Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Questions Surface Concerning The Public Trust PAC

UPDATE: Greg Mackay has informed blogger Michael Silence that the report that was not on file yesterday but is now on file. Mackay however has told Silence that I (Brian Hornback) called yesterday. Mackay is flat out wrong, he should check his office phone records. As our original post says a source contacted and spoke with a longtime Knox County Election Commission employee. I am waiting for Mackay to issue an apology for stating a totally inaccurate statement about me personally, however, I will not hold my breath.

Original Post: The Public Trust PAC was formed following the January 31, 2007 County Commission appointment process. Former Senator Ben Atchley and Former County Executive Tommy Schumpert are the Chairs.

They appointed David Moon as Treasurer. The PAC have mailed out solicitations for contributions and are currently mailing out candidate surveys. However, sources that have talked with key employees of the Knox County Election Commission revealed to Brian's Blog that The Public Trust PAC has failed to file their financial report that was due on July 15, 2007. The employee of the Election Commission stated that continual request have been mailed and nothing has been received by The Public Trust PAC. The Election Commission employee said the PAC should be doing nothing at this time, as they are not current. Even if the mailings are being funded through in kind contributions a report must be filed.

So, the question is Can the public trust The Public Trust PAC? What is The Public Trust PAC hiding? Is this any different than the ongoing controversies within our government? It appears that this is dealings that are being accomplished outside the public view and not within the pre-determined public disclosure that is required by law.

Since Senator Atchley would have voted on and helped to create the public disclosure requirements through state law. The question would be what did the former Senator know and when did he know it?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Is There A Double Standard Among the Media, When They Are Dealing With Candidates Who Are Democrat -vs- Republican Ones?

I have managed numerous campaigns over the years, district races and countywide races. I have also warned the candidates that I have managed that they are to always be factual in their bio and record of accomplishments. Because in previous years, the News-Sentinel reporters have gone to great lengths to determine if a candidate is using their "real" name or if they are taking credit for something that is not factual. I will give you a real example. "Sunshine" Madden was a figure here in Knoxville for years. He ran for City Council and Mayor numerous times. He has since passed on. But the newspaper would list his name as John "Sunshine" Madden.

So, the reporters have either gotten lazy or they ignore the standard protocol when the candidate is known as a Democrat or a Green Party candidate. For example: Ray Abbas, candidate for City Council. My sources have informed me that according to election commission records his name is Riyad H Abbas, not Ray Abbas.

So what has happened to the reporters that work for E.W. Scripps? That would include the News-Sentinel, Metro Pulse (Mike Gibson) and the little ole' tabloid on the north side of town.

TCU and the Alexander for President Campaign

I recently posted about an exchange between our Senior United States Senator Lamar Alexander and Lloyd Daugherty. I made a reference in that post to the comment that Lloyd makes regularly about the TCU walking through the snow of New Hampshire to derail the presidential campaign of Lamar Alexander.

On Saturday at 3:50 p.m. I received an email from Kelvin Moxley, former co-host of Lloyd Daugherty's radio show. In the email, Kelvin shared a quote from an article about the TCU's involvement in New Hampshire. Here is the quote: "Working the back of the room as he spoke were two people who wished him no good. Lowell Lynch, who identified himself as the secretary of the Tennessee Conservative Union, was handing out fliers that said Mr. Alexander had raised taxes and fees 52 times while Governor; in small print, the fliers said, "Paid for by Dole for President Inc." Nearby, listening, was Lyn Nofziger, the old Nixon and Reagan operative from California, now a Dole supporter." R. W. APPLE JR., New York Times, February 19, 1996

I assume the quote is accurate, but after reading it. I forwarded two questions to Kelvin and am awaiting his response. So was it wasn't a TCU information campaign? Was it a use of the TCU by the Dole campaign?

TCU could have been a 527 group working with the Dole campaign. I don't know. I am waiting for Kelvin's response to my email on Saturday at 7:25 p.m. I will report the findings.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe Contributes To Exhaust Fumes That Pollute Our Knoxville Environment

I was driving down Kingston Pike this afternoon and was behind a different kind of billboard truck. It occurred to me that Former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe in removing billboards from our communities landscape has now resorted to them being driven down the highways and bi-ways.

As these trucks drive 8-12 hours a day. They are emitting exhaust fumes that are polluting our environment and creating the smoke in our Smoky Mountains. They also help clog our busy highways. All the while, he is in Poland.

Thanks Mayor Ashe. What a legacy, you have left.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Knox County Commissioner Tony Norman And I Agree

Knox County Commissioner Tony Norman made a comment at the last County Commission meeting that I agree with. In responding to why he brought an item for discussion to the Commission meeting. He said. "Because the paper gets things partially correct."

It is obvious that the News-Sentinel gets things partially correct, their other little paper rarely gets it correct. So, to that I say "Mr. Norman, you nailed it correctly."

Today's example of the News-Sentinel getting it partially correct. Georgiana Vines in her column indicated that Ed Shouse and Lee Tramel were the Republican candidates for County Commission Fourth District Seat B. That is partially correct. However, she left Jim Smelcher, Republican candidate out and off the list. Was this intentional or just getting the story partially correct?

Admirals Beat The Trojans and Now It's On To Blankenship Field

Last night the Admirals of Farragut beat the Trojans of Soddy Daisy 17-7. It wasn't a pretty win, but it was a win. The Admirals with only one loss of the year to McMinn County now head to Blankenship field in Oak Ridge to end the season with the wildcats of Oak Ridge.

I see a Big Ed's pizza and some warm clothes in my future for November 2, 2007 in Oak Ridge. Come on out and be with us.

Friday, October 26, 2007

First Baptist Church Concord Grows

I attended the Farragut MPC meeting last week and took some notes to blog about the meeting. However, I wore one of the green stickers showing that I supported the expansion of FBCC. Bloggers can do that. Be covering an event and have a bias. Those tabloid papers are supposed to adhere to a "journalistic code".

But all went well. We can now proceed with our building expansion for our youth and the youth ministry.

A couple of interesting incidents at the meeting were.

1.) There were about three times the number of citizens than there were available seats. The crowd spilled out into the main space of Farragut Town Hall. Many of the FBCC youth went down and sat in the wide open area in front of the front row. Before Bob Hill, FMPC Chairman began the meeting he told the youth that they would have to go find a seat. Which was laughable. The FBCC youth were polite and simply got up and walked to and squeezed into the back of the crowded room. The audience applauded the youth for their professionalism. No word on the crowd's view of Bob Hill.

2.) Mayor Ford made the motion to move the item of the church to #3. A couple of ladies from Village Green were there for #3 and voiced objection because their item would take little time. They attempted to vote no on the moving of an agenda item and the crowd felt sorry for them. I stayed to hear the Village Green item to see what it was. The ladies were not present at the time of the hearing of their item, however it passed.

3.) Bob Hill relinquished the Chair and Ed St. Clair presided over the FBCC item. I am assuming that it is because Bob Hill resides in BelleAire Subdivision. However, he still participated in the meeting by asking questions and voting, so why vacate the seat as Chairman. A conflict of interest is still a conflict of interest whether you are Chairman or an acting member.

