Saturday, February 26, 2011

Roddy First in Cash, First with a HQ

In today's Georgiana Vines column, Knoxville Mayoral candidate Marilyn Roddy is reporting that she has secured a HQ for her campaign to be Knoxville's next Mayor. Roddy has raised the most money so far. The interesting great take away from this story is that Roddy has no one on payroll. In contrast, Madeline Rogero has two paid staffers. Ivan Harmon has one political consultant and Mark Padgett is reporting three paid staffers. He identifies them as Zak Kelley, Samantha Edwards and Lauren Braden. Although, in his first financial disclosure he reported payments to Kelley and Edwards. However, he has also paid consulting fees to Terry Quillen and Georgia Bacon. So it appears that he has five staffers. Here is Padgett's financial disclosure.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mike Donila on February 25 concerning Our Story of February 7

UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: Mike Donila contacted me almost immediately. He had not previously seen this blog post. He has suggested linking to my 2/7/2011 blog post, which is a GREAT cooperative gesture that he did not have to do. He and I both agree this rumor has been out there for a year and escalated after the November 2010 election.

Mike Donila of the News Sentinel at his personal blog posted this today. On February 7, Brian's Blog posted this concerning the election commission shake-up. Again, this demonstrates that the main stream media come to Brian's Blog for the story before they do a story.

Kudos to Dr. McIntyre

Dr. Jim McIntyre Superintendent of Knox County Schools made public this afternoon his decision that Planned Parenthood would NOT be allowed any school in Knox County. That is a wise, effective leadership. Something Knox County has not had from a Superintendent in it's history.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Commissioner Norman Advocates Commission Violence

County Commissioner Tony Norman use to act fearful and was quoted in the media of the past drama that Commissioner Greg Lambert use to act out on the Commission dais. However, Norman now advocates and states that his pet project "Ridgetop Protection Plan" is now in "hand to hand" combat. In an email sent to the task force members, Norman wrote

"Subject: Re: County Commission Workshop & Meeting: Tues, Feb 22nd & Mon, Feb. 28th

Task Force Members,
Calling all available for Monday's meeting. It's hand to hand combat now. The avenue of attack is to publicly say anything and everything that might lead to confusion or doubt. So we need bodies and especially business oriented people to speak for the plan. It's being misrepresented as anti-business/anti-development/anti-American etc. etc. Hope to see you Monday and spread this widely. Regard, tony"

I would like to thank Commissioner Norman for asking that this communication be spread widely, because I am able to share this with all readers of Brian's Blog. Everyone can now see that what Commissioner Norman feared was himself. At what point does his blind passion for this proposal denigrate to an un-civil, un-healthy discussion for Commission? Does Norman plan for himself to personally handle the hand to hand combat of the one female Commissioner?

Liberals Don't Walk Their Own Talk

In response to this blog post that we posted this morning, the local liberal blog through Eric Lykins posted a response defense, here. So, while the liberal Democrats through their leader President Obama, Senator Reid and House Minority Leader Pelosi called for "civility" following the Republican wins in November. Evidently liberals EconGal, EricLykins, BBeanster and others either didn't get the civility memo or selects to ignore it.

As for the defense that Rogero's experience would create a champion of collective bargaining. It is not believed that her actions in the 70's had anything to championing collective bargaining. It had to do with forcing wages and benefits for "illegals". It is believed by some sources of Brian's Blog that the 1970's migrants are the 2000's illegals.

Kerry Roberts for State Senate in District 18

If you live in Sumner and Robertson Counties of Tennessee and are a registered voter in State Senate District 18. You need to be voting early until March 3 and getting all your neighbors and friends to vote for Kerry Roberts. Election Day is March 8. Get out there and strengthen the Republican representation in our State Senate.

Knoxville Mayoral Candidate Madeline Rogero's Liberal Past

Here is a 1974 newspaper article about Knoxville Mayoral Candidate Madeline Rogero and her boycotting/picketing activity with the organization of Cesar Chavez. Below is a photograph of Rogero picketing/boycotting on behalf of the organization that she worked for.

Here is a Boycott Organizing Manual of the group. The photographs below are reportedly from a 2006 reunion of the Cesar Chavez Farm worker Movement Organization, here.

