**update** The story continues to be pushed by the Legacy Media. There has yet (to my knowledge) been an official communication from Chief hicks to the Town of Franklin or Macon County.
Editorial in the Franklin Press:
Franklin residents, if your town asks you serve on a committee, you might want to give it a second thought.
That's the message that emerged from the May 7 meeting of the Franklin Board of Aldermen, with the abolishment of the Nikwasi Mound Committee.
The town had asked several people to serve on this committee. The specific concern that led to its formation was maintenance - the town hoped to find a less labor-intensive solution to caring for the ancient landmark. However, committee members were also encouraged to look at other options to make the mound more attractive and prominent, because of its historical value.
Although town aldermen have since disparaged the committee's work, claiming that it dawdled and didn't reach a conclusion, in fact the members gathered whenever they were asked to do so. They considered a range of options, and they did make recommendations to the town.
Members included representatives of the Historical Society and Cooperative Extension; the editor of this newspaper, the mayor and an alderman (Bob Scott). Other persons having an interest in or knowledge of Cherokee history, landscape design and related fields were invited to various meetings to share their ideas. This could not be said to be a revolutionary guard by any stretch of the imagination; the group's recommendations were conservative and easily accomplished. For example, the committee asked that signage be cleaned up and rock boundary corners replaced. These were maintenance matters; perhaps they should not have required a committee to instigate them. However, the committee made these points, the work was done and the Mound property looks much better as a result.
Source: The Franklin Press "Town to citizens: Just Shut up (title taken from printed version of editorial)
And more from the Smoky Mtn News:
Franklin leaders declined last week to offer a formal apology to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for using weed killer on an ancient Indian mound.Source: The Smoky Mountain News "Franklin balks at apology for killing mound grass"
“I don’t think we did anything destructive,” said Franklin Alderman Sissy Pattillo. “And I have a problem with the chief or whoever saying we did something disrespectful. That just bothers me.”
Principal Chief Michell Hicks earlier this month said he was “appalled” by Franklin’s use of a weed killer to denude the mound. Hicks called on the town to formally apologize for what he termed a culturally insensitive action and one that demonstrated a marked lack of respect for the Cherokee people.
Alderman Bob Scott was the lone town leader who wanted to issue an apology. He had drafted a letter to the chief expressing regret for what had taken place, and said that perhaps the dustup could serve as a means of opening new dialog between Franklin and the tribe. His call to send the letter received a lukewarm response from fellow town board members, however. The other aldermen pointed out that they had never been formally asked by the tribe to apologize, but instead the demand for an apology had come only through the media.
“I’ve got a question,” Alderman Farrell Jamison said to Scott at a Franklin town meeting last week. “Was there actually a letter or are we just listening to media stuff? Do you have a copy of a letter?”
“I do not,” Scott responded.
The full video of this meeting will appear in a day or so at is.gd/12F0507
For all the people who 'said' they were upset about the Town of Franklin spraying the Nikwasi Indian Mound with weed killer, not one of them actually cared enough to attend the town meeting where it was on the agenda to add their voice to the discussion to express their concerns or to hear what the town had to say.
If they had, they would have heard the explanation that the grass had to be killed before it was replaced with something else. This is something that anyone with an ounce of common sense would have known. Remember not to believe everything you read in local (or regional) papers. Sometimes, there is an agenda that we may or may not be aware of, or it may simply be an attempt to gin up circulation.
Here is an excerpt of the article they were responding to:
Source: Smoky Mountain News