADDITIONAL ten million.
LCUB even though it is a part of the City Government is listed separately as a "company" in the audit. The LCUB debt is huge, but the assets and income are as well.

There is no limit in the City Charter as to how much debt City Council can run up on "our" behalf. I guess if Lenoir City ever defaults on it's (our)debt your property and mine could conceivably be considered as assets of the city in covering that debt.)

No offense to our current City Recorder, but I think we would do well to elect a real ACCOUNTANT to the position of Recorder/ Treasurer of Lenoir City. Maybe a different perspective on what constitutes being "in the black" would help turn the "spin" back to reality.
Just me

Maryville, TN

#16 Oct 10, 2012
Not from Lenoir City, but if that is true thats too much power for one person to hold all those positions.
Friend of Change

Knoxville, TN

#17 Oct 10, 2012
When I read in the News-Herald about the 450,000 surplus, I laughed myself silly. That is not even enough to pay one month's bills and not even the payroll. If that is all they have in surplus then that is scary. I think they thought people were stupid and would think what a great job the current council has done in taking care of the money here in Lenoir City, but they probably are having trouble paying payroll and the monthly bills sometime during the year. Yes, I think they do need someone in the finance office that knows what they are doing and it should be an accountant that knows how to read a financial report. I am sure that most council on that board do not know how to find the fund balance in that report. Sad as it can be too. Help people. Please elect someone that is a resident of our city and not someone that lives in the county. Randall Brown should be the choice and as far as I am concerned he is the only one that is qualified to run because of residency and brains. The current recorder can not even vote for himself. That tells you something right there that what they have done is illegal and should be taken to court. The people of this town was taken advantage of and those city leaders know it.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#18 Oct 11, 2012
Keep confusing them with the facts Becky.
Yep

Knoxville, TN

#19 Oct 11, 2012
I think it says something about the desperation and integrity of these politicians that they are putting so much money into a campaign to beat a young accountant who is qualified and DOES legitimately meet the residency requirements.
What ever happened to old guys encouraging and mentoring young ones to become involved in their community.
JIMBO

Knoxville, TN

#20 Oct 11, 2012
Vote for Randy

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