With the aggressive boycotting and protest going on in Wisconsin against the Governor and Republican legislature by organized labor unions, Rogero needs to address her past involvement and how her previous actions will impact her as the City's Mayor dealing with the Fraternal Order of Police, the Firefighters and City of Knoxville employee groups.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mayoral Candidate Ivan Harmon Serving Pancakes

Mayoral candidate Ivan Harmon was serving pancakes at the Annual O'Connor Pancake Fest on Tuesday. Harmon has participated for many, many years. This was not his first one. Harmon continues his Walking Tour of the city everyday. Check Harmon's website, here.

Knoxville Mayoral Candidate Ivan Harmon talks with Community Activist Walt Wojnar.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Con Hunley Releases His 9th and New Project

Knoxvillian Con Hunley releases a new project "Lost and Found" his 9 th in his long career. This morning he appeared on the Ed and Bob Show on WNOX FM 100.3 to discuss his career and discuss his future plans. For the Con Hunley fans there are more projects in the works and a possible tour is being planned. He will appear at the TN Valley Fair in Knoxville again in September. You can order any CD or the new Con Hunley project off his website, here. Visit the Ed and Bob Show website, here.

Free Speech Against Government Is Not Allowed in Oak Ridge

Read the story here about Oak Ridge citizens that have mounted an oppostion campaign to the cash grabbing red light and speed trap cameras. Nearly immediately the city employees remove the signs, silencing the free speech of the citizens.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Congratulations to Knoxville's Trevor Bayne

In the 2011 Daytona 500, Knoxville native Trevor Bayne became the youngest driver to win the first Nascar race of the year. Read the Tennessean article here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: CNBC's David Faber Citadel Broadcasting in Negotiations With Cumulus

Here CNBC's David Faber reports that Citadel Broadcasting is in negotiations with Cumulus. Citadel, parent company to several local Knoxville stations has been in bankruptcy. In an effort to shed financial liabilities Citadel ended their lease with the owner of WNOX FM 100.3 this past summer. That action then created a competitor where WNOX FM 100.3 began their own talk line up. WNOX with a broadcast signal is now overtaking the Citadel talk format of 98.7 whose signal can not reach out of Knox County. So, the roller coaster continues.

Senator Scott Brown Was a Shop Lifter

You have probably seen the initial news reports that Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts has revealed to being a victim of sexual abuse as a young man. Brown has been interviewed on 60 minutes. The interview will air on Sunday. His memoir will release this Tuesday. In addition to the sexual abuse revelation, Brown also discusses how he once shop lifted a three piece suit and how he had been arrested for shop lifting albums as a young man. Read the story in today's New York Times, here.

Why Is Madoff Just Now Talking?

Bernie Madoff in his first interview (published here in the New York Times) is saying that the banks and hedge funds were "complicit" in his Ponzi scheme. Why didn't Madoff speak during his trial? He could have saved his son's life. Madoff's son committed suicide, I would agree with Madoff that the press coverage of the suicide of his son was "disgraceful".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alexander 2012! The POTUS Candidate of the Alfalfa Club

What Is Going On With The County Clerk's?

First, it was Foster Arnett, the Knox County Clerk where a bank deposit was mysteriously stolen from a satellite office location. No suspects, No leads even though the satellite office should have security cameras. Then it was the Sevier County Clerk that had to resign due to taking money from the Clerk's office. Now, the details of the Morgan County Clerk's missing money is detailed in today's News Sentinel, read it here. The time is near for the legislature to consider abolishing the County Clerk's position as an elected position and put the responsibility under the County Mayor's direction.

Disagreement Between County Commission and School Board - It Isn't Exclusive To Knox County

Here the Times Free Press of Chattanooga details how the Hamilton County Commission and School Board on Valentines Night met to decide who gets spending control of PILOT money (payment in lieu of taxes). Surprisingly or not no decision was made lasst night.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Trump 2012! Sign Me UP!

TYP - Ten Year Plan

As you have read in other media outlets last week both Mayor Tim Burchett and Interim Knoxville Mayor Daniel Brown held a press conference last week to announce that Jon Lawler and Robert Finey were leaving the office of the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. The press conference was packed with many of the current entities that serve the homeless and I was actually surprised at the number of people that attended the press conference.

