Tygard decides to seek Metro Council's clerk appointment

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 9:22pm

At-large Councilman Charlie Tygard has joined Democratic nominee Brenda Wynn as a contender for the Metro Council’s special appointment to replace departed Davidson County Clerk John Arriola with an interim.

Tygard was one of four candidates nominated for the interim seat, which the council on Aug. 7 will fill with an appointment. Tygard, along with long-shot candidates Kenneth Eaton and James Baxter, nominated themselves. Davidson County voters will pick the full-time clerk in November’s election.

Councilman Lonnell Matthews Jr. nominated Wynn for the interim position. Wynn — an aide for U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper who announced her resignation from that position Tuesday — secured the Democratic clerk nomination for November’s election on Monday. Davidson County Republicans still haven’t nominated its candidate.

Despite signaling his interest in the open clerk’s seat, Tygard suggested he could ultimately withdraw his name from consideration after the council’s Rules-Confirmations-Public Elections Committee interviews the four candidates later this month.

“I’m keeping my options open right now,” Tygard said. “Worst case scenario, you stand up and say, ‘I’ve decided I don’t want to be considered. Don’t use your vote on me.’ ”

Tygard characterized himself as a “business person that understands management,” adding that he has the “skill set” to address some of the clerk office’s issues.

Wynn, who has previously worked in Mayor Bill Purcell’s office, is believed to be the frontrunner for the interim clerk position, having securing the Democratic nomination. Though officially nonpartisan, the council runs decidedly Democratic.

Whoever secures the council’s special clerk appointment will hold the job for a temporary basis until a full-time clerk emerges following Election Day on Nov. 6. The appointment would head into the election with an incumbent status.

Tygard told The City Paper he would not seek the Republican nomination for Davidson County clerk but did not rule out running as an independent.

7 Comments on this post:

By: Shane Smiley on 7/10/12 at 10:48

Ken Jakes
July 4 near Nashville
I just sent this email to all Members of the Metro Council in Davidson County.

Members of the Council, It appears to me that the council is attempting to replace John Arriola's Office by appointing an Interim County Clerk to serve until another is elected by the people.

I see things lining up as usual politics in Nashville.

TCA 18-6-115 Clearly states that the Chief Deputy can serve in the full capacity as Davidson County Clerk until such time as a new Clerk can be elected by the people.

Metro Charter Provision Section 8.118 Clearly states the Chief Deputy shall have the powers and duties and liabilities of the County Clerk.

The present Chief Deputy Mike Taylor has served over 35/years in the Clerks Office, under four different Court Clerks. Surely, he should have the experience, knowledge, and capabilities to run this office for the short time until a new County Clerk can be Elected by the people.

I will post the Charter Provision and the State Statue for your review below.

Check with Legal to confirm the accuracy of this information.

Thank you,

Ken Jakes.

By: govskeptic on 7/11/12 at 5:11

Oh happy days, we all knew this well paying job would be a coveted one
sought by one or more council members. Tygard goes to the Republicans
for political donations, but avoids the label on the ballot. Anyone surprised?

By: nvestnbna on 7/11/12 at 7:41

Thanks Ken Jakes,

I have had experience with Mike Taylor and would agree he is qualified to handle the duties of the office, temporarily or permanently.

What are Brenda Wynn's qualifications? For Bill Purcell, she was head of neighborhoods where she didn't acknowledge SoBro was a neighborhood. During Purcell's administration SoBro became a sesspool. Not sure what she did for Jim Cooper, but neither position seems to be a career track preparing one for administering the duties of the county's clerk position.

Charlie Tygard is a good guy, and has the qualifications to oversee those duties, especially his accounting background.

My experience is John Arriola is he did a great job of running the department, implemented a lot of the online systems, sadly taking cash fees for marriage licenses was just dumb. Compounding his problems was Metro finance's running short of money on the MCC project and Arriola not paying/transferring hotel/motel taxes quick enough to not cause anxiety up there.

I'd like for Mike Taylor to assume the duties until there is an election.

By: WayneR on 7/11/12 at 9:52

> Tygard characterized himself as a “business person that understands management,” adding that he has the “skill set” to address some of the clerk office’s issues.

Oh joy. Mr. Ethics himself, who apparently does not know the meaning of the phrase, "conflict of interest."

While trying to oust John Arriola from his job, Mr. Tygard aid:

“As a result, it would seem to me that the honorable thing to do would be to contact these couples (or at least publicize to these couples thru the media) that you are offering to refund the $40 fee/gratuity to those who want a refund,” Tygard continued. “This would truly make the $40 a gratuity. Another option might be offer to send the $40 to the charity of their choice. This would truly make the $40 a gratuity.”

I would be equally as honorable if Councilman Tygard asked his Exchange Club in Bellevue to return the $10K dollars of taxpayer money he funneled to them from his council seat while he was the club's treasurer.

> Here is the list of tax dollars to non-profit organizations that Mr. Tygard leveraged (all were approved by the Metro Council with no debate--with the exception to the Bellevue Exchange Club request, which was delayed for several months after Metro Finance learned that Mr. Tygard was an officer of the club--and signed by the Mayor):

$1,000 to the YMCA
$10,000 to the Bellevue Exchange Club


Or is that not a conflict of interest?

None too hopefully,


By: pswindle on 7/11/12 at 11:06

Charlie has had his eye on this office from day one. He knew that a scandal had to happen to oust the elected officer. Charlie it is time for you to go home. This practice has been going on for years. but when soemone wants your ofice, you have to dig up something. Where do you think that the elected officer knew to charge for weddings?

By: JohnGalt on 7/11/12 at 12:55

Tygard has identified another teat he can latch onto...at least for a while.

By: political1iam on 7/11/12 at 3:59

The last thing we need is a person with ethical problems!
Tygard is an old political player who has tried to get a metro job forever.
I don't know that a failed business is a qualification for a large organization like the clerk's office.
Mike Taylor is certainly a qualified public employee.
But that office needs leadership and direction to restore the morale and the reputation of that office. Mr. Taylor while a competent and honest employee is still tained with his association with the previous clerk.
Winn looks to be the best of the lot seeking the appointment and with the Democratic nomination will be able to win the election and bring continuity and honesty to the position.