4.) Arthur Seymour, Jr was representing the citizen complainers. He said that they were pleased that the church was not going to relocate Belleaire Dr. (that has never been a part of the plan that has been presented to the Town of Farragut) that the church was not going to proceed with a high school (the church voted nearly 4 years ago, NOT to proceed with a high school)

The good news is that First Baptist Church Concord can and will GROW.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good Video Exposing "The Real Demo's"

ruffrugby has an excellent video on youtube exposing the Real Democrat's and demonstrating the strength of Fred Thompson. Enjoy it.

Unconfirmed, but. Wedding Bells Probably Rang, Last Wednesday

This is unconfirmed, however, there is strong and I mean STRONG evidence that wedding bells rang last Wednesday evening.

Retired Knox County Schools Social Studies Supervisor and longtime Republican activist Al Bell got hitched, married, tied the knot on Wednesday. We are reported that the bride is a Knox County School Principal, however, we are protecting her identity until we hear it from Al Bell.

Bell is on vacation this week from the Knox County Trustee's office. Knox County Schools is on fall break. (meaning that we can not confirm with the possible bride) No one is talking except for a little slip up by the pastor's wife on Wednesday evening.

So, we will say Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Al Bell. We will confirm as soon as possible. We will pull the story if necessary. However, we are confident that it is a STRONG story.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Governor Mike Huckabee Strong Showing at Value Voters Conference

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee had a strong showing at the value voters conference hosted by Tony Perkins and the folks at the Family Research Council, this weekend. The straw poll was conducted yesterday.

This straw poll could be cited as the 21st century equivalent of the Nixon-Kennedy debate. Do you remember the story on that debate? The citizens watching the debate believed that Kennedy won and the ones listening on radio believed Nixon won.

The only difference in this incident and that one is that the FRC members that voted online may not have watched or listened to all the speeches over the weekend. It is fair to say that a percentage of those voting online may not have seen any of the speeches.

The attendees present at the Hilton Hotel at the Value Voters Conference gave Mike Huckabee 51% of the straw poll vote. However, when the online voters were factored in Governor Mitt Romney edged him out with a 30 vote victory over Huckabee.

The Value Voters selected Mitt Romney, first. Mike Huckabee, second. Texas Congressman Ron Paul, third and Senator Fred Thompson, fourth.

The two candidates that finished at the bottom are: Senator John McCain, last and Mayor Rudy Giuliani, next to last.

The former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, the man from Hope, Arkansas is surging and at just the right time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Serious Republican Candidates for Knox County Trustee

Well, first it was Fred Sisk and L.B. Steele and now enter former Republican School Board Chairman Steve Hill. That's right REPUBLICAN School Board Chairman. Steve Hill was elected and served on the School Board when you actually had to proclaim your party loyalty.

Back then the school board had one Democrat and now that it is non-partisan it has one strong Republican, Cindy Buttry and two - three others that support Republicans in most elections.

So non-partisan = Democrat majority.

Steve Hill will be an excellent addition to the Trustee race. He has private sector experience working with St. Mary's Health System as the Government Relations go to guy.

Battle Cry for a Generation by: Ron Luce

The youth pastor of my church recommended a book to every parent, grandparent or adult member of our church. The book is Battle Cry for a Generation.

After having read this book, it is obvious that Ron Luce understands today’s teenager and most importantly he has been able to articulate the struggles and fight that teenager’s face today.

Knoxville, TN unfortunately made it in the book on page 50 of Chapter 2 entitled Know Your Enemy. This chapter deals with the tidal wave of today’s media, Television and movies, The Internet, Music, Video Games. The story on Knoxville records that a “$246 million lawsuit was filed against the designer , marketer, and a retailer of the video game series Grand Theft Auto by the families of two people shot by teenagers (in Knoxville, TN) who were apparently inspired by the game. The suit claims that marketer Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc., designers Take-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games, and Wal-Mart are liable for $46 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages. Aaron Hamel, 45, a registered nurse, was killed. Kimberly Bede, 19, of Montea, Virginia, was seriously wounded when their cars were hit on June 25 by a .22-caliber bullets as they passed through the Great Smoky Mountains. Stepbrothers William Buckner, 16, an Joshua Buckner, 14, of Newport, were sentenced in August to an indefinite term in state custody after pleading guilty in juvenile court to reckless homicide, endangerment, and assault. The boys told investigators they got the rifles from a locked room in their home and decided to randomly shoot at tractor-trailer rigs, just like players do in the video game Grand Theft Auto 3.”

With all the school shootings and the decay of our society, it is time for all of us to step up and lead the next generation. To do anything less is to destroy our society.

This is a must read for all adults that care about our future.

City Councilman Joe Bailey Had A Great Crowd of Voters

Last evening from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. (I left about 6:15 p.m.) City Councilman Joe Bailey hosted the first Joe Bailey Family Cook-out. It was held at Downtown West and a Fantastic, Great, Overflowing crowd attended.

Many elected officials attended, including our Second District Republican Congressman John J. (Jimmy) Duncan, Jr.

A great crowd of people arriving early enough took advantage of early voting at the early voting center at Downtown West. We were outside the 100 foot boundary.

Great BBQ, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, potato chips and drinks were served. No political speeches, however, Councilman Bailey's nephew Wesley entertained the crowd with his musical talent on the keyboard.

It appears that Miechelle and Councilman Bailey's daughter Reagan is becoming a politician. She will not be able to vote for her dad for another 16 or so years. But, she certainly generated positive attention for her dad last night at the cookout.

Check out Councilman Bailey's website, here. If you haven't voted, be sure that you vote for Joe Bailey, early and often.

Farragut Admirals Take Care Of Business

and hand the Ooltewah Owls a loss last night. Great win!

Read about the game and the Ooltewah off field problems, here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Where Did You "Hang" With Your Friends

This Chris Cagle song / video reminded me of the time that I was 16 - 20. Three places that I remember "hanging" was Lighting's in 4-way (Prince Phillip of Nashville bought it and tore it down), McDonald's on Magnolia and the parking lot of Cherokee dam.

Where did you "hang" with your friends?

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton and Her Campaign Donations

Check out this L.A. Times expose' on the Senator from New York, former wife of the former Governor of Arkansas and former resident of the White House. This is BIGGER than the monks giving to AlGore.

NewsTalk 100 Reports That Halls Has It

This morning NewsTalk 100 reported that there is an outbreak of Shigellosis. They reported that three schools have had outbreaks. Adrian Burnett, Inskip and Powell. Adrian Burnett is in Halls.

So when someone from Halls says "Halls Has It" tell them to keep it. Because the symptoms of Shigellosis is:

Diarrhea (two or more loose or watery stools per day – outside of usual bowel pattern); may have blood or mucous in stool.

Abdominal cramping



Hump over at Humphamers in Powell started this response several years ago "Halls Has It but Penicillin will cure it." Evidently, penicillin may not treat Shigellosis. Only hand washing will prevent the spread.

Senator Sam Brownback To Exit Presidential Field

UPDATE: Official announcement at 4:45 p.m. from the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka, Kansas.

Rumors were circulating yesterday that Senator Sam Brownback would be exiting the Republican Presidential field. However, it appears that the rumors that we received from Washington insiders yesterday will happen today.

