Oneonta’s Ray issues pardon; Lowe updates veterans park status



“We’re still here,” says Randy Beason, tending the marquee at Neely Arts Center, as wife Debra assists and directs. There are no plans for change in the operation or the music school for the foreseeable future, he said.

“We’re still here,” says Randy Beason, tending the marquee at Neely Arts Center, as wife Debra assists and directs. There are no plans for change in the operation or the music school for the foreseeable future, he said.

In a council session devoid of any official business except approving minutes, Oneonta Mayor Darryl Ray announced a rare pardon. Ray explained the details behind his decision to pardon Ronald David Templeton. According to Ray, Templeton, who has worked as a volunteer jailer in Roane County, Tenn., has applied for a paid position with the county. Tennessee law forbids his employment if he has any prior conviction.

Templeton had a 1988 DUI from Oneonta. Ray said he spoke with Templeton and Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton about the matter. Stockton indicated he wants to hire Templeton but cannot under the 2006 Tennessee law. The mayor checked with others who know of the situation and decided to issue the pardon.

In presenting it to the council, Ray noted Templeton had served his sentence from more than 20 years ago. Based on Ray’s research, he said he felt the pardon justifiable.

City manager Ed Lowe announced that plans for the long-discussed veterans memorial have been sent to Washington for review. He anticipates approval within 45 days, so that work may begin on the site at the city’s old swimming pool.

All council members (Hal Buckelew, Mark Gargus, Tim McNair, Ross Norris, and Danny Robinson) joined Ray for the April 10 session. The city holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.