Saturday, April 05, 2008

IdleAire, the TPO and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam

You have read in the News-Sentinel about County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, the TPO (Transportation Planning Organization) and IdleAire. You have read about the fact that Mayor Ragsdale is a member of the TPO. An entity that awards federal grant money out to certain entities, IdleAire being one of them. You have read that Mayor Ragsdale owns some stock in IdleAire.

What you will not read in the News-Sentinel is that Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam sits on the TPO board. His employee Thomas "Tank" Strickland also sits on the TPO board.

Brian's Blog has made a media information request to Jeff Welch of Knoxville / Knox County MPC. Mr. Welch oversees the actions of the TPO. In that request we are seeking the identity of the recipient's of the three federal CMAC grants that passed through the TPO. When we receive that information, we will post it on Brian's Blog.

A Brian's Blog source has alerted us that the last CMAC grant, a large portion went to IdleAire for infrastructure at a Pilot Travel Center in Jefferson County, TN. We have requested that Jeff Welch confirm this.

We believe that IdleAire is a great idea. There are a lot of individuals that have invested in IdleAire. The question remains. Should Mayor Haslam sit on a board that awards money to a company that invests infrastructure enhancements to his family's company and the entire media remain quiet?

Why are the Knoxville media so vocal on public officials that they dislike. Like former Sheriff Tim Hutchison, the former Knox County School Superintendent, Commissioners Scott Moore, Greg Lambert and Paul Pinkston and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale.

However, when it comes to questions of Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and potential violation(s) of conflicts of interest that media remain quiet. Is it in preparation for a future statewide election?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about the IdleAire stock owned by Knox County school board members and the Hardin Valley School architect.