With the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and most importantly his home states Kansas City Star are reporting it this morning. It appears that it will happen today.

Senator Sam Brownback helped to keep the conversation on the real Republican values that matter. Our party and our country is grateful for his contribution to the dialogue.

Thanks Senator Brownback.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

NEA and TEA Waking Up To The "Right" Smell of Coffee

Check out this article from the September 2007 teach Magazine. I am not a fan of labor unions and even teacher labor unions. However, the leaders on the national NEA and even in the Tennessee TEA organizations realize that to reach out to Republican educators will help them sustain themselves in the long term.

Michelle Bowman is a native Knox Countian, having been a product of the Knox County School System. She is a former Knox County Educator and has been employed in the Sevier County School System for the last few years. She has been and continues to be an active member of the KnoxGOP in South Knox County.

Here is the article.

Sevier County EA member Michelle Bowman and Henderson County EA member Mary Woodall were TEA’s official representatives to the National Education Association’s first-ever Republican Leaders Conference in Minneapolis MN, August 2-5, 2007. Robertson County EA member James Snider also attended as a presenter. The trio joined 80 Republican NEA members from across the nation at the event.

Sponsored by NEA’s Government Relations Department to assist NEA Republican members in becoming more active in their local and state Republican parties, the conference featured panel discussions by NEA Republican members who are state legislators and party activists. As part of the conference, the NEA hosted a reception for Republican National Committee (RNC) members that was also attended by NEA President Reg Weaver; GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann; the campaign manager for Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, Mike DuHaime; and the White House political director, Jonathan Felts.

“Meeting Mitt Romney and his wife at the reception was a highlight of the event,” said Bowman. “Although they were only able to stay a short time because of being on their way to the ABC debate in Iowa, many of the conference delegates were able to make video tapes of questions for posting on You Tube that have the potential for being used in the Sept. 17 national Republican debate.

Attendees also heard from political consultants who advised NEA Republicans to get involved in party activities, participate in political campaigns at all levels and work to become party leaders and delegates to county, state and national Republican conventions. TEA member James Snider presented a workshop on how to get more involved in local political activity.

NEA’s approximately one million Republican members have the potential to have a significant impact on Republican Party activities, organization and platforms in 2008.

The NEA Republican Leaders Conference was held in Minneapolis at the same time as the RNC’s summer meeting. The Twin Cities will also host the Republican National Convention, September 1-4, 2008. Conference attendees heard a presentation from the chair of the Convention Host Committee, Jeff Larson about preliminary planning for that event.

RNC staff participated in many NEA Republican Leaders Conference activities, and Republican National Committee members from many states attended the August 3 reception, that featured remarks by NEA President Weaver, who reiterated NEA’s commitment to bipartisanship in its political and legislative advocacy.

Attendees were asked for three steps they will take in the future to become more active in organizing their fellow Republicans at both the local and state levels.

The NEA Republican Leaders Conference was part of NEA’s initiative to recognize the support
of its Republican members, increase its presence in Republican Party activities and support pro-public education Republican candidates levels. Bowman and Woodall are both library media specialists — at Northview Elementary and Beaver Elementary respectively — and Snider teaches math at Springfield High School.

They also have the following announcement within the publication. They are genuinely reaching out to the Tennessee GOP leaning Educators:

GOP members wanting to connect?

TEA members who are Republicans can communicate via an e-mail list at, and NEA Republican members now have their own Web site at www.elephant

The MSM (Main Stream Media) will NEVER report this Republican movement within the educator community because they (the MSM) are liberal leaning Democrat demagogues.

News - Sentinel Follows Brian's Blog In Their Endorsement of Joe Bailey

On September 22, 2007 Brian's Blog endorsed Joe Bailey for re-election to Knoxville City Council. Check it out here.

This morning the News-Sentinel has endorsed Joe Bailey as well. Check it out here.

All City of Knoxville voters get out and vote and vote for Joe Bailey.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Conservatize Me

This past weekend I finished reading the book Conservatize Me by John Moe. John Moe set out on a thirty day experiment to expose himself to everything Conservative to see if he could be converted.

At times it was a funny read. Everything from Toby Keith -vs- The Dixie Chicks. To his list of questions to Charlie Daniels about the song "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." He met Bill Kristol to understand Neo-Conservatism -vs- Conservatism. He visited the place in America that voted 92% for George W. Bush and it wasn't Blount County, TN. His conversation with the Mayor of the 92% town is interesting, in that conversation it reveals that all Conservatives do not drink the same kool-aid.

The real eye opener was his visits to Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon's libraries. The Reagan library didn't reveal how Reagan became a Conservative or what positions made Reagan a Conservative. They avoid his 1976 loss in the Republican Presidential Primary. Whereas, the Nixon library exposed why Nixon was a Conservative, revealed his losses as well as his wins. Nixon was a leader that kept leading before and after the White House. That is why, I have always believed and respected the Nixon brand of Conservatism instead of other brands. Nixon always had substance.

While I didn't expect John Moe to become a Conservative. What I believe he realized is that you can be a Conservative and not buy the whole burrito or only drink the one cup of kool-aid. Just like Baskin Robbins there are 96 varieties of Conservatism.

Texas Governor Endorses In Republican Presidential Primary

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Help Wanted: Education Reporter

The recent Knox County School Board retreat generated media exposure by the News-Sentinel's Education reporter. A couple of television stations traveled to Townsend, TN to shoot some video of the retreat in action. The Education reporter for the weekly newspaper Knoxville-Knox County Focus, Tamara Shepherd was there.

Two publications that have covered the retreats in the past. But, were not present this past weekend were Joe Sullivan of the Metro Pulse and Sandra Clark of the Halls Shopper. Leading one to wonder. Is there a job opening for an Education Reporter at the Shopper? Interested parties could email the Editor.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Knox County School Board Presented With A Revised Capital Plan For A Southwest Elementary Option

Today at the Knox County School Board retreat in Townsend, TN the Knox County School Board was presented with a New "Southwest Elementary Option."

Over the course of three fiscal years there will be major elementary school rezoning changes, with building additions and renovations to all existing schools. Here is the year to year plan.

In Fiscal Year 2009 there will be rezoning from Cedar Bluff Elementary into West Hills Elementary, Karns Elementary into Amherst Elementary and Hardin Valley Elementary into Karns Elementary. There will be additions and renovations at Ball Camp Elementary adding 270 new seats at a cost of $6.0 million dollars. Additional additions and renovations to Bluegrass Elementary adding 225 seats at a cost of $4.0 million dollars.

In Fiscal Year 2010 there will be rezoning from Cedar Bluff Elementary to Ball Camp Elementary, Hardin Valley to Ball Camp Elementary, Farragut Primary and Farragut Intermediate to Hardin Valley Elementary, Lotts Elementary to Bluegrass Elementary. There will be additions and renovations at Farragut Primary School adding 225 seats at a cost of $5.5 million dollars. There will be additions and renovations at Farragut Intermediate School increasing 300 seats at a cost of $4.5 million dollars.

In Fiscal Year 2011 There will be additions and renovations at Lotts Elementary School removing 4 of the 5 modular buildings and increasing the school by 180 seats at a cost of $5.0 million dollars.

