Mayo Out As Election Commissioner
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Cannon County Election Commissioner Louise Mayo was shocked to find out she had been removed from her position by the State Election Commission during its July meeting Monday (July 17) in Nashville.

What's more, Mayo was informed of the decision one day later and not by state or local election officials, but by The Cannon Courier.

"I have no idea about (being removed)," Mayo said when contacted by The Cannon Courier regarding the decision at the state level. "I have not been contacted. No one informed me that my position was being discussed or that I was removed. This is the first I've heard of it."

All five of the seven State Election Commissioners present voted in favor of Mayo's removal. Chairman Kent Younce has appointed Corey Davenport as the Cannon County Republican member to replace Mayo.

The agenda for the State Election Commission meeting called for a discussion of a comment made by Mayo during a Cannon County Election Commission meeting regarding the termination of former Administrator of Elections (AOE) Stan Dobson. The item was listed under new business on the agenda.

During the July meeting of the Cannon County Election Commission Mayo, a Republican member, voted in favor of Dobson's termination, which passed by a 3-2 vote of the Election Commission.

During the State Election Commission Meeting Monday, a tape from the Cannon County meeting was played.

According to Blake Fontenay, Communication Director for the Tennessee Department of State, Mayo is heard discussing the the reason she voted to terminate Dobson was that (Dobson) had made a complaint to the State Election Commission (regarding) Mayo earlier this year.

As a result, the State Election Commission voted to remove Mayo for cause. The cause was retaliation in regards to Dobson's complaint filed with the State Election Commission in which Mayo was accused of creating a "hostile work environment."

"The State Election Commission believes election officials should be able to contact them without fear of retaliation," Fontenay responded. "Had Louise Mayo not stated the prior complaint filed with the State Election Commission as a reason for the termination, she would still be on the Cannon County Election Commission."

Mayo's removal has no bearing on Dobson's termination. He is still terminated.

"The decision to remove Mayo was strictly because (Dobson) had made a complaint and she voted to fire him because of it," according to Fontenay. "The commission did not get into wheather it was a valid termination. The commissioners looked at the narrow issue of someing being relatiated against for making a complaint to them. The State Election Commission does not have the authority to reinstate Mr. Dobson."

Fontenay said the Election Commission chairman would normally inform the commissioner of such a removal; however, Chairman Kent Younce had to board a plane immediately after the meeting.

According to Fontenay, Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins attempted to call Mayo but was unsuccessful. Mayo attempted to return Goins' call Monday but he was in a meeting.

Fontenay reported Mayo would be provided written notice of her removal from the Cannon County Election Commission by the State Election Commission chairman.

Mayo said it is unfortunate that retaliation appears to be a motive for her vote because the bottom line is Dobson was terminated because of his actions.

"I'm sure I will be contacted by the State Election Commission but, as of now, I have not been notified by them that I have been removed," Mayo said. "My decision to vote in favor of the termination of Stan Dobson was not out of retaliation. It's unfortunate I did not know I was being discussed at this meeting. I also wish I would have had an opportunity to speak on my behalf. Sometimes things can be taken out of context."

Democrat Commissioner Sue Patrick said Mayo's removal is "disappointing." She also was unaware of Mayo's situation prior to being contacted by The Cannon Courier Tuesday morning.

"I really don't know anything about (Mayo being removed)," Patrick said. "There were many reasons for Stan Dobson's termination but we didn't vote to terminate Stan Dobson because of relatiation."

Mayo voted with Democrat Commissioners Patrick and Jackie Gannon not only to terminate Dobson, but also to reinstate polling places on Short Mountain and at Gassaway after the Commissioners had originally voted to close them. In both instances the motion carried 3-2 with Mayo voting with the Democrats.

Mayo's vote regarding the Short Mountain and Gassaway polling places resulted in Dobson and Republican Commissioner Matt Studd contacting Sen. Mae Beavers to ask for Mayo's removal because she was creating a hostile work environment.

Mary Lynn Bush is serving as the interim AOE through the November election before a full-time AOE is hired.

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Members Opinions:
July 17, 2012 at 12:34pm
Justice.
July 17, 2012 at 1:45pm
Oh those good old Cannon county politics are alive and well. Don't dare rock the boat or you will pay dearly. Sorry Mrs. Mayo that you got caught up in the fray.
July 17, 2012 at 3:32pm
About Time!
July 17, 2012 at 4:31pm
Great, now we get to hear even more from Corey Davenpot! Lucky us!!!
July 17, 2012 at 4:57pm
I agree Denver. As for the Good Ole Boy politics she played them too, and she lost her position because of it. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. She used her vote to seek revenge and clear a personal vendetta, and she got the proper punishment for it. I'm not necessarily defending Mr. Dobson, I think they should all be evaluated and the entire office should be shown to be serving the public, and if it isn't then all need to be replaced with someone who will.
July 17, 2012 at 5:12pm

I will stand by my post on the Courier story

Former AOE Hired On Interim Basis


“mkeller on 7/14/12
I think the mess has only started, and that we the people of Cannon County will be seeing many more lawsuits in the near future. But fear not I was told by one commissioner that we have insurance! I hope it is enough.”



