Tuesday, August 07, 2007

State Bureaucratic Red Tape Prompts Metro's About-Face on Pam Murray's Discretionary Funds

According to this morning's City Paper, Metro is asking the North Edgefield Organized Neighbors to return $23,700 in Metro Council Discretionary Funds that were originally requested by Pam Murray. As reported here on Enclave last month, Ms. Murray has earmarked tens of thousands of tax dollars twice for the neighborhood non-profit and she was joined in co-sponsorship first by current Vice Mayor-elect Diane Neighbors ($56,666 in September 2005) and second by Council Member Rip Ryman ($35,750 in May 2007). A WSMV report disclosed that Ms. Murray had less-than-ethical ties to NEON.

What prompted Metro to request the return of part of the total were not questions about Ms. Murray's ties or the matter of the prudence of giving large sums of money to non-profits, but the kind of bureaucratic hoop (some might call it a safeguard) that we hear private interests complaining about all of the time. NEON failed to register their group with the State until March of this year and they failed to provide the required reports to Tennessee's Secretary of State, according to the NCP.

Thank goodness for bureaucratic red tape, which seems to allow Metro to recoup about a third of the total tax dollars that they misplaced to this non-profit. The NCP reports that Pam Murray earmarked the funds without NEON ever soliciting them. The government safeguards seemed to have worked as they should in this case, but taxpayers should be able to rely on more than procedure to protect their money. They should be able to count on Metro Council and bill co-sponsors--in this case Pam Murray, Diane Neighbors, and Rip Ryman--to themselves verify that any non-profit that they patronize has met all of their legal obligations before they earmark funds, in which case Metro might have saved almost $100,000.

1 comment:

  1. There seems to be oh so much more to this sad little tale. The NCP reported that NEON never solicited money from Pam? The relationship that Pam has with the leaders of NEON goes beyond close. They are almost family. Pam gonna take care of her folks.
    Why did the other council people co-sponsor these bills? Is there some quid pro quo? If so, what?

    This money was supposed to be for the neighborhood. Instead Pam has spent this on trips for the children of friends and family, yellow shirts for the teens she contracted to campaign for her, and some very nice plastic flowers on the corner of Lischey and Cleveland complete with a Vote Pam Murray sign. I am quite sure that this is not a valid use of public dollars

    Lets see to which dark place this story leads.