Of the nine points of the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness Plan, the one sticking point was the permanent housing. I did post several items that addressed this sticking point. My perspective on the issue of permanent housing is that it should be in close proximity to their service providers. That would mean that the Minvilla Manor at Fifth and Broadway is ideal. Minvilla Manor is completed. The construction of permanent housing at the old Flenniken School is NOT ideal, due in part to the long term closure of the Henley Street Bridge. However, the City has approved and construction has been started on the old Flenniken School. So, we must live with it. The other sticking point is the allowance of residents being allowed to use alcoholic beverages in the housing units and on the property.

So, the new plan is that Lawler and Finey are leaving and are replaced by volunteer coordinators Ron Peabody (a critic that led the TYP Choice organization) and Stephany Methany a supporter of the Ten Year Plan. The consensus is that the Ten Year Plan is relatively dead on arrival due to two volunteers heading it up instead of two full time staff persons. The funniest comment that was stated directly to me at the press conference is when one of the supporters of the Ten Year Plan leaned into me and said "now Ron Peabody will have to put up or shut up". It is easier to be the critic and nit pick any proposal, now Peabody must perform.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Halls People Say "Halls Has It" But, Parenting Ain't It

The people in the Halls community of Knox County like to shout and proclaim Halls Has It. Well, YouTube had a video that demonstrated the parenting skills or lack thereof that Halls Has. Read the New Sentinel story here of the 4 adults that have been charged in encouraging teenagers to fight. The language used by one mother in encouraging her son was one that demonstrates pride that only people from Halls can appreciate. Well, to the community represented by Robert Lawrence Smith on County Commission, you all keep that out in Halls.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Chief IV - Job Well Done

Knoxville Police Department Chief Sterling Owen, IV announced a few days ago that on March 26 he would step down and retire from the organization that he restructured. Rumors began yesterday that the Chief had ulterior motives to his retirement announcement. That he would be a candidate for Mayor. After some research, I do not believe these rumors to have any merit. If I could point to one decision that former Mayor Bill Haslam got right in his brief tenure as Mayor, it is the hiring of Chief Owen. Chief Owen a retired FBI guy basically came out of his retirement to take KPD from an organization that had a dictatorial, arrogant and uncooperative Chief in former Chief Phil Keith and intended to turn the organization into an efficient, professional and cooperative organization. The goals of Chief Owen 7 years ago are mission accomplished TODAY. I wish Chief Owen well and if he could be persuaded to run, I would be the first to sign up. I firmly believe that Chief Owen is a man that was asked to step in and make a difference and he accepted the challenge and now he wants to return to his life of retirement. Knoxville owes Chief Owen a hearty Thank YOU and a full debt of gratitude.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

What is the Motive to Leak That You Are Leaving?

Word was spreading today that Jon Lawler may be stepping down from leading the TYP (Ten Year Plan). The TYP is a combined city/county/private initiative to end chronic homelessness. Sources close to the rumors were puzzled because it was Jon Lawler himself that was spreading the rumor. Sources indicate that a press conference is likely tomorrow. Expect to see the TYP attempt the initiative without government help. So, the plan doesn't end, it simply gets another life.

Hamilton County Trustee Extends Hours and Host Open House

The Hamilton County Trustee is announcing that he is extending his hours and will host open house at his satellite office. Read the report from the Times Free Press here. Here in Knox County the Trustee satellite offices are being moth balled.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Election Commission Change UP

The Knox County Republican Legislative Delegation is getting ready for the next legislative session. Sources indicate that discussions are already under way about the make up of the Knox County Election Commission. Currently there are three Republicans and two Democrats.

The two Democrats are recommended by Democrat State Representatives Joe Armstrong and Harry Tindell. It is likely that Election Commission Secretary Cassandra McGee Stuart and Cameron Brooks would be re-appointed.

The three Republicans that currently serve are Attorney Chris Heagerty. Heagerty is with the law firm of Hodges, Doughty and Carson. Heagerty is currently serving as Chairman of the Election Commission. The longest serving member is Dr. Paul Crilly, Crilly is a faculty member at the University of Tennessee. The junior member is Attorney Bob Bowman. Bowman is with the law firm Kramer, Rayson LLP, Attorneys at Law.

