|It's now quiet obvious that former Loudon County
Property Assessor now mayor, Doyle Arp, had his own agenda for the
twenty plus years he was the assessor. That doesn't seem to have include
fair and equitable property appraisals for everybody. He obviously was
more interested in taking care of certain developers. But does anybody
really believe for a minute that the Mike Ross give away was the only
time Arp ever gave anyone special treatment? It took months of research just to discover Arp's devious little deed on just 179 parcels.
Loudon County has nearly forty thousand parcels of property.
This will be a real test for the new assessor, Chuck Jenkins. What should he do? Does he and his staff spend the next ten years trying to find all the other times Arp has "fixed" things? Does Jenkins just find and correct Arp's special deals? Or, on the other hand, does he take the information he has to a higher authority? The DA? The TBI? The comptroller's office? The state assessor's office? Were Arp's actions illegal, unethical, neither or both? A lot of questions need to be answered but it's unimaginable that giving away hundreds of thousands if not million's of tax dollars could be either legal or ethical.
This will also be a test for county commissioners. Given the tantrum pitched by Arp at two other elected officials and a department head, will commissioners finally step in to rein in Doyle Arp's dictator style of leadership? If Arp takes any actions against Building Commissioner, Bill Cox, will commissioners defend Cox? Will Arp still get his $8,700.00 pay raise? Arp threatened to fire one of the building inspectors to pay for legal costs if Cox didn't do as Arp demanded and there was a lawsuit. Is that not exhortation or blackmail? Sure it is. You do what I tell you or I will hurt you. Guess we know why he didn't want people looking at his records.
What would motivate Doyle Arp to stab Loudon County property owners in the back? Is it that his son works for Mike Ross? Could it be just that simple? Would Doyle Arp really throw thirty thousand Loudon County property owners under the bus just to help a family member? A "quid pro quo" so to speak? Did Arp get something out of the deal for himself? Who knows. But it's fair for the citizens to ask why and they should have answers.
Whose Side Is Arp On?
Based on what we now know, it's painfully obvious that Doyle Arp could care less about the residents of Loudon County. If giving away 11.6 million in appraisals was the only example of his contempt toward the citizens, that would be bad enough, but there are other recent examples of where he stands.
In the matter of Wes Cooper vs Loudon County, apparently Mr. Arp is working for Cooper rather than the county. Between 9:00 and 10:00 am Thursday, July 17, was when Arp called in the troops, Loudon County Building Commissioner, Bill Cox, Loudon County Trustee, Estelle Herron and Loudon County Property Assessor, Chuck Jenkins to tell all of them that they would do what he (Arp) told them to do and change the Adequate Schools facility Tax assessed on developer/builder, Wes Cooper. Included with his verbal command was a memo to the same affect. Less than six hours later at 3:50 pm Thursday, July 17, Cooper filed his lawsuit against the county. Included in the lawsuit as exhibit (2) was a copy of the very memo that Arp had presented to Mr. Cox just a few hours earlier. The only place Cooper's lawyer could have gotten a copy of the memo was from Arp himself. Imagine the conversation. Arp meets with the other county officials. Other officials refuse to do what Arp commands. Arp throws a tantrum. Arp runs back to his office calls Cooper to tell him he can't make those @#$%^^&^%(*@ do what he told them to do. Tells Cooper to go ahead and sue and by the way, I've got a memo here that might help your case.
Late last year, Loudon County was sued by the Tellico Reservoir Development Agency (TRDA) to prevent Loudon County from performing building inspections in Loudon County on land formerly managed by TRDA. As a member of the TRDA board, Doyle Arp, rather than stand up for the citizens of Loudon County and vote against the frivolous lawsuit, abstained when the vote was taken to take Loudon County to court.
And of course we all remember the $50,000.00 paid in legal fees by county tax payers to try to keep the public out of public records. Did Arp fire anybody to pay for his $50.000.00 in legal fees?
Enough is enough.