Thursday, March 31, 2011

Knox Co School Superintendent Host Public Budget Forum

This evening, Dr. McIntyre hosted a Budget Forum for Stakeholders and Interested Community members. Slightly more than 60 individuals attended. WVLT Co-Anchor Lauren Davis attended, WBIR had a presence. School Board Chair Indya Kincannon and Board Members Gloria Deathridge, Lynn Fugate and Pam Trainor were present. County Commissioner Dave Wright was in attendance. If you follow my tweets you would have seen the tweets as they happened. You can find me on twitter here. Knox County Schools has a twitter here. Dr. McIntyre began tweeting today, here.

Dr. James McIntyre explains the budget that he presented to the School Board on Monday night to those in attendance at West High School this evening.

Another view of the individuals that attended tonight's Budget Forum.

Former Knox County School Board Member Steve Hunley (1996-2000) asked Dr. McIntyre to explain "step raises"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Giveaway Paper and Commissioner Broyles Team Up, Certainly an Odd Couple

Today the Fountain City Focus Publisher has clearly published an erronious report. The headline is shocking, Burchett Seeks $80,000 raise. Anyone that knows Tim Burchett knows that this is a wrong information. Afterall, if he were seeking to amass a fortune, he would not have sold the Mayor's Chevrolet Tahoe and instead drive his own personal late model Jeep.

Interesting that Commissioner Amy Broyles brought this issue up at Commisson today. Supposedly, in a fact finding search. Why is it so interesting that Broyles and the Focus would team up? Because the Focus was an ardent supporter of Broyles opponent in the last election. Broyles was opposed by a former Knox County Democrat Party Chairman who was running as an Independent. While at this time the Publisher of the Focus was a member of the Knox County Republican Executive Committee. So, for Broyles and the Publisher to be teaming together is an odd couple to say the least.

Burchett stated at the Commission meeting today that a giveaway paper got it wrong. He is not seeking a payraise. To refer to the Focus as a giveaway paper is a generous term. Sources tell me that most of the papers are thrown away from the free racks and very few people actually pick them up and take them. At least with the Shopper they throw it in your driveaway so that you have to throw it away.

Hammond Forgot Who Clark and Sullivan Are Owned By....

This morning Commission Chairman Mike Hammond stated that the News Sentinel endorsed the fee office proposal. That Joe Sullivan of Metro Pulse endorsed it as Sandra Clark of the Shopper endorsed it as well. While, I agree that it is a good move. Counting those three as three endorsements really should be counted as one endorsement. As Sullivan and Clark are owned by Scripps, the owner of the Sentinel. As they are wholly owned and expect a paycheck from the Big Metal Shed on the Hill. Sullivan and Clark are just doing what their bosses tell them to do.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shopper (Scripps Publication) Get's It Wrong Again

When you see tomorrow's Shopper News (online here) the front page story authored by Larry Van Guilder is WRONG. The article list Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist as opposed to the fee office proposal. Quist at NOON on Friday endorsed the proposal. Come on! What happened to newspapers yelling STOP THE PRESSES to get it right? Obviously not when Sandra Clark is the Editor.

Welcome Coach Cuonzo Martin as UT Mens Basketball Coach

Come On People...Nastiness Is Not Becoming of Professional People

I have talked with two of the eleven Knox County Commissioners and they have received phone calls that are nasty. Commissioner Richard Briggs received one such call. Actually, it was his wife that received the call. The Briggs felt that it was a fee office employee and that the conversation just got a little escalated and the Briggs are just kind of letting it go.

Commissioner Jeff Ownby and members of his family have received several of these type calls. Ownby talked with GOP Chairman Ray Jenkins before the Knox County Republican Party convention yesterday about the fact that this is a policy decision not a political decision. Jenkins agreed.

What is unfortunate is that Jenkins made his disagree without being disagreeable speech and that personal attacks are not acceptable. Then Jenkins introduces Sherry Witt with Sherry "Stand Up for Your Republican Officials" Witt. Wow, Jenkins why not just throw a gallon of gas on the fire.

I hope at least six of the eleven Commissioners put this issue to rest tomorrow.

Nepotism and Cronyism Abound Within Knox Co Republican Party Executive Committee

The Knox Co Republican Party elected Ray Jenkins as it's Chairman yesterday. The Second Assistant Secretary is Bylinda Jenkins, the wife of Ray Jenkins. Nepotism is alive and well within the Knox Co Republican Party Executive Committee. Phyllis Severance survived a challenge by Victoria DeFreese on a voice vote. The vote was very close and a roll call vote could have easily been called for. Severance survived two years ago by a close roll call vote by former Fourth District Commission Candidate Ruth Kulhman.