If Farragut Primary and Intermediate were an Elementary School at the conclusion of this plan if it is implemented, the school would be larger than the student population at Farragut High School. The total cost of this plan is $25 million dollars.

How much would a NEW school built in the Choto Road area cost?

Knox County School Board Retreat

The Knox County School Board met in workshop retreat the past two days. The meeting was scheduled to conclude at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon. At about 45 minutes prior to the 2:30 scheduled conclusion. The School Board lost its quorum when 5 members individually walked out.

More details as they develop.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

CBS 60 Minutes Tonight

This evenings 60 minutes on CBS promises to be an excellent broadcast. Pastor Joel and Victoria Osteen interview with Byron Pitts will be aired. It promises to be an intimate look into the life of Pastor Joel.

Check out the CBS 60 minutes website pertaining to Pastor Joel, here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Wildcats of Kentucky Spayed and Neutered The Tigers of LSU

Congratulations to the Kentucky Wildcat family and especially to Kentucky Quarterback Coach Randy Sanders and his family.

Who Will They Endorse?

Inside Sources reveal that Chuck Norris and James Gandolfini (aka Tony Soprano) are set to endorse their candidate for President.

They will be endorsing a Republican. Who do you think they will be endorsing? Late tomorrow evening, I will BOLD the name of the Republican candidate that they will endorse.

Dr. Alan Keyes

Senator Fred Thompson

Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Governor Mitt Romney

Governor Mike Huckabee

Representative Ron Paul

Senator John McCain

Representative Duncan Hunter

Senator Sam Brownback

Representative Tom Tancredo

Is It Perjury To Lie Before A State Legislative Committee?

A reader of Brian's Blog sent me this link to Ben Cunningham's blog. Back in May 2007, Kelvin Moxley former co-host of the low watt radio talk show that Lloyd Daugherty hosted, appeared before a state legislative committee.

Kelvin testified before the committee against the proposed smoking ban. BTW, the bill passed. The opposite of what Kelvin wanted. I am posting the video, because when you watch it or fast forward it to the end. Kelvin was asked about his residence in Wilson County. Kelvin says that he is in Knoxville hosting a radio talk show.

Kelvin's show ended in February or March of 2007 and he appeared in front of the State Committee in May 2007. Is it perjury to lie during testimony in front of a state legislative committee?

Friday, October 12, 2007

"So Lloyd, How's The Radio Business"

United States Senator Lamar Alexander was in Knoxville on Wednesday. Brian's Blog covered the Farragut 8:00 a.m. event. We had an anonymous Brian's Blog reporter at the 1:30 p.m. Halls event. The Halls event was at the new Knox County Halls Senior Citizen Center. There were three, yes three E.W. Scripps Halls Slopper reporters at this one event.

The funniest exchange came when former low watt radio talk show host Lloyd Daugherty came to see and hear Senator Alexander. This would be the same Lloyd that is Chairman of the 2 guys and a fax machine Tennessee Conservative Union and the guy that brags about walking through the snow of New Hampshire to derail the Alexander for President campaign in 1996.

Senator Alexander seeing Lloyd asked "So, Lloyd. How is the radio business?" Lloyd stammered something about the owners selling the station from underneath him. This is funny because when Lloyd went off the air in early 2007 (February or March) he assured the listeners that they were in high level negotiations to land in a better situation. No Lloyd and No Kelvin since early 2007 and even our Senior Senator hasn't missed them. Have you?

Does The News-Sentinel Have A Political Bias?

The comment has been made to me in the past year that the News-Sentinel has a Democrat leaning bias. People point to the News-Sentinel's publisher, Bruce Hartmann's involvement with the Bredesen re-election. I have said, I don't think so. Mr. Hartmann and I have sat down for coffee on numerous occasions. We correspond and have met on several occasions.

However, look at today's front page of the News-Sentinel. You have two County Commissioners each having committed the same offense. The picture of the one that is a Republican, is an unflattering photo taken from the Sunshine lawsuit. The picture of the one that is a Democrat, is the best Glamour Shot photo that she could muster.

So, now I am beginning to think that Jack "Columbine is my finest hour" McElroy may have a pro-Democrat bias.

What do you, the Brian's Blog reader think?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Town of Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen Meeting Tonight

It has been many years, since yours truly has made an appearance at the Town of Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. The last time I went it was as they were adopting the Urban Growth Plan. I was against it. My opposition didn't help or hurt.

Tonight was the first appearance for Brian's Blog. As I stood to count a gentleman asked if I was blogging. I said Yes, and I hope you like it. He said he checks it regularly. At least he didn't tell me how bad he hated it. he was kind and gentlemanly. I take this opportunity to thank him.

As a blogger, you never get comfortable with talking about your blog especially to strangers. But I digress.

At the Dias are the following nameplates.

Gary Palmer
Tom Hale
Alderman Rossel
Alderman Williams
Mayor Ford
Vice Mayor Haynes
Alderman LaMarche
Dan Olson
Darryl Smith

At about 6:55 p.m. Mayor Ford announced that the Town supplies overflow in the rotunda, outside the Board room with close circuit television monitors. No one appeared to be moving. At 6:58 p.m. I counted the crowd to be about 82. Just before the meeting, Mayor Ford again reminded everyone of the overflow. He stated that they spent allot of money of it. The crowd laughed. He did say if people were comfortable standing that was o.k. as well.

Nearly everyone in attendance was wearing a white sticker with the FBCC logo and the words First Baptist Church Concord.

The meeting started with a moment of silence and the pledge of allegiance. Citizen Forum began next.

John King, Attorney for First Baptist Church Concord spoke he noted the great crowd from FBCC. He encouraged all the church members to be present next Thursday October 18 at the same time, same room for the FMPC meeting. He stated that the church is interested in building a student building on the western portion of our "church" property. The church has been on its current property since the 1960’s, it has been a good neighbor and wishes to remain a good neighbor to the community of Farragut.

Alderman LaMarche arrives at 7:05 p.m. He stated that there is a student population that has grown over the years. It has been 20 years since the church has built any educational building additions. He stated that our proposed student building is 29,000 square feet. It includes classrooms, gymnasium and 2 large gathering places. The site plan submitted last month was submitted according to your ordinance and complied with all requirements of the Town of Farragut.

The Farragut staff met and they recommended approval. Significant discussion was held. At that meeting, despite the recommendation, the FMPC postponed our master plan. The submitted site plan is fully in compliance with the towns ordinance. The Town has no established criteria for review. The church has submitted in writing responses to the committee. He stated that we respectfully request that the church not be held to any criteria that does not exist within the town’s ordinance. Obviously, we have not made everyone in the town happy. We will continue to attempt address all concerns. We will appear on the 18th at FMPC meeting. He said that he is aware of the expressed concerns of the members of the planning commission that have been stated and we will address them. If there are any questions that you or your constituents have please call me. Mr. King got HUGE applause.

Mayor Ford stated that this item is currently #9 out of 10 items on the FMPC October 18th agenda. The Mayor said that he will work with Alderman Lamarche to move up the item up to the first item on the agenda.

Doug Dutton spoke as a grandfather of 3 grandchildren at Concord Christian School. We believed that the FMPC was a technical issue and not become a politically charged issue. I am asking for a fair objective hearing, not a political debate. When he asked at the conclusion of the previous FMPC meeting why did this happen. Aldermen and FMPC members said you didn’t show up.
Mr. Rossel and Alderman LaMarche have been respectful to us. Mr. Dutton received a HUGE applause.