Sources indicate that Crilly is on his way out, he may ask not to be considered again. But the preliminary work behind the scenes is to put Attorney E. Michael "Breezy" Brezina III in to replace Crilly. Brezina is with the law firm of Hodges, Doughty and Carson. So, that would put three Attorneys on the Election Commission, all Republican Attorneys. Additionally that would place two Attorneys from the same law firm. Why? Well, some courthouse insiders believe that the backers of Brezina believe that if they placed two Attorneys from Hodges, Doughty and Carson that the action would help build the bridge that was burned when Albert J. Harb, one of the firms Attorneys was kicked out as Tax Delinquent Attorney for the Trustees office when new Trustee John Duncan III was sworn in and replaced Harb with an in house Attorney, which is former 2003-2005 Knox County Republican Party Chairman Chadwick Tindell.

It is not expected that the Knox County Republican Legislative Delegation will make the change as early as late March or as late as early May. But, the first one out of the gate normally wins. As Bowman was seen being introduced by former State Representative H.E. Bittle and visiting with legislators in February 2009, the selection was in April 2009.

Marilyn Roddy Unfairly Attacked By Knox Focus

Earlier this morning I posted about the Knox Focus changing it's mission by publishing a vile, disgusting "political analysis" on page A3 of today's edition. Attacking a former State Representative and several others. Upon reading this bird cage liner material a second time, it sticks out that City Councilwoman and Mayoral candidate Marilyn Roddy has been unfairly attacked. An attack that reaches the threshold of racist remarks. Here is the paragraph is question, I apologize for publishing it again, but it is neccesary to expose such filth. "Roddy had persistently backed Daniel Brown to serve as Interim Mayor and polished her credentials as Marilyn X by even casting a vote for perennial candidate Chuck Williams, who variously has billed himself as "Chuck in Charge" "Chuck Serving The Community" and "Big Poppa Chuck" Perhaps he will ad (sic) "Chuck Who Can't Get Elected To A Damn Thing" to his resume." To refer to Councilwoman Roddy as "Marilyn X" is vile, disgusting and racist. To mock Chuck Williams, former State Representative Joe Burchfield and Successful Businessman Bill Rolen is disgusting.

Publisher Steve Hunley needs to name the "staff member" that authored this type of vile, disgusting filth and appologize to not only Councilwoman Roddy, former State Representative Burchfield, Chuck Williams and Bill Rolen but to the African American community at large. Pilot Travel Centers, Weigels and any business should immediately pull this papers from the locations where they are offered free of charge to the public.

I am not a resident, property owner or tax payer of the City of Knoxville. But stuff like this may cause me to become a Marilyn Roddy supporter.

Knox Focus Changes It's Mission

When Steve Hunley began the Fountain City Focus which later became the Knox Focus. He stated that the mission of the focus was to be a community newspaper that reported the news with a positive approach. Well, in today's February 7, 2011 edition (located here) throw that out the window. With a story entitled "Political Analysis" on page A3 with a byline of Focus Staff, which is cowardly.

The article slams nearly every person on City Council through the appointment of Charles Thomas to replace former City Councilman Bob Becker. It slams nearly every candidate that sought the appointment. The believed reason for Hunley's original mission was not be another Shopper News like Sandra Clark. Well, it is believed if you can't beat them, join them. Sad, Sad, Sad.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Michael Oher's Book Releases Tuesday

Michael Oher who Michael Lewis book "The Blind Side" and subsequent movie releases a book on Tuesday called "I Beat The Odds". This is Michael's account of his life from homeless to the blind side and beyond. Read today's Commercial Appeal story about it here.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

What In The World Is Going On?

This story from the Commercial Appeal, a former General Sessions Judge in West TN is arrested for manufacturing meth.

