Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas and 2004 take aways

As we observe the holidays, let us not forget the reason for the season. Jesus came to be our Savior.

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

Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison

Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison has been the focus of the Knoxville News-Sentinel anti-bias toward him personally. Will the Knoxville News-Sentinel ever acknowledge and report the progressive contributions that the Sheriff has brought to the Knox County Sheriffs Department since his first election in 1990?

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.

Knox County Commission & School Board Meet

On Thursday December 16, 2004 the Knox County Commission invited the Knox County School Board and Administration to a joint meeting for the purpose of discussing the school systems 5 year capital plan. The plan was to be presented in October 2004 and was delayed until November 2004. The plan was not prepared for presentation in November and was delayed again and a presentation was set for December 16, 2004. It was presented with very little fanfare. Few questions and minimal objections surrounded the plan. It was presented with 7 board members and several Knox County School Staff present.

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

Theodore Roosevelt Quote

For unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Knox County GOP Chair

Recently, the KNS reported that Chad Tindell has made the decision not to run for re-election as Knox County Republican Party Chairman. This past week, I called a few friends to solicit their advice on my potential candidacy. In no way, have I contacted everyone that I would need or like to in order to make a final decision.

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.

If you have thoughts on this decision, please email me at

Monday, November 29, 2004

Where has Brian been?

I am sorry that it has been a while since I last posted. I have been in Florida for quite a while and just could not bring myself to leave the white sandy beaches, green blue water of the Gulf of Mexico and 82 degrees to hook up my laptop. It was an interesting drive home with a shirt, no socks, a pair of birkenstock's and shorts. In Jackson, GA it was cool, by the time we stopped in Athens, TN it was down right cold. The life of private citizen, husband, father, businessman is much nicer than elected official. I can communicate via cell phone, arrange meetings around mini vacations, holidays etc.

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.

Stay tuned.

Dude I need to get back to Florida, it's getting cold

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

THANK YOU Knox County Commissioners

Knox County Commissioners on Monday 11/15/04 voted to allow the school board to proceed with a new high school for West Knox County. The school board must present a revised capital plan by Dec. 20th, 2004. This is a wise use of the commission oversight. That is why we have a checks and balances type government. Thank You to our fifth district Commissioners Hammond, Leuthold and Griess. Thank you to Commissioners Larry Clark, Paul Pinkston, Mike McMillian, John Mills, Mary Lou Horner, Chairman Scott Moore, Larry Stephens, Mark Cawood, Phil Guthe, John Schmid, Wanda Moody, Ivan Harmon, Billy Tindell, David Collins, Tank Strickland and Diane Jordan.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Window Dressing

A few weeks ago the school board and county commission went to dinner together. Last week County Commissioner Mike Hammond says that the communication between the school board and Commission is terrible. How can this be? The school board is requesting $40 million in new dollars for a high school. However, they keep the commission in the dark.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Elected Officials Communication

Our 5th district County Commissioner Mike Hammond is quoted in todays Knoxville News-Sentinel as saying that the communication between the School Board and Commission is terrible. Why is the school board member not communicating with the commission about the needs in our community? We need a High School and many other pressing matters. Why does this turn up in the paper

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Democrats Challenge

W. beat John Kerry so convincing. The democrats must decide what to do? Jessy Jackson says move farther left. What was he thinking? Move further left has the democrats falling off the earth. Upon further thought. yea, do that. The Democrats have to move center, they have to run a Zell Miller type and not a Northeastern liberal (by the way Hillary is now a northeastern liberal). You have two years to do something. Better yet. Keep it up your making our job so much easier

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

What will the America Choose

Tomorrow is the decision day to select the leader of our nation for the next 4 years. Will the U.S. choose a leader that changes his position more than some children's diapers are changed (John Kerry) or will America continue a proven leader that will continue to hunt down Bin Laden just like how he caught Hussein. George W. Bush is the Right Man, Right Time and Needed Right Now!!!!!!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates

How can anyone in their right mind, think that Kerry or Edwards won the debates held so far?They obviously haven't watched the debates. Post your thoughts here

Saturday's are for Winners

Today October 9, 2004 is a day for winners. My youngest son's soccer team won this morning, as goalie he made punts that looked like some Dustin Colquitt punts. My daughter's soccer team won later in the day, I am the assitant coach. Then Ole Miss beat those gamecocks from South Carolina. Hotty Toddy Way to Go Rebels and Coach Cut. The day is ending with UT coming back from last weeks game and pounding the Bulldogs of Georgia. I am going to watch LSU and Florida and for my buddy Jed, I will pull for the Tigers.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Dwight VanDeVate

Mayor Ragsdale has made an excellent selection in Dwight Van De Vate as Knox County's Director of Communications and Governmental Relations. There is NO one better in Knox County than Dwight. Great selection Mayor.