Tom Hale entered the meeting.

Bill Davis spoke. He said one key factor in a democracy, is information. It is not always an easy process. The planning board, must be provided enough information. I supported the FMPC to secure enough information from FBCC before proceeding with the approval. It is the same piecemeal approach that has been received in the past. FBCC should present a full long range plan to its members, the surrounding residents and FMPC board. I request a full disclosure of its long range plan. About 5 citizens clapped.

A lady spoke and said 2 things disturb me. First, the insistence that we submit a plan of what we are going to do the next 20 years. These things evolve as the need arises. Second, the people that are so against us, that say they just want us to leave, we have $20 million invested in our current building infrastructure at this site. She received a HUGE applause.

A gentleman that has been a member for 10 years spoke. The sanctuary was the last building built. We don’t have a magic ball to tell us where the growth is coming from and when we need to build. We have been working on this plan for five years. We looked at Ingles S/C that didn’t pan out. We have to grow with the growth. He received a HUGE applause.

A father of 2 daughters that attend CCS. The membership is aware of the plan, but it is just a general plan. Would the FMPC require an overall plan of this property if it were controlled by several individually owned parcels. The churches treatment on this issue is unfair. The leadership and membership is opened to neighboring communities opinion. This needs not to be delayed for no good reason. He received a HUGE applause.

The Board took a 5 minute break.

The Farragut Press had a reporter and the Editor present. I noticed that the reporter received comments from both sides. While the Editor appeared to stay near the 5 or so citizens that were opposed to the church.

Another Great Movie To Be Released Friday October 12th

I had previewed the new Tyler Perry movie that will be released tomorrow, here. Also, tomorrow another great movie will be released. Watch the trailer, below.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is It Legal?

Is it legal for the 8 formerly appointed Commissioners to still maintain the title of Knox County Commissioner?

Try this link for an example.

Enquiring minds are enquiring.

Paging Chancellor Fansler. Paging Chancellor Fansler.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander In Farragut

United States Senator Lamar Alexander appeared at an event this morning in Farragut. The Farragut West Knoxville Chamber of Commerce held a morning breakfast meeting in which Senator Alexander spoke for about 20 minutes.

The meeting was then opened up to a few questions. Three of the half a dozen questions that were asked pertained to a small special interest group of about 12 in attendance. The small special interest group consist of retired Oak Ridge employees that are lobbying for a raise (in my terms, an entitlement) to their pensions.

I audio taped the meeting and will post more information on the total meeting when I get a chance.

Thanks to Bettye Sisco and the Farragut West Knox Chamber for hosting such a fine event. It is unfortunate when a small special interest group attempts to take over an informative meeting of this nature.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What Kind of State Are We Being Held Captive In?

I realize that I am a little late on this story. But what kind of state are we living in? We can't travel among our own 50 states in this great country. Well, we can. We are just not free to purchase cigarettes and beer and if we do and happen to have any left over, we can't bring them home.

I thought that the civil war or as some call it the war among the states was to create one great nation. Obviously not within the confines of the Bredesen administration.

Are Democrats simply just socialist loving control freaks? Look out for the revenuers at the state line.

No Special Election For Knox County

On the heels of County Commissioner Mike Hammond request for a special election. On the heels of County Mayor Mike Ragsdale's request for a County Commission workshop discussion regarding a special election. On the heels of Knox County Commission Chairman Scott Moore calling a special meeting for Monday October 15, 2007 at 8:00 a.m. for the Commission to discuss a special election.

Brooks Thompson, Elections Coordinator for the State of Tennessee says NO! It can not happen.

West Knox Republican Club Meeting

Last evening, the West Knox Republican Club meet with a typical standing room only crowd at the Cooper Cellar located on Kingston Pike near West Town Mall. Republican candidate for Knox County Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones was the speaker.

The Elected Officials and former Elected Officials present were. General Sessions Judge and Republican candidate for Criminal Court Judge Bob McGee. County Commissioner and Republican candidate for Property Assessor Phil Ballard, County Commission Chairman and Republican candidate for County Clerk Scott Moore, Edith Wilcox representing Republican Law Director John Owings, Tom Rudder representing State Representative Park M. "Parkey" Strader, County Commissioner Mike Hammond, City Councilman Joe Bailey, City Councilwoman Barbara Pelot, former City Councilwoman Jean Teague, former City Councilman Ed Shouse, Former County Commissioner Frank Leuthold, Joyce Burchett, Mother of State Senator Tim Burchett representing Senator Burchett, Former KnoxGOP Chairmen Gerald Turner and Brian Hornback.

Candidates for Republican office present were: Republican County Commission candidates for the Fourth District Seat A Ruthie Kuhlman, Walter Wojnar and William Daniels. Republican County Commission candidates for the Fourth District Seat B Lee Tramel and former City Councilman Ed Shouse. Former Republican candidate for the Fourth District Seat A Mike Alford (the second highest vote getter against former term limited Commissioner John Schmidt) announced his intention to seek the appointment. Republican candidates for Trustee Fred Sisk and L.B. Steele. Republican candidate for Register of Deeds Sherry Witt, Republican candidate for County Clerk Foster Arnett, Republican candidate for Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett. Nick McBride representing Sherry Witt Republican candidate for Register of Deeds. Gary Mahoney, representing Republican candidate for Property Assessor Mike Lowe.

Ruthie Kulhman announced that she will not be a candidate for appointment to the Knox County Commission, she also announced that she is in favor of a December 11 primary election. Walter Wojnar, stating "10 months is too long a time to have bad representation" announced that he will be a candidate for appointment and election to the Fourth district County Commission seat.

Lee Tramel, formerly the appointed Republican County Commissioner of the Fourth district highlighted some of the accomplishments from the Commission since January 31, 2007. They passed a budget with no tax increase. With the assistance of State Senator Jamie Woodson, they provided $19.0 million new dollars to the Knox County School system. They provided a tax freeze for Seniors. They seated an ethics panel. They funded a pension for the Sheriffs Department, that was approved by the voters of Knox County. They enhanced the pension benefits for Knox County general government employees. They have worked on a new health benefit plan that was a better value for taxpayers and a better value for the county employees.

Members of the media present were: Martha Woodward of the Knoxville - Knox County Focus, Georgiana Vines of the E.W. Scripps News-Sentinel and Sandra Clark of the E.W. Scripps Shopper News. In a move of E.W. Scripps solidarity, Ms. Vines introduced Sandra as a former elected official.

Martha Woodward announced that she is now the Conservative Co-host of a local talk radio show that consist of two liberals to one conservative, the conservative is Martha. The radio show is "Salute America" which airs every Sunday on AM 850 from 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Martha Woodward is also the author of the recently published book, Sunsphere: A Biography of a landmark. Many individuals left the meeting with purchased copies of her book.

The Speaker for the meeting was Republican candidate for Knox County Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones. He is a 1976 graduate of West High School in Knoxville, TN. He received a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee. He has 27 years of experience in law enforcement, spending much of his career at the Knox County Sheriffs Department.

