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Harriman ponders 'no-pay, no-business' policy

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By The Staff

By CINDY SIMPSON

Roane Newspapers

A new Harriman resolution means the city will no longer do business with people or enterprises that owe the city money.

The resolution proposed by Harriman City Councilman Ken Mynatt forbids the city from business transactions “with any individual and/or busi-ness entity that owes the city of Harriman, Tennessee, monies, regardless of amount.”

The city will make three attempts to collect the money owed before discontinuing business with the debtor.

Mynatt said those three attempts could be made orally, in writing or through filing a lawsuit.

“That is just a good business practice,” Mynatt said.

Councilman Kenyon Mee asked if this would cover a situation city officials were faced with last week involving Jerry Duncan Ford.

Jerry Duncan is a partner in Prestige, the developer of the Pinnacle Pointe shopping center. According to state audits, the developers owe the city more than $200,000.

Mynatt said this resolution would not affect current contracts.

Mee and Councilman Mark Powers said they liked the idea, but had some issues with it.

Mee asked how the city was going to keep up with who owes the city money, particularly if someone who owes for one company is a little-known partner of another company the city does business with.

Powers also said he felt some details need to be resolved.

Harriman Mayor Chris Mason said the city could rely on Treasurer Charles Kerley to keep up with how many times a business entity is notified and to look into whether business partners might owe the city.

Mee also wanted to have a procedure in place to enforce the resolution.

During discussion at last week’s meeting, Mynatt said the resolution is meant to deal with business transactions, not delinquent taxes.

But Mee said that is something that should be looked at as well.

There was some disagreement over how strong this resolution would be.

Mee asked if a company in good standing would be penalized because a partner owes money.

Mynatt said the city would do business with an enterprise that is current with the city, but explained later by phone that the city would notify a company with a delinquent partner that it would not do further business until the debt is paid.

Mynatt requested that Harriman City Attorney Harold Balcom draw up the no-pay, no-business policy.

The resolution was approved by five votes with Mee voting against it.