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 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

Bill Baxter - Profile in Courage

Bill Baxter TVA Board of Director demonstrated real leadership yesterday in casting the lone NO vote on the TVA budget. Mr. Baxter after examining the budget noted that the debt was not adequately being reduced and offered amendments to the budget, they were rejected. It takes courage to stand for what you believe in, even when you are the only one or in the minority. Great Job, Bill Baxter.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Mayor Ragsdale's Commitment to Education

Mayor Ragsdale has a similar doctorate degree in Education like the Superintendent of Schools. Mayor Ragsdale has committed more funds to public education in his two years than Tom Schumpert (a former schools central office administrator) did in 8 years. Mayor Ragsdale has involved more people in the schools with the Education summit (this was the community input into what became the Every School a Great School) and with Read with Me (that has received a national award. Mayor Ragsdale is committed to a new high school in Knox County. Sam Anderson School Board Chairman on September 8th stated at the County Commission meeting that the school board would vote on a capital plan before the end of the month. With the mid-month agenda (Sept. 20th, 2004) set and NO vote scheduled on a new capital plan. When will the board act?

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

Gibbs Elementary whines about No Cafeteria

The "concerned" uninformed masses in the Gibbs community have begun to whine about not having a cafeteria. Let's get the facts straight.

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.

Gibbs and Carter Communities waging Class Warfare

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

Whatever it takes

Whatever it takes to fund quality of life initiatives that this community desires, I will support. However, it should be noted that certain parts of the community promoted a repeal while they have complained more about their perceived lack of quality of life. They complain that they have to wait to long to dispose of their trash in the convenience center, so they get a bigger more accessible one. While West Knox County has the smallest less convenient one. Should the government be responsible for allowing you to throw your trash away for free, or should you be responsible to pay for garbage collection? Like how your responsible to pay for fire protection.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Farragut Admirals

Tonight they did it again. Farragut had an impressive showing at Karns. Coach Courtney and staff have prepared this team well. The players are executing with all they have Congratulations Admirals!!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Wheel Tax

Is it fair that 180,000 property owners pays the entire burden of the quality of life in this community that is enjoyed by all?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Knox County Commisssion

The Knox County Commission yesterday moved to earmark the 40 million dollars for a downtown library to schools. Good decision. That does not mean that the School Board has 65 million this year or 165 million over 5 years. The Knox County Commission will maintain control over the 40 million, and should determine what project/s the 40 million will be used for , after a successful wheel tax refrendum. Great decision. After all the Knox County Mayor funded the 5-year Capital Plan for the School System in full.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Halls Has It

I traveled out to Halls on a Saturday evening 8/21/04 and witnessed Halls Having It. They got spanked by the Farragut Admirals 28-12. Farragut scored 21 points in 4 minutes. The Red Devils 12 points were scored in the last 8 minutes of the game with the admirals second string. GO Admirals!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Quote / Thought of the day

In matters of style swim with the current.. In matters of principle, stand like a rock - source unknown

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Alan Keyes

Alan Keyes is running against Barack Obama in Il. for the U.S. Senate. There is a clear difference between the two. Keyes understands the founding fathers intent and the foundation with which this great country was built. Obama promotes a socialist type of live and let live. He may have looked good on the stage at the DNC, but, he didn't tell you all that he believes. A Great debate of differences. I will post many of the differences here in future post.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


I am NOT an advocate for higher taxes, I am an advocate for quality of life in a local community. Local tax dollars, where the benefit is obvious. Spending my tax dollars on the Federal level where the money is used for organizations like planned parenthood that advocates that women receive an abortion or a partial-birth abortion. Where they fund pervert artist through the National Endowment of the Arts. I will never support higher taxes at the State or Federal level.

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

B School System on F Funding? Saber-Rattling

You have heard the saber rattling over the years about the Knox County School System being a B school system on F funding. During the administrations of Dwight Kessel (1980-1994) that may have been correct. During the administration of former Knox County Schools Business Manager Tommy Schumpert 1994-2002, that is true.

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

School Survey

Yesterday 08/12/04 was the first day of school in Knox County, TN, when parents received all the paperwork yesterday to return to the school. Parents with children in grades 2,5,8 and 11 were greeted with a survey. Some interesting questions on the survey are

#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

Knox County School Board Members Email Addresses

Eight of the Nine School Board Members have email.

The One without an email address is D.M. Miller,
he may be contacted by telephone at 865-687-2816

Sam Anderson
Dr. Paul Kelley
Dr. Dan Murphy
Brian Hornback
Chuck James
Diane Dozier
James Williams
Robert Bratton

New West Knox County High School

It is important that everyone that has an interest in a NEW West Knox County High School, begin to contact the current members of the Knox County School Board today. The School Board will be discussing this item and a possible vote on August 16, 2004 at 5:00p.m. First Floor Conference Room of the Andrew Johnson Building 900 South Gay Street Knoxville, TN 37902

If we don't act today, the $27.0 million in New dollars will be spent elsewhere