Sheriff Jones talked about the new pod that was recently opened at the Knox County Detention facility. It was neccesary to build the new pod because of the federal courts mandate to keep the jail population at a certain number. The new addition provides 228 extra beds. After Sheriff Jones was appointed on January 31, 2007 a decision had to be made about double stacking the bunks in the new pod under construction. Sheriff Jones decided to double bunk which provided an additional 96 bunks. There are currently 135 beds open at the Detention facility.

The population of the jail and detention facility on Monday October 8 was 1108 inmates. Sheriff Jones discussed the proposed and planned downtown intake center. The Knox County Sheriffs Department transports 160 inmates everyday into Knoxville from the Maloneyville Road detention facility. An intake center will help relieve the cost and environmental ramifications of transporting 160 prisoners everyday.

On the Johnia Berry case he said the reason that they did not go on national television is that it brings in national leads that must be worked. He and former Sheriff Tim Hutchison in working with the investigators believed that the suspect was local. Which was accurate. Over 400 DNA samples were sent to the TBI lab in this investigation.

On the Sunshine violation he gave his opinion and he emphasized that this is his opinion and you should hold him to his opinion and no one else. It is rare that you get to see someone in their office for 7 months. This was about the process, not the people. The court ruled the process was violated, we will go on. I am for an election, if one can be held. On the upcoming appointment process he stated that he is for the 11 commissioners appointing the 4 countywide and 8 commissioners all in one meeting but, whatever the 11 commissioners decide the process to be I will abide by.

Sheriff Jones was asked about the number of federal prisoners held in Knox County. He stated that today there are not that many.

Sheriff Jones was asked about how they transport the 160 prisoners each day. He stated that they have a bus that can carry 40 inmates at a time and that they are transported as needed by other vehicles as well. There are 25 employees currently assigned to transporting the 160 inmates each day.

The meeting adjourned after the announcement was made that former Republican Governor of the State of Tennessee Don Sundquist will be the speaker at the November West Knox Republican meeting to be held on November 12, 2007.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sharon Cawood's New Business And Cawood's Business Prospecting

Sources within the Karns Business and Professional Association have sent me an email that former Juvenile Court Clerk Courier and formerly appointed County Commissioner Sharon Cawood is sending out email solicitations for her new business.

It seems that Sharon is an Account Executive with Welcome Wagon. The latest revenue generator for Sharon involves producing and mailing Christmas postcards for businesses. Only 77 cents per postcard that includes postage.

Here is the clincher from her email addressed to "KBA folks"

"can send holiday postcards to your clients and customers using your database of names and addresses. For as little as 77 cents per postcard, we can do it all for you. We do the custom design, labeling and even pay the postage for you - all for 77 cents per postcard. Yes, this even includes postage!"

So is the deal that these unsuspecting businesses turn over their database to the "politician" to be used in her campaign for County Commission? Do you think that these businesses databases were the source of all her Commission letters? Did she utilize all those letterheads and envelopes for her stationary business?

Enquiring minds are enquiring.

Knox County Commission Make-Up For October 2007

Our Knox County Commission for October 2007 still reflects the community it represents. Nine Republicans and Two Dems. Better yet, check out the committee make-up for October 2007.

October 2007 Knox County Commission

Vice - Chairman Thomas Tank Strickland - D
Mark Harmon - D
Tony Norman - R
Ivan Harmon - R
Craig Leuthold - R
Mike Hammond - R
Greg "Lumpy" Lambert - R
Chairman Scott Moore - R
R. Larry Smith - R
Phil Ballard - R
Paul Pinkston - R

October 2007 Intergovernmental Committee

Craig Leuthold, Chairman
Tony Norman, Vice - Chairman
Mark Harmon
Greg "Lumpy" Lambert
Scott Moore
Phil Ballard

October 2007 Finance Committee

Paul Pinkston, Chairman
Ivan Harmon, Vice-Chairman
Thomas "Tank" Strickland
Mike Hammond
R. Larry Smith

I am scheduled to be out of town during committee meetings. I would say that the Finance Committee would be worth the price of admission. Five members, Paul Pinkston, Chairing and R. Larry Smith amongst the five = Priceless.

Here are the make-ups for rest of the Committees for October 2007. BOLD = Still a Commissioner. ITALIC = Former Appointed Commissioner, Currently a Vacant Commissioner and Open for appointment in November 2007.


Thomas "Tank" Strickland
Chuck Bolus
Tony Norman
Richard Cate
Mike Hammond
Greg "Lumpy" Lambert
Larry Smith
Jack Huddleston
Tim Greene


Mike Hammond, Chair
Mark Harmon, Vice Chair
Josh Jordan
Ivan Harmon
Lee Tramel
Sharon Cawood
Larry Smith
Phil Ballard
Paul Pinkston


Scott Moore
Thomas "Tank" Strickland


Larry Smith, Chair
Phil Ballard, Vice Chair
Mark Harmon
Paul Pinkston


Josh Jordan
Lee Tramel, Vice Chair
Sharon Cawood

Greg "Lumpy" Lambert
Paul Pinkston, Chair


Craig Leuthold, Chair
Tim Greene, Vice Chair


Tony Norman
Scott Moore

Lee Tramel, Chair
Paul Pinkston
Craig Leuthold, Vice Chair


Thomas Strickland
Scott Moore
Greg "Lumpy" Lambert


Craig Leuthold, Chair
Mike Hammond
Greg "Lumpy" Lambert

Jack Huddleston, Vice Chair
Sharon Cawood


Thomas Strickland
Chuck Bolus
Ivan Harmon, Chair
Sharon Cawood, Vice Chair
Larry Smith


Ivan Harmon
Paul Pinkston
Scott Moore
Thomas Strickland

Friday October 12 @ Regal Cinemas The Pinnacle 18 in Knoxville, TN

Tyler Perry does it again. This Friday at Regal Cinemas The Pinnacle 18 at Turkey Creek in Knoxville. His release of Why Did I Get Married? debuts.

On Friday Regal Cinemas The Pinnacle 18 will have 4 showings. They are 12:40, 4:10, 7:30 and 10:20. Click here to go to Fandango and purchase advance tickets for Friday October 12.

Here is the movie trailer.

Check out all of Tyler's work here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

News-Sentinel Doesn't Believe The Law or Rules Apply To Them

A knock on the door at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday night October 4, 2006 was interesting and very telling about the News-Sentinel's NEW attitude. It was dark and certainly would not be a door to door salesman. Because my neighborhood has a sign posted at the entrance that states NO SOLICITING.

So, who is at my door? It is none other than a door to door salesman for the News-Sentinel. The News-Sentinel's editor Jack McElroy had just won the verdict of Guilty in the Knox County Chancery Court lawsuit against the Knox County Commission.

Then on Friday, I attempted to get a response from Carolyn Gibson, the News-Sentinel / E.W. Scripps Supervisor in charge of door to door sales representatives. She did not respond to multiple phone calls to her phone extension at the Big metal building on the hill. I will continue this coming week to attempt to get her response for her companies representatives ignoring the rules or law of a neighborhood or subdivision.

