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City Charter revisions going down in flames at the State Legislature

With the city charter being in the news for the past few months, I found a short video of a state committee meeting that I thought should be shared.   The video is of the  meeting where the committee killed the bill which would have revised Clarksville’s city charter.

The committee members comments are insightful.   No representatives from Clarksville’s administration attended this meeting – not the Mayor, not the Council Members that are for the revisions, and not the Council Members that are against the revisions.  Representative Curtis Johnson presents the bill alone…and gets hammered with questions.

You know it’s gonna be bad, when Rep. Todd’s very first question starts, “This has nothing to do with you sir, BUT…..”  Watch the representative next to the Rep. Todd.  She looks shocked by the powers granted to the Mayor in the new charter.  Rep. Miller asks “Was this voted on by your local government?…..So the local legislative body was willing to give up its own authority?”  He looks completely puzzled.

Let’s set aside the particular issues of the charter.  And let’s think about how the city’s administration is viewed by the state legislature, the city’s supposed peers.  What is the image being projected and is that an image that we want to continue to project?  The mayoral race is coming up.  You will have a chance to change our image.  Get educated, get involved, and cast an informed vote in our local elections. They matter.

Blayne Clements
Blayne Clements
I am a 30 something graduate from Austin Peay State University, where I graduated in 1997 with two majors (Accounting and Finance). I am a very happily married man, with one beautiful daughter. I enjoy a professional life of public service and a personal life of travel, reading, music, and always trying to learn from others.


  1. Mr Clements has a point on this. The Tennessee Constitution has this provision…

    Distribution of Powers.

    Section 1. The powers of the government shall be divided into three distinct departments: legislative, executive, and judicial.

    Section 2. No person or persons belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except in the cases herein directed or permitted.

    Clarksville’s Charter would appear to directly violate this which would seem to make the entire current city charter unconstitutional since our Mayor sits as both the head of the executive, and a voting member of the legislative.

  2. Thanks for the details Bill on the legality of the issues with the charter. The issues with the charter could be a whole other article.

    My point is NO ONE from the city attended the committee meeting. Not the mayor, not council members that are for the revisions, and not the council members that are opposed the revisions. No one.

    The city sat this one out, while blaming the state officials for shepherding this through the legislature.

    With the anti-cumbant attitude in this country, I thought this would be of interest with the local elections coming up this year.

  3. Mr Clements’ article describes an event that is almost a year old and makes no mention of more recent events concerning this matter. First, his statement that the proposed charter was killed is incorrect. It clearly states in the video that it was deferred until this session over legal questions. Also, shortly after that committee meeting the State Attorney General was asked to look at our proposed charter and in his review, every legal concern presented by Rep. Todd was refuted. It also refutes the opinion presented by Mr. Bill Larson in this comments section. Mr. Clement also did not research why members of the city and committee were not in attendance. Also, no mention is made of the meeting and issues worked out in a Dec 29 2009 with our state representatives. One of the items agreed to by Representatives Johnson, Pitts and Senator Barnes is there are NO legal issues in the proposed charter. The article neglects to mention that the proposed charter was approved by a 2/3s majority of the council and by two different city council memberships. Thank you for allowing me to provide more recent and accurate information to your readers.

    Bill Summers
    City Councilman and Charter Committee member

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