Thursday, December 23, 2004
2004 has been a year of reflection and two major takeaways. Two friends went home this year.
Larry Bell went home December 26, 2003. Larry was guy that had some health issues and multiple surgeries over the years, however you would have never known it, he never complained about his situation. He was a devoted husband and father to his daughter and son. He was very active in the drama and music department of our church, First Baptist Church, Concord. He was active in the Jest Glory Clown Ministry. What a fun personality Larry possessed while on earth. Larry was 46 years old.
Chris Johnson went home on October 26, 2004. I first met Chris on the youth football field. Chris was an assitant coach and the offensive coach for my sons football team, three years. Chris was committed to his wife and two sons. He was very active in his church First Baptist Lenior City. Chris never said anything negative about any person or any situation. He was a totally well rounded man. Chris was 39.
As I prepare for 2005, I look back on 2004. I realize that everyday should be lived to the fullest. Keep perspective on what is important. Family, Faith, Work and Passion.
When Passion is in your life then your life is full.
I will return with postings to the blog, shortly after the first of January 2005. I am spending time with my wife and children and pursuing Passion.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
I have witnessed the operations of the sheriffs department first hand. I served four years on the Knox County Jail Inspection Committee, three as Chairman. I served on the Knox County Sheriffs Department Merit System Council for three years.
A few successes that come to mind include, but are not limited to: the detention facility in East Knox County. The helicopters that were obtained from a federal government surplus program at no cost and minimal operational cost. The horse patrol for the areas of Knox County where a patrol car will not go. The training "boot camp" program for new officers. The state of the art firing range and training facility. The citizens sheriffs academy.
For all the perceived scandal (like the vacation home, where the sheriffs family will never feel safe again) that can be written about there are 10 stories of successful administration of progressive law enforcement. The sad part of this saga is that the perceived scandals sell newspapers but never materialize into reality.
The Superintendent of Schools was absent from the joint meeting. Commissioner Larry Clark did ask why New Hopewell Elementary School, that was scheduled to begin in FY 2006, has been delayed until FY 2010? No real reason was given.
At the Knox County School Board Special Called meeting on December 8, 2004, South Knoxville School Board Member Robert Bratton did propose an alternative capital plan that would have funded all projects in the capital plan including New Hopewell. The alternative plan failed 1-7 with North Knoxville Board Member Diane Dozier absent from the voting session.
Commissioner Mike Hammond should be commended for providing the pizza. It was interesting that the pizza was withheld from the Commisisoners and School Board Members until the joint meeting adjourned.
For those of you that enjoy the television program The Apprentice, when Andy was fired in one of the final episodes a few weeks ago, one of the reasons was that when Andy was the Project Manager he made the decision to withhold the pizza dinner from the Pepsi-cola staff and his team until their task was completed.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Sunday, December 05, 2004
The late State Representative Loy Smith is the gentleman that took a young 16 year old kid under his wing, because I had an interest in political campaigns and governance. I have been active in many campaigns at the grass-roots and management level, since that time. We have won more than we have lost. For 22 years, I have worked hard and have loved our party. I will continue to do so for many years to come. We have great days ahead of us as the majority party in Knox County and East Tennessee.
My family is the most important part of any decision. My business interest is the second most important part of any decision. I will continue to consider the possibility and continue to consult with friends and associates. When the decision is made, it will be announced here and in other venues as well.
Monday, November 29, 2004
I spent a lot of time reading. Look for future post, on a business book entitled "Sacred Cows make the best burgers" Good to Great by Jim Collins really revolutionized my thinking. Sacred Cows will move me in new directions with my business.
Dude I need to get back to Florida, it's getting cold
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Monday, November 15, 2004
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
While on the subject of the County Mayor, my friend Jake Mabe had an excellent article in the September 27th 2004 Halls Shopper. Go out and ask them for a copy or you may be able to search the archives at www.hallsnews.com to locate it. Great job Jake. Remember the old country song "if I die before I wake feed Jake" in the song Jake was a loyal dog. Jake Mabe is NO body's dog.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
President Woodrow Wilson's 5 self-evident truths about commitment and responsibilty to public schools
- As Americans, we are owners of the public school system.
- As owners, we bear a responsibilty to participate in the system.
- Accountability for our public school, their safety, and its employees and its funding rests with us and the rest of the system's owners.