On first glance, it appears that all the employees of the big metal building on the hill believe that the rules or laws do not apply to them, so they ignore them. Secondly, how desperate has the News-Sentinel come to, that they must resort to door to door strong arm tactics to increase their subscription count. We know they were desperate enough to have bought the tabloid bully editor girls paper. That purchase obviously didn't work for them.

I have placed my phone numbers on the Do Not Call list, so they can not reach me at home by phone. I own a residence in a neighborhood with NO SOLICITING at the entrance of the subdivision, to avoid the harassment of the door to door salesmen like I had on Thursday night.

So, now the News-Sentinel believes because 12 individual jurors gave them a victory, then they do NOT have to abide by rules or laws of a community or neighborhood.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Farragut Admirals Make A BIG Stop.

The Admirals traveled over to Blount County to meet the Governors of William Blount.

With 10 seconds left in the game, the Governors are on the 1 yard line. They can tie the game with a successful extra point and go into overtime or they can win it with a 2 point conversion. What is the decision of William Blount coach Scott Meadows?

Meadows goes for the 2 point conversion to win the game. After all it is only one yard. Right?

But he forgot, these are the Admirals of Farragut. They coordinate and launch attacks from the water to win the battle and the war. So they ball is snapped and bam, the Governors are stopped dead in their tracks.

The Admirals win 36-35. Congratulations Admirals.

Next week it is Bradley County at Bradley County.

Happy Birthday last night to Admiral Coach Eddie Courtney. Not a finer man in all of Admiral land than Coach Courtney.

Karns High School

Sources close to Karns High School have informed Brian's Blog that within the past two years the math proficiency scores have dropped 37%.

Clifford Davis, the principal of Karns was a math teacher before breaking into the administrative ranks as Principal at Cedar Bluff Middle School, several years ago. This school year is his third year as Principal at Karns. Cedar Bluff Middle school prior to Dr. Davis had exemplary test scores and during his time at Cedar Bluff, the school appeared on the Tennessee notice list due to failure to meet the No Child Left Behind benchmarks. Sources close to Cedar Bluff inform us that Cedar Bluff came off the list a year or two ago under the leadership of Principal Sonya Winstead.

Prior to Clifford Davis taking over as principal of Karns, it was led by former Powell High School Principal Diane Psihogios. Within the past two years the math proficiency scores that were established at Karns by Principal Psihogois have decreased 37%.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Karns High School Football

UPDATE: 10:29 P.M.: Jefferson County beat Karns 23-13 this evening. Coach Reeves may be headed for the gate for good. Karns will not lose next friday, it is an open week.

Sources close to the Karns High School football team have informed Brian's Blog that there are some hurt feelings and some hostility brewing with the Karns football program and their new football coach. It came to a head last Friday when Karns was defeated by Carter at their Karns homecoming. This was the first homecoming loss in 5 years. Former Coach John Fulkerson never coached a homecoming loss during his years at Karns.

At the conclusion of the homecoming game, parents gathered outside the locker room desiring to hear from their Coach. He did not come out to speak with parents. In fact it is reported that the security officers present had to ask the parents to leave. It is also reported that some parents as they were leaving began chanting "We want Fulkerson."

Let's look at the Karns Win loss record so far this year.
Lose - Jamboree - Webb 14 Karns 0 (one quarter of play)
Win - Lenior City 13 Karns 34
Lose - Morristown East 13 Karns 7
Lose - Sevier County 34 Karns 21
Lose - Powell 23 Karns 9
Lose - Bearden 35 Karns 6
Lose - Carter 20 Karns 7 (homecoming)
Lose - Jefferson County 23 Karns 13
10/12 - Open Date
10/19 - Kingsport D-B (Senior Night) Home
10/26 - Science Hill (@ Science Hill)
11/2 - Campbell County (@ Campbell County)

Former Karns Coach John Fulkerson was recruited away from Karns and Knox County to a school system in the State of Georgia. He is a teacher and an assistant coach in Georgia. The teams record is 3 wins and 1 loss in the region and 3 wins 2 losses overall. The team is currently in second place in their region.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Knox County Employees Caught Not Working For US

Let's see how this worked today. This afternoon Knox County employees met with members of the Knox County Commission and the health insurance committee to force themselves into the discussion on the health insurance decision for 2008.

The problem that I have with the meeting today is that it was held at 4:00 p.m. These employees are supposed to be working for you and I until 4:30 p.m. So they got a little extra recess time and did not accomplish their job duties that you and I are paying them for.

I hope that the media present this afternoon took note of all the employees that attended and then checks their time sheets to see if they shortened their lunch break today in order to attend the meeting or took thirty minutes of comp time, vacation time aanything so that we didn't pay them to lobby so that more of our tax dollars are used for their increased health benefits.

Think of how productive our government could and would be if all the employees actually worked at their designated tasks for 8 working hours a day, five days a week.

It seems that the employees in Cathy Quist office are a majority of the ones trying to get a playground or hall pass more than any of the others. What is going on in the Circuit, General Civil Sessions and Juvenile Court Clerk's office. Not much work, it appears.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

John Edwards: An Education Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

In this video, John Edwards holds up a shirt. The shirt reads "A child is more than a test score." John Edwards reading from the shirt says "A child is more than a test." Revealing that he can't read the shirt that he just received. John Edwards demonstrates that an education is a terrible thing to waste.

Lumpy's Plan

The Liberal local blog has been talking about Lumpy's Change Plan. However, they do not link to it. As a public service Brian's Blog is providing you the column and his plan so that you can know what you are being expected to talk about. It is presented here as Lumpy submitted it to Brian's Blog.

It is typical of liberals to talk about stuff that you have no clue about. So, we supply you the information to be knowledgeable, while the local liberal blog doesn't.

By Greg "Lumpy" Lambert

One of the constants in this world is change. Things just never seem to stay the same, but most of the time the changes are usually good. As I have been watching the lawsuits against the Knox County Commission play out I have been contemplating how is this going to change the way our government operates.

I don’t know who will win this lawsuit; it will come down to what is conversation and what is deliberation. I personally don’t believe that any of the conversations that I have had were deliberations, but from what I am hearing from citizens I do believe that folks want change. They want to know what Commissioners are saying to each other. No mater how this lawsuit turns out I think that we (the Commission) need to change how we do things.

Conversation, debate, and lobbying are vital to good government. Legislators (Commissioners) need to talk to each other; we need to learn from each other, we need to communicate with each other so that we can make the best decisions for our community. I really hope that this lawsuit doesn’t shut down conversation because that would be very bad for our community. I hope that this situation simply changes where and how we have those conversations.

I have never said anything in private conversations about the things that we vote on that I would not say, and usually do say publicly. I believe that no mater how this lawsuit turns out that we (the Commission) need to create more public opportunities to have the conversations that are so vital to keeping our government working the way that it should. I believe that we need to increase the number of meetings that we have each month, and use these meeting to have conversations about the issues.

Right now we have two meetings days per month that all of the Commissioners participate in. I believe that we should increase that to 4 meeting days per month, one per week. The first Monday of the month we could have our agenda meeting, right now we have an agenda meeting but very few Commissioners attend it. It would be nice if this new agenda meeting were held in the evenings when more public parking is available downtown. We could have public forum at this meeting as well.

