Fairview Mayor Under Investigation
by Chris Cannon
FAIRVIEW, Tenn. - Members of the Fairview City Commission voted Thursday night to formally investigate Mayor Beverly Totty.
That vote came during a specially called meeting where commissioners questioned the Mayor, and her husband Walter, about a housing development they built in the city.
Construction of Williamsport Estates, a four-home subdivision, started two years ago. Only recently city commissioners learned the project never went before the planning commission.
Walter Totty told commissioners he turned in a land plat for the project, and as far as he knew, it was approved for him to start construction.
"It had been signed by the planning commission and it was ready to be recorded," Totty said.
Although the plat had been signed, the plans for the subdivision never went before the planning commission. That meant no construction fees were paid, and Totty did not have the required bond for the project.
"They never asked me to bring a check, the never told me when I was to be on the agenda. I was just hanging," Totty explained.
He went through the entire construction process, got the necessary permits and inspections, and no one ever raised any concern over the project.
After questioning Mr. Totty, the commissioners then turned their attention to the mayor, and the role she played in the construction process.
Mayor Totty said she had no knowledge the subdivision had not gone before the planning commission, or that it even needed to go before the planning commission.
There are questions if the homes were built to city regulations. Code requires the street leading to the homes be paved. It is currently only gravel. It could cost as much as $80,000 to fix that mistake if Totty does not get a variance from the planning commission.
Vice-Mayor Stuart Johnson asked the mayor if she would make good on any changes the planning commission deemed necessary to bring the property up to code.
"I think would my answer would be presumptuous, not knowing what the planning commission would require," Mayor Totty said.
At the end of the meeting, the commissioners voted to hire an independent investigator to look into the matter, and prepare a report on the facts of the situation.
"The investigation can be done, the report can be given to us, we can get the findings and we can get it fixed, and everybody will be happy," said Vice-Mayor Johnson.
Once the finding of the investigation are given to the commissioners, they will hold a specially called hearing, where they will have subpoena power, to determine if the mayor violated any city regulations, or laws.