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Recent Knowledgebase Articles

Chalking Tires for Parking Enforcement Is Unreasonable Search
General (Created: May 17, 2019; Reviewed: May 17, 2019)

MTAS Legal Consultant Elisha Hodge notifies Tennessee municipalities that the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit opined that the practice of marking tires with chalk, in order to monitor how long a vehicle is parked in a parking space for the purpose of enforcing parking restrictions, is an unreasonable search in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

MTAS on Robert's Rules of Order
General (Created: May 17, 2019; Reviewed: May 17, 2019)

A series of brief, instructive articles explaining the use Robert's Rules of Order for cities and towns in Tennessee. The series starts with the history of the Robert's Rules parliamentary procedures and delves into everything from making a motion to adjourning a meeting.

Uncompensated Public Officials Personal Information Not Protected Per Tennessee State Law
Legal Opinion (Created: May 17, 2019; Reviewed: May 17, 2019)

If council members are uncompensated, they cannot be considered "public employees" whose information is protected pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 10-7-504(f). Hodge, the Tennessee Open Records Counsel at the time of this letter, also offers suggestions for improved processes in filling the request in question.

“Wastewater Treatment Facilities Management Agreement” and Responsibility of the County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority to Maintain Lateral Sewer Lines
Legal Opinion (Created: May 17, 2019; Reviewed: May 17, 2019)

The City entered into a Wastewater Treatment Facilities Management Agreement with the County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority for the operation of the City’s wastewater facilities on October 31, 2003. The City actually transferred its facilities to the Authority pursuant to the Agreement. The Authority now claims that it is only responsible for the operation and maintenance of the “main” lines, not the lateral lines, although the City understood that all assets and liabilities of the wastewater facility were transferred to the Authority. MTAS was asked to review the Agreement and statutes and determine if lateral lines are included in the property transferred to the Authority.

Tennessee Municipal Benchmarking Project FY2018 Annual Report
General (Created: May 14, 2019; Reviewed: May 14, 2019)

This is the 17th and final report of the Tennessee Municipal Benchmarking Project. Performance data from participating cities represents fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018). Cities participating in this data cycle were: Athens, Bartlett, Brentwood, Bristol, Chattanooga, Franklin, Johnson City, Kingsport, Knoxville, Lewisburg, Morristown, and Spring Hill. The report highlights selected benchmarks and compares members on those benchmarks over a three year period.