Cookeville does about face on parade denial

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- City hall at first rejected, then agreed to the request by two females who sought a Good Friday parade permit for The Putnam Pit to mourn the crucifixion of the constitution by city and county officials. City manager Jim Shipley says it was not  intentional;  employees acted without knowing the law or bothering to check it, Shipley explains.

Gee, maybe the city employees should have some small amount of training to perform the jobs that potentially rob people  of their constitutional rights. Is that too much to expect? You know, like expecting a fireman to know how to put out a fire, all employees should recognize that a condition of employment is knowing the law and applying it conscientiously -- some minimum knowledge or skill that serves the public as a condition of being paid.

Isn't one of these employees who made this mistake the same one who complained that it was too demanding and stressful to have to photocopy five consecutive pages from a looseleaf notebook in 30 minutes? How dangerous is it when employees act in their official capacities without  knowing the law, lie about what the laws says, then afterward, if they get caught, argue that the  person designated by the government to perform a task does not know the law regarding the task?

The problem in the past is that Shipley would cover up the incompetence of the employee.  Congratulations to Shipley for acknowledging that the employees are acting out of ignorance of the law and they don't bother to even look it up. Isn't it too bad that people have to be squeaky wheels to acquire  rights and privileges that are denied by city workers who are ignorant of the laws they administer. I'd say, it is better to live in a place that makes lots of mistakes and admits them and works to not repeat them, than to live in a place where lost of mistakes are made and the mistakes are denied, where records are destroyed and taxpayers pay the price of officials trying to bring the image of competence where it does not exist.

Shipley stated that if The Putnam Pit would hold its parade at 10 a.m. rather than 3:30 p.m., the parade permit would be granted.

Mr. Shipley, if the permit is actually granted and parade is held with no more official hindrance, knowingly or unknowingly,  this was an intelligent decision.

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