If our representatives would start to be as concerned about the people—
ALL THE PEOPLE
As they are about party and personal vendettas and just plain getting their own way we would not have this type of mess. Not just in this commission but in all of government.

This is a very good time to be a lawyer in Woodbury. I suspect we are going to see lawsuits on top of lawsuits. I would ask the Commissioner who told me not to worry because we have insurance, is it enough and will it pay Lawyer fees?

Now I am sure looking forward to the war that is about to be fought over who the state appointed. I can see it all now, all the fussing about how poor he will be in this position even before he participates in his first meeting. Well I thought I might be the first to jump in on this, but I see mollie2 beat me to it.

I personally think Corey will fair, honest and thoughtful in his decisions on this commission. Time will tell and we should not judge till he has been there for a time.
Jack
July 17, 2012 at 9:17pm
Now she knows how Stan felt.But why stop now at least 2 more need to go.
July 17, 2012 at 11:20pm
And here we must observe that men must either be flattered or crushed; for they will revenge themselves for slight wrongs, whilst for grave ones they cannot. The injury therefore that you do to a man should be such that you need not fear his revenge.
July 18, 2012 at 7:01am
AdmiralAckbar.... What a great platform for our foreign policy! Whether Republican or Democrat, this philosophy would serve us well. And yes, it does appear to be most appropriate in summing up local politics. Nothing can be more vicious than an injured creature. Maybe that is why politics reminds me of a hog pen. The weak, sickly or injured are soon devoured by their associates.
July 18, 2012 at 7:31am
We have turned the sacred and honorable right to vote into a petty squabble amoung children. This statement may be an insult to the maturity level of most children.

This continuous hostility and friction is an inexcusable and unforgivable insult to all those who ,without question or petty party lines, suffered and sacrificed so we could have this most precious right.

Remenber the good old days when the election office was not DAILY bad news. I truly miss Mr. Minton. I know he would not have allowed these issues to boil over and over and over. If they would have there is no doubt in my mind he would done the honorable thing and left (without a lawsuit).

Mr. Davenport will be committed and true to his new position. A good choice for the state board knowing his obedience to the party will be unwavering. Maybe not the best choice because he will be so unwavering, insistent and controversial. For this reason, I see him creating more divide insteat of resolve. Maybe the state board doesnt want peace and harmony for Cannon County.

July 18, 2012 at 8:35am
Yes indeed Bud the sacred and honorable right to vote. But let us not forget what started all of this. The Election Commission was looking to save the county some money and made the decision by unanimous vote to close two voting polls that serve only a hand full of voters. This did not negate or infringe on their right to vote, its only effect was that a small number of voters might have to drive four or five miles more to the poll.

Some of the commissioners decided they could not to stand behind their convections which resulted in costing more money to reverse the first vote.

We can only wonder what brought about this change in convection, I have heard “I got tired of taking all these phone calls” to “we did not understand what we were voting for”.

If you don’t want to talk to your constituents or are willing to vote on something you do not understand perhaps one should not accept a position to represent ALL of the people.

Now we must ask our self who is willing to do what is best for ALL OF Cannon County and who wants to only make power plays and to what is best for a few? Only when we can answer this question will we be able to decide who should be representing us. ALL OF THE PEOPLE.

Jack
July 18, 2012 at 8:47am
With balance of power shifting back, does Bush stay or go--maybe another interim, interim and what about closing a couple of polling places before November?

As Bing Crosby sang, "Oh me, oh my, small fry...."

July 18, 2012 at 10:26am
No doubt jack it has been a complete and utter mess from the beginning: aoe replaced-lawsuit-where does replacement aoe live-pay rate of assistant- battles with election board-battles with commissioners- closing poll-oops-opening closed poll back up-attempts to remove board members-firing aoe-removing board member, just to name some of the UNNEEDED controversies in a FEW months. PETTY , CHILDISH and an EMBARSIMENT to the instution and our home! There is enough blame to go around and they ALL deserve some of it. pointing a finger will not fix this--that i know for sure.
July 19, 2012 at 5:49am
A two to one public repudiation of the new member (see Courier poll numbers) doesn't seem the path to bringing back harmony to the commission.

If public opinion openly supports this comment " he will be so unwavering, insistent and controversial. For this reason, I see him creating more divide insteat of resolve." there seems to be little doubt that the county will not see a great deal more "UNNEEDED controversies in a FEW months. PETTY , CHILDISH and an EMBARSIMENT to the instution and our home!"

Seems this appointment dovetails in with the Courier article by Mr. Halpren.
July 19, 2012 at 8:00am
So negative. Now if we can replace the others who were causing the controversies spoken of.
July 19, 2012 at 5:10pm
PETTY , CHILDISH and an EMBARSIMENT to the instution and our home!

pointing a finger will not fix this-

Fact, ---now where are the positives?

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