When the convention elected Secretaries. Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey was retained for Secretary. Former Eighth District School Board Member Steve Hunley was replaced by Knox Co Republican Party Office Manager Suzanne Dewar. Severance endorsed Dewar last year in a contested Republican primary for Republican State Executive Committeewoman District Six. Dewar was defeated by Tea Party Organizer Sally Absher. So, in addition to nepotism, cronyism is alive and well within the Knox Co Republican Party Executive Committee. Then Jenkins wife was elected Second Assistant Secretary.

When the convention elected Treasurers no change was made there. Nick McBride remains Treasurer. Broadus Hubbs is First Assistant Treasurer and School Board Member Cindy Buttry is Second Assistant Treasurer.

It would appear that nepotism and cronyism is when you do not like someone. I have only ONE set of standards, not two. If nepotism and cronyism is wrong then it wrong for all. Georgiana Vines has written an article in the News Sentinel today about the convention. It is interesting to note that she wrote about Jenkins wanting civility in the fee office proposal and how he singled out Sherry Witt with a heroic introduction, thus violating his own little civility speech. In fairness to Vines, she was probably unaware of the marriage of Ray and Bylinda Jenkins and was probably unaware of the relationship between Severance and Dewar. Read Vines article here.

The four members of the Republican State Executive Committee by their election round out the Knox County Republican Executive Committee. They are Sally Absher, Ted Hatfield, Karen Brown and Ken Gross. Sources standing around after the convention and most everyone had left overheard Severance announce they were having an Executive Committee meeting. At least 2 (maybe all 4) of the State Executive Committee members that were in attendance at the convention left and was not made aware of the Executive Committee meeting.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Political Leverage Exposes Museum For Displaying Child Porn

Read Political Leverage here. It seems that Political Leverage was killing some time and discovered "art" in the form of child nudity. Political Leverage immediately began sounding the alarm. The art is now locked behind closed doors. However, that is not enough. Whoever, is responsible for bringing the child porn here should be terminated. Any and all public funding of the museum should be pulled for a minimum of one year.

The Sparsely Attended Knox Co Republican Party Convention

Is MacKay Up To Sliming His New Boss?

This story from today's Sentinel reeks of Greg MacKay trying to slime Rob McNutt in order to keep his job as Election Administrator. McNutt states he gave his id to the election workers and they told him what voting booth to go to. So, it seems that Mackay had not properly trained the election workers how to determine the difference between an address on the drivers license being different from the voters registration.

While, on the subject of the Election Commission Administrator. A longtime Republican activist took the Oath of Allegiance and was waving it around the commons area of Central High School saying somebody make Chairman Jenkins sign one of these. He allowed Greg MacKay to be appointed Administrator. MacKay is a longtime activist Democrat, he ran as a Democrat in 1998 for County Commission Second District.

GOP Chair Jenkins Talks The Talk and Fails To Walk The Walk

This morning the Knox County Republican Party conducted their bi-annual Republican Organizational meeting. The first order of business was to require everyone to sign and have two witnesses to sign an Oath of Allegiance. The Oath of Allegiance I will blog about later and will post a copy of said Oath.

As soon as Ray Jenkins began he made a speech about how the Oath of Allegiance was important because Republicans are leaders. Leaders need to disagree without being disagreeable. He talked for about 3 minutes on Republican Unity. Then at the end of the meeting, as he was introducing the officeholders, he introduced them by title and name. Like Mayor Tim Burchett. He then introduced Sherry "taking a stand for Republican officeholders" Witt. 16 of the 200-250 delegates stood and cheered. So, how was this Republican unity? The Chairman siding with one Republican officeholder over another one in this weeks very divisive issue of the fee office proposal.

Sources indicate that some County Commissioners are receiving phone calls using profanity and calling them names that are opposed to the fee office proposal. Come on people, it is policy decision not a taking of your Constitutional liberties.

Come on Jenkins, if you are going to lead. Lead with your actions and your talk. As for today, your talk didn't match your walk 20 minutes later.


23 years ago today my wife married me. What an unbelievably blessed life I have had in 23 years and counting. With three kids, 20, 16 and 15 years old, it is just amazing that God has blessed me this way. It's all good.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Shenika Was Just Sneaking Money

Here from today's Commercial Appeal a bank teller named Shenika Taylor is accused of taking more than $30,000 from the bank where she was employed. It was not her salary that she was taking either. Which begs to question, was Shenika just sneaking money?

