Confehr: Government cooperation required in recessions

Friday, July 9, 2010

The spirit of the saying -- there are no atheists in foxholes -- might apply to a less terrifying problem. Recessions require cooperation and belief that your neighbor has got your back.

This came up as Lewisburg's now former economic and community developer, former County Mayor Terry Wallace, got a pink slip. This isn't about his departure, or much about him, except he's not a city employee now.

The departure of folks in such a position raises the question: What's next?

Almost regardless of who -- if there's going to be only one individual -- will do the job, there is an unspoken need for folks to pull together because something must be done.

One of the development team members must be the county mayor.

If a new employer wants to locate at Moorsville Highway off Interstate 65, then the county mayor should work closely with city officials.

Who's best suited to cover your back -- so to speak -- during the recession that lingers in Lewisburg and Marshall County?

Voters should be able to reach a conclusion during the Marshall County Tribune's first candidates' debate tonight at 6 on the stage of the Marshall County Community Theatre in the old Dixie movie house on Lewisburg's public square.

Admission is free. Seating is first come first serve for 280 seats, except for a section reserved for participants' family and those who obtained reservations at the newspaper office. Reservations remain available at 359-1188 until 4:30 this afternoon. An hour later, doors at the Dixie open. Thirty minutes later, long-time Marshall County resident Barry White will be introduced as the moderator and the debate will begin.

Another kettle of fish

Recently, a county audit was brought to our attention.

We were fortunate to get wind of that subject before the old audit was posted on the Comptroller's web site. A story was filed.

The audit criticized purchasing practices at the county ambulance service before the current director was hired. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigated.

We're asked: Why weren't charges filed in connection with the investigation?

Go to on the Internet, use the search engine and find the story "Stolen ambulance cost man six years" from June 13, 2008.

Three months earlier, there was a story, perhaps more related to the audit, although there's been no charge filed. That story was "County EMS director resigns."

Annual audits have been posted on a state website for years. They're carefully worded documents.

District Attorney Chuck Crawford, the chief prosecutor here, doesn't comment on incomplete matters, but we've known him to say something like the following as he follows canons of ethics for lawyers, including prosecutors.

Whenever he can make a case with a reasonable possibility of successful prosecution, he will do so. However, if a case cannot be successful, pursuing it can only result in a waste of taxpayers' money.

DAs prosecute public officials. The jailed Cornersville city manager comes to mind. So does Lewisburg's dogcatcher.

Elsewhere, more than a decade ago, a DA was known to tell folks to go away if they had politics in mind when bringing matters to his attention. Thieves were still prosecuted.