- Our children's future depends on the improvement of the public schools.
- And this improvement depends on our participation.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
The children at Gibbs have a serving line and eat in the gymnasium.
The children west of Gibbs at Cedar Primary and Intermediate do not have a cafeteria. That would mean the the affluent West Knox County, has two schools without cafeteria's
The difference is that at the two Cedar Bluff's, they can not use the gymnasium because of Physical Education classes being conducted. So the well to do West Knox County students must eat at their desk. How many of you would want to sit at your desk for 7 hours without an adequate break. Sounds like a violation of federal law to me.
Cedar Bluff Primary was built as a temporary 30 years ago. In January 2004 architectural drawings were presented to the staff and PTA leadership for a NEW Cedar Bluff Primary. Both Cedar Bluff and Gibbs are worthy of replacement. I only wish the whiners would get their facts straight.
It is interesting to read the letters about how Gibbs and Carter have gotten NOTHING. Lets get the facts straight.
- $1 million dollar Sports fieldhouse at Gibbs - they promised $400,000.00 and didn't deliver on the promise - the school board had to bail them out
- Extremely expensive Football Stadium at Carter - far larger than they will ever need
- Land on Tazwell Pike between their middle school, Elementary and High School
- Land and Architectual drawings for a NEW Gibbs Elementary immediately across the street
- Land for a Carter Elementary / Middle School on Strawberry Plains Pike
- Renovation and expansion of $10 million at their middle school - Holston
- Renovation and expansion at Ritta Elementary - it is NOT at capacity - the school board should rezone the Gibbs Elementary kids to Ritta - that's the solution imposed on everyone else in Knox County
- Renovation and expansion at Halls Elementary School
- A NEW Brickey Elementary School
I can locate all the Knox County improvements for libraries, parks, law enforcement, Three Ridges Golf course, roads etc. that have been and are proposed for the Gibbs and Carter communities.
Monday, August 30, 2004
Friday, August 27, 2004
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
However, The following quality of life improvements in Knox County have been worth the 55 cents property tax increase of 1999.
- The Cove park on Northshore
- The walking trail and soccer fields at The Point on Northshore
- The Northwest Sports Complex in Karns
- The pay raises of our sheriffs deputies
- The pay raises for our teachers
- Improvements in roads - Westland Drive is the exception.
- New sidewalks
- New library buildings at Farragut, Cedar Bluff, Karns, Carter, Hall, Ft. City
These are quality of life improvements that I am happy to pay for. However, we only receive these benefits from local taxes.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
However, during the first two years of County Mayor Mike Ragsdale's administration (2002-2004) more that $21.5 million in NEW dollars have been placed in the Knox County School System budget. $10.0 million in each year and $1.5 million in new dollars through consolidation of duplicated services.
This morning on Inside Tennessee 8/15/04 the saber rattling has returned once more.
I will examine in greater detail in future post the schools that are on the NCLB list. It appears that KCS are losing ground while receiving more funds.
Friday, August 13, 2004
#25 My child would benefit from a balanced school calendar that includes a shorter summer break and more frequent breaks during the school year
#33 Students would benefit from a full day kindergarten program
#34 It would be more convenient to parents and students if the elementary school day started at 8:30 and the middle and high schools started at 7:45.
#35 Knox County should offer signing bonuses and incentive pay to attract and retain quality teachers.
#36 Teachers should receive incentive pay for doing an outstanding job as measured by their students' acheivement test scores
#37 Knox County does not set a high enough funding priority for education
#41 I would be willing to pay additional county taxes to fund needed improvements in Knox County Schools
#42 Knox County Schools provides a good educational value for students and taxpayers alike
#43 The community respects teachers in our schools
#44 The Knox County School System makes wise use of the financial resources available
The answer options were
Strongly agree,Tend to agree, Tend to disagree, Strongly disgaree or Don't Know
Monday, August 09, 2004
The One without an email address is D.M. Miller,
he may be contacted by telephone at 865-687-2816
Sam Anderson email@example.com
Dr. Paul Kelley firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Dan Murphy email@example.com
Brian Hornback firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuck James email@example.com
Diane Dozier firstname.lastname@example.org
James Williams email@example.com
Robert Bratton firstname.lastname@example.org
If we don't act today, the $27.0 million in New dollars will be spent elsewhere