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WDKN 1260 AM Country Gospel Talk Radio In a meeting that turned emotional and confrontational, a sharply divided Dickson County Election Commission terminated Administrator of Elections Linda Medley effective immediately Tuesday night. Commission Chairman Jack Garton said “I believe it's time for a change” as the three Republican members of the commission voted to fire Medley over the objections of the two Democratic members. Medley and a large group of local Democrats and supporters walked out of the meeting after a motion to retain her failed. Democratic Commissioner Allen Johnson said the Republican commission members were attempting to dismiss the administrator while doing “absolutely nothing” to address any issues that might have arisen during her five years in the position. “For what reason can only be that the Devil has consumed your heart,” Johnson said. Johnson then left the meeting while members of the audience shouted and filed out of the office. The commission then voted 4-1 to dismiss Medley with Johnson counted as absent and fellow Democrat Melba Isom in opposition. During a 30-minute address to the commission prior to her termination, Medley said she has been the target of “subversive” attempts to remove her from office that include county Mayor Bob Rial, members of the Dickson County Commission, past and present members of the election commission and the local media. Medley compared her last five years in the position to the movie “The Contender,” in which Joan Allen's character comes under personal attack when nominated to become vice president. Medley said changes to the election commission over the last five years have left it divided, creating tension in the election office and allowing outside influences to serve private agendas. “In speaking out, I realize the price may well cost me my livelihood and thus external agendas will be served. The truth will always be that I refuse, I refuse to do anything unethical, unlawful. I will not waver and if that is a source of discontent for any influences, then I must deal with any intent to cause harm. I can only continue on the high road,” Medley said. Following Medley's termination and Johnson's departure, the commission voted to name former Deputy Administrator Roxanne Hagewood as interim administrator until a new administrator can be hired. Garton scheduled a special session of the commission for 6 pm Monday to discuss several items postponed from Tuesday's agenda and to decide on the process and timeline for hiring a new administrator. After the Republican Party gained majority control of the election commission following the 2008 legislative elections that gave the GOP a majority in the General Assembly, one of its first actions was to re-open the administrator position and hire Medley to replace 10-year veteran Administrator Luanne Greer over the objections of Democratic members in July 2009. Isom is the only remaining member from the commission that hired Medley as Johnson, Garton, Tim White and Tammy Kilgore have all been appointed in the last three years. You can hear Medley's full address to the election commission on Wednesday's Power Lunch at 11:30 am.17.09.2014 at 04:21 pmLike
WDKN 1260 AM Country Gospel Talk Radio Burns residents will get to vote Nov. 4 on whether to allow wine sales in grocery stores in addition to deciding whether to allow liquor by the drink. At its meeting Tuesday the Dickson County Election Commission certified a petition to place the wine in grocery stores question on the upcoming ballot in Burns. Last month the commission approved a petition to put the mixed drink referendum on the ballot. In August, the commission ruled that several wine in grocery stores petitions from the Red, White and Food organization failed to collect the minimum number of qualified signatures to put the question on the ballots in Burns, Dickson, Charlotte and White Bluff. But in what was called a “mixup” at Tuesday's meeting, the commission did not review a separate, citizen-initiated petition from residents in Burns. That petition was determined to have more than the required number of signatures of registered voters in the town of Burns to place the question on the Nov. 4 ballot. So in Dickson County, only the residents of Burns will be voting whether to allow grocery stores within the town to sell wine. The Tennessee General Assembly left it up to municipalities that already have retail liquor or mixed drink sales to hold a vote on whether to allow wine sales in grocery stores. Only stores that have at least 1,200 square feet of retail sales space and generate at least 20 percent of their revenue from food and food ingredient sales would be allowed to sell wine beginning in July 2016 if the referendum passes. While Burns currently has no stores that would qualify for wine sales, town officials have identified bringing a grocery store to the town as a priority. In addition to wine in grocery stores, Burns voters will hold a referendum on whether to allow liquor by the drink sales that could open the door to new restaurants and create additional revenue for the town. Burns voters also will be choosing a mayor and four commissioners for two-year terms in the Nov. 4 municipal election that also includes state and federal general elections and four amendments to the Tennessee Constitution regarding abortion rights, banning an income tax, the selection of appellate judges and allowing veterans groups to conduct lotteries. The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 6. Municipal elections also are scheduled in White Bluff, Vanleer and Slayden.17.09.2014 at 04:21 pmLike
WDKN 1260 AM Country Gospel Talk Radio Two people filed to run as write-in candidates in local municipal elections in the Nov. 4 election. At its Tuesday meeting, the Dickson County Election Commission approved the write-in candidacies of William “Bill” Allen and Sammy Spann to seek two-year terms on the Burns Board of Commissioners. Allen currently is serving his first term on the commission and had picked up a qualifying petition to seek a second term but did not turn it in prior to the Aug. 21 deadline to get on the ballot. At last week's board of commissioners meeting, Allen said he has lost plenty of sleep and hair during his term before deciding not to seek re-election. But after apparently having a change of heart, Allen filed to run as a write-in candidate prior to Monday's deadline. Spann had picked up a qualifying petition on the morning of the deadline but was not able to get it turned in on time, so he is now running as a write-in candidate. Spann was one of seven candidates on the ballot for the four positions in 2012 and finished sixth. The Nov. 4 ballot will list incumbents Ed “Shot” Grove, Steven Hayes and Chris Holland and challengers Jerry Perella and Tase Sturgill as candidates for the four commission seats, while Allen and Spann will be write-in candidates. Mayor Landon Mathis is being challenged in his re-election bid by Dean Spurlock. As Monday's write-in candidate deadline passed, nobody filed to seek the mayor's position in Vanleer, leaving voters with no candidates to succeed Larry Robertson, who is moving out of town. Since nobody qualified to be on the ballot and nobody filed to run as a write-in candidate, the Vanleer Board of Aldermen elected on Nov. 4 will choose one of its members to become vice mayor and then serve as mayor for the two-year term. Only incumbents Wes Albright, Raymond Fletcher, Dwight McIllwain, Ruben Schmittou and Jason P. Weaver qualified to be on the ballot for the five alderman positions, so one of them will become the next mayor of Vanleer. After the board chooses one of its members to ascend to the mayor's position, it will appoint someone to serve the remainder of his term as alderman. No write-in candidates filed to join the municipal races in White Bluff or Slayden, either. That leaves the choices for three members of the White Bluff Town Council at the seven candidates who qualified to be on the ballot: incumbents Oscar Martin and Martha Beth Harding, former council member Connie Reed and challengers Roberta “Sissy”Allen, Brandon Gossett, Ellen Campbell Marsh and Sheila Street. Slayden voters will find only incumbent Mayor Gary Hodges and incumbent council members Tammy Potts, Mary Smathers and Debbie Street listed on their ballots. In addition to the municipal elections, the ballot will include the elections for governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th District, Tennessee Senate for the 25th District, Tennessee House of Representatives for the 69th and 78th districts, four constitutional amendments and referendums in Burns on liquor by the drink and wine sales in grocery stores. The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 6.17.09.2014 at 04:20 pmLike
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