GOP Chair Jenkins to Challenge Fee Office Proposal

Sources from the City County Building have called with the recent news that Knox County Republican Party Chairman Ray Jenkins has offered his services. Jenkins reportedly has informed the opponents of the fee office proposal that he will defend them in a legal challenge should Knox County Commission approve the fee office proposal. This issue has tied up the time of bloggers and Mike Donila of the Sentinel all week. The vote of Knox County Commission is expected at the Commission meeting on Monday. As I began asking individuals about this rumor many persons simply laughed and said is that supposed to be a deterrent? I would assume this would be a divorce proceeding, determining who gets to keep the office, the belongings and when and how often custody of the employees will take place .

This proposal initiated by Commission Chairman Hammond, Commissioners Briggs and McKenzie is supported by fee officeholders Trustee John Duncan, Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist and County Clerk Cathy Quist. The fee officeholders opposed to the proposal are Register of Deeds Sherry Witt, Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey and Clerk and Master Howard Hogan.

Donila Is a Good One

Ok, so Mike Donila is blogging here the Cathy Quist switch. The greatest thing in this blog post is the first line, "as I sit in the metal shed on the top of the hill" A moniker that I began using years ago. I am so proud that the name is sticking. Donila, he is a good one. I hope Commission does something one way or the other on Monday so that Donila and I can do something fun instead of entertaining all the entities that have an interest in this one.

Cathy Quist Endorses Fee Office Proposal

At Noon today, Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist endorsed the fee office proposal of Commissioners Hammond, Briggs and McKenzie. The press release was posted on the local liberal blog, you can read the presser here. Quist now joins Trustee Duncan, Clerk Arnett in supporting this change.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where o Where Is Sandy Loy?

For 36 weeks The Focus has published a column authored by Certified Construction Manager (CCM) Sandy Loy. Last week, I noticed that Sandy's column was not in the Focus. I just assumed that he was taking a much needed break (vacation) with last week having been Spring Break. So, when I looked at the Focus online Monday, still no Sandy Loy column. So, it begs to question. Where o Where is Sandy Loy?

Sandy is the expert on the proper role and functioning of entities like the Public Building Authority. Actually, he has made the case for what is broken in the current structure of the Public Building Authority and not only has he made the case for the community at large through his numerous articles in the Focus. He has been the go to guy that Commissioners and other public officials look to for insight on the Public Building Authority and the role of Construction Management for public buildings.

Donila Is On The Job Like A Robocall

Lots of chatter and discussion about the fee office proposal. Yesterday lots of discussion about Steve Hunley, Secretary of the Knox County Republican Party and Publisher of the Fountain City Focus was planning to fund robocalls. Robocalls are the recorded messages that you receive during elections that ask you to vote for someone.

Mike Donila obviously got the same rumor that I was receiving yesterday. So, Donila began talking to the fee officeholders and confirmed that yes a meeting between Hunley and the fee officeholders happened at Litton's Fountain City. Apparently, Hunley can only drive across the street while he expects all the officeholders to drive from the City County Building to Fountain City. What arrogance Hunley must possess.

Here is the nugget of Donila's post that may prompt me to work on. A fee officeholder has promised Donila that Hunley is writing another editorial, like he did this week. Does Hunley really write those editorials and political analysis's or is there a ghost writer? Read Donila's post here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fee Office Fallout Continues....

I haven't had so many conversations on one issue in my life as I have had in the past two days concerning the fee office proposal that Commissioner Briggs and Hammond attempted to add to the agenda on Monday. The proposal moves the operational budgets of the fee office under the Mayor's budget.

According to those in favor of the proposal, it simply removes the old salary suit requirement of state law. The salary suit is where the elected fee officeholder files a lawsuit in Chancery Court stating the office will have certain positions and how much each will be compensated. The Mayor accepts the suit that is signed by the Chancellor. The compensation for these employees are not in the county budget. The employees salaries and office overhead are paid through the fees that are collected. So, for example when you have court cost a portion of those court costs you pay are then used for the salary and office expenses of the office. Any excess collected are then turned over to the county general fund. When the elections are held, these fee officeholders that have turned over money to the county general fund will cite their success in collecting the fee and helping to offset our tax dollars paying for essential services.

The opponents of this proposal view this as a "money and power grab" by the Mayor in order to ultimately manage and control the offices. Thus, essentially eliminating the need for an elected official to manage the operation of the fee office.

It does take someone with experience in real estate transactions to be the Register of Deed. It would certainly be helpful for a lawyer to manage the court clerk offices. Because someone that has intimate knowledge of the court system would understand the court clerk operations.

Now, a certain media person has pointed at a former fee office holder as a reason for needing this proposal. That former fee officeholder has not been in office for over four years. It has been rumored that one fee office's collection are very very low. If that is the reason to make this proposal. Then call that office out, to throw out all of them for one low performer is unfair to all the employees that have spent their entire lives in working for the citizens that utilize the services of these fee offices. Stay tuned, I have a feeling my phone will be ringing soon.

