Friday, April 11, 2008

Appointed Interim County Commissioner Robert "Milo" Rountree Desires To "Chill Constituent Communication"

Appointed interim County Commissioner Robert "Milo" Rountree has an item on this months County Commission agenda. His item is to ban the use of "telephonic" devices during Commission meetings.

His proposal would not only ban the use of cellphones for Commissioners, but the way the resolution is written it would ban the use of cellphones by those in attendance in the Large Assembly Room. It would even ban the use of the phones at the media table that are provided by Knox County and the Public Building Authority.

Rountree's proposal is on the heels of Commissioner Victoria DeFreese response to the County Mayor's request for the identity of constituents that have contacted her. In response DeFreese said that this action would "chill constituent communication" This Rountree proposal certainly would "chill constituent communication".

Within the last two months, a constituent contacted Commissioner DeFreese via cellphone to inform her that the initial workshop on the charter amendments was not being televised. She moved to recess the meeting. CTV immediately went on the air.

I brought this Rountree resolution up on "The Voice" (AM 1040 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Monday - Friday) I stated that there are times when it is necessary for a Commissioners family to contact them and when there are times when it is neccesary for constituents to contact them.

Commissioner Greg Lambert when he first began his term in September 2006, began using "The Voice" message board with his laptop. Commissioner Mark Harmon then began imitating Lambert by communicating through a local liberal blog during Commission meetings. Rountree doesn't address the communication devices of Harmon and Lambert.

After I voiced my concern on The Voice radio talk show, Commissioner Elaine Davis called in and said that Rountree had mentioned that he intended to present this resolution. Commissioner Davis said that she has a son with Type II diabetes, and that she must be in contact with her family, his school and his caregivers.

Now, what is Rountree doing telling a fellow Commissioner about his resolution? What part of Chancellor Fansler's order does he NOT understand. Rountree was forbidden to vote on the Charter Review Committee because he violated the judges order and now it appears that he will be unable to vote for his own resolution because he initiated a sidebar with Commissioner Davis. Thankfully, Commissioner Davis made it public that Rountree approached her and talked to her about his resolution.

1 comment:

JB said...

Brian, Stokes was lied to many times by is campian manager about!