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"The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
Corruption is our beat.

On Wednesday, May 10, 2000, Cookeville City Clerk Stephanie Miller said the city has not passed a budget for fiscal year 2000-2001 because it is unclear how much money will trickle down from the state.

Here are some Putnam Pit suggestions for cutting expenditures

1. Get a full time city attorney.

Over the past three years, part-time City Attorney T. Michael O'Mara has managed to bill the city for more than $121,000 while working the equivalent of eight weeks a year. Meanwhile, he also bills the Cookeville Regional Medical Center additional tens of thousands in a setup that is rife with conflicts of interest. The city could get a competent, ethical full-time law school graduate to do its legal work for what O'Mara makes in a few weeks.

2. Let city manager Jim Shipley stay in a regular room when he goes to the Tennessee Municipal League meetings.

If the mayor and councilmen can live in a regular room, why can't Shipley. As an alternative, have Shipley pay his own upgrade if he can't sleep in a regular room. It's not as if he's done a good job and deserves a suite at taxpayer expense.
3. Sell the city's computer speakers.
We all know by now that Police Chief Bob 'Smut Boy' Terry sends pornographic photos to his command staff and to District Attorney General Bill 'I Have Faith in God' Gibson, but does he need to hear the sound effects, too? For Pete sakes, let him tape his phone sex if he has to hear panting at work, but don't make taxpayers buy him the equipment to feed his perversion. Why do the water department, public works and city planners need audio?
4. Pull out of the Drug Task Force.
Ever since Police Chief Bob Terry got involved with DA Gibson's illegal Drug Task Force, it has only busted small time dealers and those the highway patrol accidentally catches on the Interstate. In Tennessee's No. 1 methamphetamines production region, the cops shake down citizens for property to pay themselves, but don't even bother to apply for grants that would help offset the cost of busting the drug racket -- if they really wanted to. All Terry has done -- since giving up his job as the top overtime maker on the task force, is tell the city to stop trying to get reimbursed, as it is entitled.
5. Stop Chief Terry from spending money on fancy business cards, photographs of himself and repainting his name over signs bearing the names of his predecessors.

6. Have employees either pay for the use of city-owned cars they take home, or have them stop taking the cars home.

7. Set basic standards of performance so that employees who slack off are replaced with candidates willing to work.

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