By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog
NASHVILLE — A few Tennessee lawmakers say this year’s General Assembly won’t address local waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars at the local level, although one legislator sees something it could do.
“The only thing we can do at the state level is increase the penalties for theft,” said Rep. Kent Williams, I-Elizabethton.
“A lot of times, though, on the local level there’s a lot of appointed positions by boards. I think that’s something that could be changed. We could have more elections for more positions. It’s like the water authority board here. We had no control over these boards whatsoever at the state or local level. The board is the board. That’s basically it.
“The human condition causes this to happen evenly, the same amount in the private sector as in the public sector, but perhaps in the public sector there are more crossing guards to catch it and air it publicly. It’s hard to say what happens in the private sector that you never hear about.”
“Everything that’s been recommended that we can do to make local governments more transparent we’ve pretty much implemented,” said State Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah.
Dennis’ district includes Wayne County, where Wilson posed serious questions this month about how local officials spent state and local grant money.
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