On the 2nd Monday of the month we could have our zoning meeting, followed by a workshop designed to encourage Commissioners to talk to each other informally, the public would be welcome to both observe and participate in informal conversations. On the 3rd Monday of the month we could separate into our committee meetings like we do now.

Then on the 4th Monday of the month we could have the regular Commission meeting and dedicate the whole meeting to the regular meeting agenda. The public forum would happen at the 1st meeting, when there is still time to add things to the agenda for when a citizen brings up something during public forum that requires action by the Commission. The zoning would have taken place at the 2nd meeting. This would enable us to dedicate the Commission meeting to just the Commission meeting.

For the citizens it would be more convenient as well. Folks who want to talk about zonings won’t have to wait through the regular meeting (that never seems to end on time). Folks who want to talk about a specific issue would not have to wait for the regular meeting to resume after being recessed at 4:00 for zonings. Citizens could also bring up things at public forum when there is still time to add them to the agenda. Finally the conversations that need to happen between Commissioners could happen where the public could not only hear them but also participate in them.

No mater what the courts rule this whole situation is an opportunity to change things for the better. We can usher in a new era of more openness and public participation in county government. I don’t have all of the answers I am sure that other Commissioners have ideas to consider as well. I will be sharing this column with other Commissioners, and hope that soon we will be discussing some of these changes. This has been a tough few weeks but as always I am honored for the opportunity to serve you all on the Knox County Commission.

What Is Going On?

This mornings News-Sentinel had this story about a Halls High School math teacher and then this afternoon the News-Sentinel website announces this story about a Karns Middle School teacher.

Council of West Knox County Homeowners Meeting Last Night

Last night, the same evening as the Jury verdict. The Council of West Knox County Homeowners held their monthly meeting. Four Knox County Commissioners attended. Fourth District County Commissioner Richard Cate, Fifth District County Commissioners Craig Leuthold, Mike Hammond and Frank Leuthold. Homeowners Associations in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth district belong to the Council of West Knox County Homeowners Association.

It certainly would have been easy for them to stay home last night.

I attended a meeting in Karns, no sight of Sharon or Mark Cawood anywhere in Karns. I wonder if they were addressing letters utilizing all of that Knox County Commission letterhead and envelopes that Sharon has stockpiled at the house.

Communication With The Jury?

I read the Jack McElroy column on Sunday, three days ago. It seemed bizarre. But, at the time I thought. Well maybe he has been busy sitting in court and he is probably obligated to fill his space in the Sunday paper.

Last night at the Karns Republican Club meeting, a longtime political observer asked if I had seen the column and suggested that in hind sight, (which is 20/20, BTW) that this could have been communication with the jury. That is certainly against the rules. As each witness, left the stand Chancellor Fansler informed them not to talk with anyone by any form of communication.

I am not going to opine on what McElroy was thinking or doing. I would like know what your thoughts are on this issue?

One of Brian's Blog sources has forwarded the following statement and questions about the News-Sentinel's coverage surrounding the Sunshine Law.

Although I haven't read any of the stories, the electronic version of the KNS seems to be chock full of stories/opinion pieces about the Sunshine lawsuit.

If McElroy said that the lawsuit wasn't about selling newspapers, then why the widespread coverage in the paper? Why all the scandal mongering headlines? Why not just report the facts of the case?

The Vultures Are Flying!

While we are now waiting on Chancellor Fansler to rule on the remedy and the fix for the Jury decision on the Sunshine lawsuit. The vultures are circling and calling for the storm water ordinance and the Midway Business Park to be null and voided. The only problem with that is the Midway Business Park was approved by the County Commission prior to January 31, 2007.

Future generations need the Midway Business Park in order to have good quality jobs. The Midway Business Park is here to stay.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Karns Republican Club Met Tonight

The Karns Republican Club met tonight. Phil Ballard and Mike Lowe debated the position of Republican Property Assessor that they are running for in the February 5, 2007 Primary. I will file a report, tomorrow.

Have a great evening.

Herbert S. Moncier Is Happy

The coverage of the verdict from the New-Sentinel website and the three local television stations has been interesting to see. The plaintiffs, Jack McElroy and his attorney Rick Hollow have been somber and respectful. The defendant's attorney John Owings has been professional and respectful. On the other hand the other plaintiff attorney Herbert Moncier has been arrogant, boastful and joyous. Why? Because after filling 75 lawsuits against Knox County, he finally won one.

To celebrate let's all go down to McDonald's, place an order and then grab a piece of paper out of the manager's hand.

Newspaper's Attorney Employs Tabloid Term

During the Sunshine trial it had appeared to many that they the plaintiff lawyers were playing good cop, bad cop for the jury. Many court observers believed that Richard Hollow, the News-Sentinel lawyer operated as the "good" plaintiff lawyer. While many believe that Moncier was playing the part of "bad" plaintiff lawyer.

Yesterday, during Hollow's first appearance in closing arguments, he employed the use of a tabloid term. He repeated the tabloid term three times during his first of two appearance to the jury. The first time that I heard him say it, I thought why would he use such a term?

Then I thought maybe he was playing to at least one television station, you know the one that employs the tactics of shock 'em journalism, Hint: It is the ABC affiliate. Then I realized that he was probably playing to the News-Sentinel. And that if he said it enough, it may wind up as a tabloid headline in today's newspaper. As of 5:32 a.m. the online version of the News-Sentinel has incorporated his tabloid term.

In describing the January 31, 2007 appointment process, he used the term "orgy of political power." Sex sells on television commercials. So maybe in describing a lurid sex act it will sell more newspapers, shock television viewers and boost their ratings and may play to normal everyday citizens, even those on a jury.

In regards to the trial itself, I will not be surprised if the jury returns a guilty or a non-guilty verdict.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Jury Received The Sunshine Case at 4:20 P.M.

How long will they take?

Today's Georgiana Vines Column

In today's Georgiana Vines column in the Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Ray Abbas, the unemployed City Council candidate desires to be the City Council At Large Representative that only represents North and East Knoxville. If that is the case, he should be running for the seat in his district (Rob Frost), not an at large position that must represent the whole city.

Also, Georgiana reports that the Halls Senior Center was named for Mary Lou Horner, former term limited Knox County Commissioner. In fact, they did NOT name the building after her. They dedicated the building to her. There is a difference.

Knoxville's only daily newspaper should report it accurately.

Thoughts To Ponder: Should The School Systems Be Allowed To Have Its Own Security Force?

UPDATE: Voluntarily Conservative weighed in on this issue, over at his blog. Here are his thoughts.

Original Post: From yesterday and today's Knoxville News-Sentinel stories written by Don Jacobs. Part I is here, Part II is here. As some commenters have commented to Brian's Blog. It seems that West High School has had more than its share of problems. In addition to this incident, West High School also had the Erin McLean situation.

A couple of questions for Brian's Blog readers and commenters to ponder:

Is this incident textbook evidence that school employees and school administrators should NOT be in the business of law enforcement or investigators?

Should the members of the Tennessee Legislature sponsor and vote for legislation that gives the responsibility for law enforcement and investigations to trained law enforcement professionals?

As a personal aside: No where in the two articles, do I find where Knox County School Security led by Steve Griffin was ever involved in this investigation. The School administrators, School Systems Human Resources personnel and the KPD School Resource Officer were involved in this investigation. Why is that?