Mayor says he will veto resolution

10:11 am | January 23, 2013

It didn’t rise to the level of “trash talk,” but the county’s waste program was at center stage at the County Commission meeting Tuesday morning when the subject of landfill management came up.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
County Mayor Leon Humphrey argues against a resolution for a private act that would transfer control of the Carter County Landfill from his office to the county’s Landfill Committee. Although the resolution passed 17-5, Humphrey said that he will veto the resolution ‘the moment’ his office receives it.

By a vote of 17-5, the commission approved a resolution for a private act which, if approved by the state legislature, would transfer control of landfill operations from the county mayor’s office to the county’s Landfill Committee.

After the meeting, County Mayor Leon Humphrey said he intended to veto the resolution as soon as his office received it.

“This will be my first veto,” Humphrey said. “This one warrants it because I don’t think it’s being done for the right reasons.”

The resolution was proposed by Commissioner Sonja Culler, who said that she was responding to complaints she received from Landfill Director Benny Lyons about receiving unfair treatment from the mayor.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Commissioner Sonja Culler details her reasons for asking county attorney Keith Bowers to draft the resolution that would reassign supervision of the landfill from the county mayor to the Landfill Committee.

“There have been many times where the committee has talked about what a good job Mr. Lyons is doing,” Culler said.
“While he is trying to do his job, and is doing what the committee is asking him to do, the mayor is making him feel like he is not doing a good job and undermining his authority with his employees.”

After the meeting, however, Lyons said Humphrey has not criticized his job performance, but also acknowledged that he would prefer to answer to the committee.

“He’s never said I don’t do a good job,” Lyons said. “But ultimately, anything I do at the landfill has to go in front of the commission. So why not have them as my boss?”

Elizabethton Star back open navigation

Switch to our desktop site