Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm With Victoria and the DeFreese Family

If you were one of the ones to receive this letter dated July 13, 2009 which was three days before Victoria DeFreese made her public announcemnt on July 16, 2009. She intends to be a candidate for County Commission from District 9. Count me in as a member of "I'm with Victoria." You see the problem is that local female politicians lack the ability to stand up, they instead are rubber stamps for the establishment. The two local exceptions are School Board Member Cindy Buttry and former Appointed County Commissioner Victoria DeFreese.

Victoria DeFreese
2921 Tipton Station Road
Knoxville, TN 37920

July 13, 2009


I write to inform you of my serious intent to run for Commissioner of Knox County District 9. My appointed term demonstrated my commitment to good government, reining in spending, defending the rights of the ordinary citizen from government infringement, advocating for fair-bid processes, scrutinizing all lucrative contracts negotiated with Knox County, and fiscally responsible stewardship of your tax dollars.

As you know, Knox County must redistrict the County Precincts/Wards because of changes made to the charter approved by the voters to decrease the size of County Commission. Last November, the voters allowed for the reduction of County Commission to 1 commissioner per district with 2 at-large seats. The Knox County Redistricting Committee approved a plan last week that will place Gap Creek (Ward #92: Gap Creek School, 1920 Kimberlin Heights) into district 8 and incorporate the University of Tennessee (Ward #10-S, University Ctr, 1502 W. Cumberland Ave.) into district 9. This plan is subject to approval by County Commission in November. I intend to represent the newly configured District 9 as your public servant.

My service as an appointed Knox County Commissioner for District 9 from February to August 2008 demonstrated my commitment to good government:

•Did not blindly approve government spending but regularly questioned all items in the budget.

•Defended your right to privacy and right to freedom of expression from government interference as provided by the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution. I challenged the application of the Tennessee Open Records Act to constituent expression via e-mail, phone logs, faxes, handwritten notes, letters, etc. I argued that turning over this information would chill constituent expression.

•Demanded fair bid processes and far-reaching public advertisements when liquidating county property, such as old South High. Originally, I advocated land banking the property rather than letting a powerful developer have it for $1; however, responding to community desires, I encouraged a well-advertised auction of the property that brought a high bid of $117,700.

•Investigated and challenged contracts made with Knox County. After in-depth personal research, I refused to sign off on a mediated settlement with a mulch contractor even when urged to do so by the Knox County Law Director. Since then, I have been contacted and questioned by the FBI, EPA federal criminal agents, and the TBI concerning environmental problems and public corruption. I have proved that I will take valiant positions when I suspect corruption with lucrative contracts with Knox County. The Knox County Chancellor, John Weaver, vindicated my stance on this contract when he wrote in his January 16, 2009 opinion, “The closeness of the relationship between the County and the defendants [mulch contractor] warrants scrutiny.”

•In fulfillment of my oath of office, I consistently defended your tax dollars from misuse. I made a motion that Knox County Commission ask for the resignation of Mayor Mike Ragsdale after several audits that discovered a questionable hospitality fund, purchasing card violations, and awarding suspect community grants. Even though this motion was defeated, I boldly demonstrated that I will defend your tax dollars.

As the time to qualify as a candidate for Knox County Commission nears, I wanted you to know that I have been encouraged by the people of South Knoxville to be your public servant. My public announcement of my intent to run for County Commission Seat 9 will be made at the South Knox Republican Club meeting this Thursday, July 16 which meets at the Optimist Club at 7:00 p.m. (Gary Underwood Park, 6131 Moore Road).

As always I depend upon your friendship and support.


Victoria DeFreese

(865) 577-7045 home

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