Tensions flare between Mason, the TN mayor and board members

Tensions flare between Mason, the TN mayor and board members
Tensions flare between Mason, the TN mayor and board members

MASON, Tenn. – Trouble is brewing in Tipton County as the controversy between the Board of Aldermen and the mayor of Mason, Tenn., continues.

During a board meeting on Monday evening, both sides spent much of the night shouting and making accusations at each other.

Both sides say the conflict stems from the other’s lack of transparency.

But people who live and run businesses in Mason say they’re fed up with personal problems getting in the way of the city’s operations.

“I think Mason is missing a team,” said business owner Wendy Ross. “If we had a team at that table, we could fly through the air.”

The months-long controversy began when members of the board began arguing that Mayor Eddie Noeman was not following up on items discussed at meetings.

“We would vote on things on the board and make decisions for the city of Mason,” board member Shate Toliver said. “And once we leave our board meetings, they are no longer enforced. So it ensures that our budget takes a turn that we do not want.”

Mayor Noeman agrees that the problems stem from finances, but says he is not to blame.

Instead, he says the board is not open to change, adding that they even changed the building’s locks so he couldn’t enter City Hall.

“Some board members got together and made false accusations about me holding back the city’s progress,” Mayor Noeman said. “But if you look at my record, my record is great.”

In a letter sent to the Board of Aldermen on Monday, Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower addresses a special meeting held on June 11 where the council voted to require Mayor Noeman to resign and terminate a contract with Hughey’s Debits and Extend credits.

The Comptroller said the meeting likely violated the Tennessee Open Meetings Act by not providing adequate notice and a list of topics to be discussed.

If this violation is proven, all actions taken during the meeting will be null and void.

The comptroller’s letter explains that the mayor can file a lawsuit against the board of aldermen under the Open Meetings Act and that only a court can decide whether the meeting was sufficient.

“I think the best thing for the city of Mason would be a city manager,” Ross said. “Someone who is trained in government processes, someone who understands and has been in a growth position.”

At this time it is not clear whether Mayor Noeman intends to do so.