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Conflict of Interest

Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutter

Clarksville, TN – The ongoing Clarksville Department of Electricity debate has raised a multitude of questions.  Most have not been answered. What we do know is that we haven’t heard the end of that story yet.

But wait, there’s more.

This week, I broke the story of Mayor Bowers and Mayor McMillan asking Airport Authority board member Jerry Clark to resign.  Since that story broke (on WJZM 1400am, and Clarksville Online), it is being debated whether he was asked to resign, or made aware of a law that says you can not do business with Montgomery County and serve on the board. It does not matter. What matters is that until this law is clarified, there could be some real serious issues for a lot of people.

Let me point out that nobody has done anything wrong.  There has not been any money stolen, no political agendas, or someone stealing “post it” notes.  The Mayors were advised by attorneys that with the upcoming bids going out for the RichEllen Park, anyone wishing to do business with the County could not serve on boards, or commissions.  The City and County are doing the right thing.  They have to cover their bases. Jerry Clark has not resigned as of yet, and there could be others who will have to go too.

The problem I see is this. Every community has people who bring an area of expertise to the table. They want to help their community grow, and become better. Some of them want, and deserve, to do business with those communities.

If someone is a real estate expert, he or she might serve on the Regional Planning Commission.  If he or she is a lawyer, they would be invaluable to a committee trying to re-write the city charter.  If he or she was a pilot, or a flying enthusiast, they would be a good choice to sit on the Airport Authority. 

They should not be penalized for wanting to contribute to their community, just because they want to do business with that same community.  They should not lose the opportunity for being rewarded for their civic service.

Citizens WANT to get involved.  They WANT to serve on boards, and commissions.  They WANT to give back to a community that’s been good to them.  Yes, there are lots of people who WANT to do that, and while it’s dangerous to let the coyote guard the henhouse, the system of checks and balances should make it difficult for abuse.

People like Jerry Clark are an asset to their community. I served in the Jaycees with him long ago, and we have both been “giving back” ever since.  Everybody wins when we all “pitch in”. There are lots of people like Clark. They love their community, and have benefited from their time and efforts in “giving back”.

I think the law is confusing and needs to be clarified, much like the CDE situation we are dealing with.  We can not assume anything, until the law determines the facts.

Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutterhttp://www.clarksvillesmotorcycle.com/
Hank Bonecutter is a retired broadcaster and media consultant based in Clarksville, Tennessee. His career includes stints at WKDA/WKDF and WKQB Rock 106FM, WLAC-AM in Nashville. He concluded his career as owner/talk show host at WJZM-AM in Clarksville. Currently the President of Bonehead Promotions, he's an advertising consultant and media strategist. An avid motorcyclist, Hank blogs about his travels exclusively at www.clarksvillemotorcycle.com and www.clarksvilleonline.com You can follow Hank on on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dodgintheroadkill/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/?lang=en, and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dodgetheroadkill/?hl=en  
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