Work as mayor misrepresented

I want to thank the residents of Greenback for allowing me to serve as elected mayor. It has been a privilege.

We built the Greenback Community Center, library, established a ISO 5 rating for the fire department, built the children’s park and a museum — just to mention a few accomplishments. We also established a working relationship with People Promoting Animal Welfare to service the Greenback community and surrounding areas.

Contrary to newspapers, blogs, television media and Facebook, residents of Greenback and others from surrounding areas do not know the background, history or the absolute truth behind certain allegations made against me and my wife.

In 44 years of service, there has never been one negative finding on the quarterly or annual audits completed by the state auditor. Media alleges misappropriation of funds, but no one has said specifically what.

For numerous years, the state auditor has handled the bookkeeping for Greenback, prepared the monthly financials and submitted the final reports to the Comptroller of the Treasury of Tennessee. Accusations of misappropriation of funds are a direct blow to the certified state auditor. I can assure you that as the mayor, and my wife as the recorder and treasurer, I would welcome and comply with any investigation and/or audit if necessary.

Other allegations referenced nepotism. History would show that my wife was hired by Greenback City Council in 1973. The charter will show only city council, not the mayor, can hire. Your new mayor-elect has already promised the recorder and treasurer position to someone who has not been voted on or approved by council.

The mayor-elect, while serving as an alderman, proposed and the motion passed that all hired employees of the city must be approved by council. Requirements and qualifications of the city recorder and treasurer were presented by and adopted by council unanimously.

Media blasted the fact that I would not leave the mayor’s position, even after the mayor-elect had been sworn in Nov. 20. As the mayor-elect stated to the News-Herald, newly elected officials in Greenback take office in January, according to bylaws and shown in the minutes of previous meetings.

The mayor-elect and his supporters accused me of canceling the November council meeting to prevent him from taking office immediately. The city’s election was not certified by the Loudon County Election Commission until Nov. 19, surpassing the time when there would have been a scheduled council meeting Nov. 13.

For more than 20 years, with the approval of council, Greenback has not held council meetings in December due to the holidays, allowing aldermen to spend time with their families.

While a lot of doubt has been placed in your minds about transparency, I would sit down with anyone at your request to discuss and show you the documents to back any actions taken.

Media can be cruel and not always truthful. Like they say, don’t believe everything you read on Facebook or in the media in general.

Our hope is for Greenback to continue to prosper and grow.

Tom Peeler

Outgoing Greenback Mayor