That’s quite a headline from the current front page, as well as the first few paragraphs making East Ridge City Manager Tim Gobble sound like a really “mean person.”
According to the unnamed witnesses, it was “…something that should have been handled in a closed-door meeting with Joanne - not out in front of everybody." They were correct, which makes it funny that she was the one that had refused to come to his office when he ordered her to do so the next morning, according to the Sept. 5th article on this same news site. That would have been a great place to handle it, had she not refused (“No, you come to my office, if you want to continue the discussion.”). Sinking in, isn’t it?
Court Clerk Joanne Thomas is literally cursing her boss in the lobby of City Hall, and Mr. Gobble is “the mean boy” for berating her back in her office where unauthorized people are in fact not supposed to be…with YOUR confidential court documents and cash from fines and court costs are kept? Unbelievable. Well, were it not for the fascinating political machine that is East Ridge.
Let’s get past her inability to be an employee, though, and focus on the kind of incompetence that sets criminals free (which was the initial reason her boss wanted to meet with her the next day…in a private office).
Moving court cases then failing to notify pertinent people like the “police officers” and the “victims of crime” of those cases is a pretty big deal...whether the victim is your daughter or not. It’s a big deal because as Ms. Thomas implied, that is a way that those felony robbery cases (committed by rapists such as one of these suspects) get dismissed on a technicality, just like in the old Dirty Harry movies. And technicality is just a nice word for “incompetence” in this case, and all cases like it. Ever hear of the revolving door of Justice? This is how that door keeps spinning.
For the cops to be concerned and the city manager to confront her about this seems like Mr.Gobble was doing his job. And when she refused his more than reasonable orders to meet about it later…I think that distending his neck veins and raising his voice was a pretty understandable reaction. Getting upset became his job when she refused to do hers.
Before he gets painted with the broad strokes people tend to disproportionately receive in that municipality, let me tell you what kind of boss he is, and what kind of employee the people have hired: Tim Gobble solves problems. As a Sheriff, he was the kind of boss that sued his own bosses if that was what it took to get his men and women fair pay. (As contrast, Hamilton County has the kind of Sheriff that sues his own people to -keep-from giving them what he, himself, called equal pay.) Mr. Gobble is not where the spotlight should be: It should be on the one who caused these problems on every level..
The day Tim Gobble doesn’t get upset at incompetence and insubordination is the day you need to judge him harshly…not for him responding to it. We have enough ridiculous news stories online and on television these days.
Craig W. Joel
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I gave a lot of serious thought before sending this opinion piece. The delay was out of respect for Mr. Joel and the service he gives to his community. I have found Mr. Joel’s previous postings to be articulate, reasonable and pretty much on point. However, this one does not fall into that category. I was really surprised to see his name at the bottom of the page.
No disrespect to you, Mr. Joel. But were you at East Ridge Court when the incident happened? I wasn’t, but have read the accounts of the evening. Since I wasn’t there I don’t know if “unauthorized people” were in the office. Do you? If they were, why did Mr. Gobble not address that violation then and there and have them leave the room.
On a personal level, I must say that I don’t understand why you find it necessary to defend the city manager of a municipality that it appears, from your comments, you have no respect for.
This is my community and that of members of my family and friends. Mr. Gobble has been on a rampage about citizens being “negative” about our city. He even deletes comments that he doesn’t like by citizens on East Ridge’s Facebook page. His broad stroke paints the definition of “negative” as anyone that doesn’t agree with him. However, he was proud to post your opinion piece with these comments.
“Unbelievable. Well, were it not for the fascinating political machine that is East Ridge.”
“Before he gets painted with the broad strokes people tend to disproportionately receive in that municipality”
Mr. Joel, Mr. Gobble may not define your comments negative about our wonderful little city of East Ridge, but I as a citizen do.
You also say:
“Mr. Gobble is not where the spotlight should be: It should be on the one who caused these problems on every level.”
Neither the media, nor the ER court clerk’s office put the spotlight on Mr. Gobble. He put himself in the spotlight with his choice of time, place and manner. The poor judgment of picking court night “to discuss the’ proper administration’ of the clerk's office” was what turned on the spotlight.
Before you judge our city and citizenry, get to know us better and you might decide that we aren’t as bad you have been lead to believe. Most of us want the same thing that you strive for in your job.Truth.