Haslam Is Gone Less Than 30 Days and the Reserve Fund is Tapped

This News Sentinel story details how the City of Knoxville is going to tap into it's reserve fund (surplus tax collections) for $3.8 million to cover summer expenses. All of this less than 30 days after former Mayor Bill Haslam left town to become Governor Bill Haslam. The article discusses how all the revenue sources have dried up. However, no mention of the red light camera revenue. The red light camera revenue probably kept the shortfall to $3.8 million instead of $7.16 million.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Phil Ballard Makes False Accusation Against Brian's Blog

In today's telephone interview with Phil Ballard, he made one accusation twice. He called me a front man for a negative campaign against him. I corrected Ballard on both occasions, attempting to keep him on track for the issue. When I would correct him and state that it was not true and attempt to track him back to the issue at hand. He would angrily point to other issues that out date his term as Property Assessor. It is a good thing that the interview was conducted on the phone, because with Ballard's tone and volume of his voice continuing to exceed that of a normal conversation, I question if he would be able to stay calm in person. I am still perplexed why his temper was getting out of control. Of course, I have been accosted before for taking a stand for what is right as reported by the News Sentinel here. Ballard accused this blog of spreading negative stories to benefit his "future" opponent. When I pointed out to Ballard that this blog began in 2004, 2 years prior to his decision to run for County Commission, 4 years prior to his decision to seek the position of Property Assessor and now nearly 7 years before his re-election in 2012. He had no response.

When I pointed out that just a few weeks ago when he wanted me to report about the former employees of his department that were spreading unflattering information about him and I did so because it was the right thing to do. But, now he wants to point to me as a negative attacker? If that is true, was it true when Ballard wanted a story? That dog don't hunt.

The best result of this blog is that Ballard has admitted that the appraisal of his Chief Deputies personal property is under value. That it is a correctable error and that his office will correct it. For Brian's Blog which was birthed in August 2004 to ensure that the Knox County taxpayers receive the right share of tax money is another accomplishment toward our greater mission.

So, if Ballard, as an elected official wants to defame and slander me or my blog, there is not a lot that I can do about that. I just have to consider the source and understand that my exposing of his shortcomings as an office holder reflects on his ability or lack therof. For full disclosure, Ballard is married to my fifth cousin. It is difficult sometimes to point out family members that are in the public light with the public trust, but at times, it is neccesary.

Phil Ballard Says He Will Correct the Under Valued Property of the Chief Deputy

Last Thursday I posted this concerning the personal property of the Chief Deputy of the Knox County Property Assessor. On Friday, I received a call from the Chief Deputy, Jim Weaver requesting a correction. I requested that he submit the information that he feels needs correction. He did that on Friday. Over the weekend, I continued researching the issue. On Monday, I talked with Weaver and informed him of the additional information that I had discovered. During that interview, Weaver indicated that there is a finished room in the unfinished basement. I asked Weaver if there would be a correction on this value. He said that this is a "judgement decision" and not correctable. After additional research I have discovered that in fact this is a "correctable" error.

So, I contacted Knox County Property Assessor Phil Ballard this morning. The conversation produced material that will be used over many blog posts. His first defense was to make a false accusation about this blog and it's author intent. That will be discussed later.

Ballard first said he would like to know why the First TN Bank Building was appraised years ago for $38 million but sold for $64 million. I asked when that occurred, he said under his predecessors. When he states predecessors he is referring to John Whitehead and Parkey Strader. Why he would attack Parkey Strader who passed away several years ago and was a supporter of Ballard's in beyond me. Ballard then informed me that they have identified over 300 errors from the last appraisal. When asked if he wasn't the Property Assessor during the last appraisal, he said John Whitehead was the Director of reappraisal. I asked when Phil Ballard became Property Assessor? He said when I took the oath of office. Which was September 1, 2008. The reappraisal was from April 2008 until April 2009. Whitehead was Assessor from April 2008 until August 31, 2008. While Whitehead was kept on staff by Ballard until the first week of January 2009, it was Ballard that was the elected Property Assessor that performed the reappraisal. Ballard stated on this particular property of his Chief Deputy that it has not had a "human touch" since 2001. When asked about why some properties were not reappraised during the countywide reappraisal? Ballard said it was "Johnny's fault".

At the end of our interview I asked Ballard if the under valued property of his Chief Deputy would be corrected. He said "yes, it will." I asked what the timeline for the correction would be 2 weeks, 2 moths or 2 years? Ballard said soon. The Property Assessor by law is permitted to go back to when the property was improved. Ballard stated the finished room was completed prior to 2001. Will the Assessor go back? As the conversation ended I informed Ballard that he may want to walk around back, because the neighbors have informed Brian's Blog that there is a screened in back porch that is not on the property card either.