Knox Co Republican Party Chairman Set To Propose Resolution Condemning Burchett Fee Office Proposal

This Saturday at 10 a.m. at Central High School the Knox County Republican Party will conduct their bi-annual reorganization convention. Sources close to the fee office proposal indicate that Current Chairman Ray Jenkins has indicated that he will recognize and allow a Resolution to be brought to the floor asking the Knox County Republican Party to OPPOSE the Resolution concerning the fee office budgets being brought into the County Mayor's budget.

When you start taking positions agianst fellow Republicans, so much for Republican unity!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Knox County Fee Offices Under Attack

Yesterday, it seemed that Bruce Pearl was not the only person facing a Show Cause ruling that cost him the position that he has enjoyed for 5 or so years.

As the Knox County Commission sat down at their monthly work session, it seemed that Commissioner Richard Briggs reached in his back pocket and pulled out an agenda item that was quickly added to the agenda. It took a few minutes but all the affected fee officeholders (except Trustee Duncan, Clerk and Master Howard Hogan and Clerk Arnett) came to the commission meeting room to find out what allegation Briggs was making to effectively punish them with a Show Cause.

You see, Briggs and Commissioner Hammond have a resolution that will move the budgets of teh various feee offices under the Mayor's budget. This is not an old issue. The voters of Knox County voted on this issue in 2008 and the voters overwhelmingly said NO, leave the operation of the fee offices the way they are. Now, it seems that Law Director Joe Jarrett has opined that this is permissble.

There is so much more to this story. I will be blogging about it over the next day or two. As Knox County Commission intends to vote on Monday about the future of the fee officeholders ability to perform the job that we as taxpaying voters have elected them do.

Sources indicate that a certain Scripps employee (Sandra Clark) was overheard saying that she supports this intiative because of the way Mike Padgett ran the Clerk's office. Well, that is typical Sandra Clark. You see Mike Padgett hasn't been in office for over 4 years and she hasn't ever bothered to muster the courage to say anything like that to Mr. Padgett himself. She has always been very supportive of Mr. Padgett. But, let's remember Mr. Padgett's son is running for Knoxville Mayor and is running against an liberal extremist female. The type candidate that Sandra always supports. So, now you know the start of this latest turf war. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 21, 2011

We Have a Houston!

Today, UT named Houston Fancher as the Interim Mens Basketball Coach. He is one of us, he is a 1984 graduate of Cocke County High School. He graduated from MTSU in 1988. He has coaching experience at Appy State from 2000-2009. He is from the current basketball staff. Let's all welcome Coach Houston Fancher! It is time to move on. Go VOLS! Read the report from GoVolsExtra here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sally Absher - A Leader Among Establishment R.I.N.O's

Here on Red State, local Tea Party Organizer Sally Absher has been recognized for her leadership in helping Tea Party, Constitutional Conservatives understand how to become a delegate in the local Knox County Republican Party. Absher offered herself as a candidate last year as the State Republican Executive Committeewoman from State Senate District Six (Senator Woodson's District). Absher was up against establishment Republicans that spent a considerable amount money in trying to turn the position into the establishments hands. Absher was even faced with Phyllis Severance, the First Vice Chairwoman of the Knox County Republican Party endorsing her opponent. Yet, Absher's connection to the grassroots allowed her to defeat Severance and the establishment in winning the race. Absher has made herself available to the local Republican clubs, just last Thursday she was the featured Speaker at the South Knox Republican Club. So, while others attempt to keep the good ole boy/girl network in power with establishment R.I.N.O's (Republicans In Name Only) Absher is about the business of opening the door to like minded Conservatives. Here's to Sally!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Baumgartner's Replacement and Shake Up of the Knox County Republican Party

Georgiana Vines is able to nail down some of the likely candidates for Criminal Court Judge in replacing Richard Baumgartner here in today's News Sentinel. While I would support Assistant District Attorney General TaKisha Fitzgerald or General Session Judges Andy Jackson or Patricia Hall Long.

I find it really interesting that Knox County Republican Party Chairman would say to Vines "I wouldn't begin to speculate except (to say) I think the governor would look at sitting General Sessions judges," Jenkins said. We posted about Jenkins interest in the Criminal Court position here.

It appears that the committee selection of the 3 finalist have become a stumble block for Jenkins. So, he would support a General Sessions Judge being promoted to Criminal Court Judge. Because that opens a vacancy on General Sessions bench. The vacancy on the General Sessions bench is filed by Knox County Commission. A much easier appointment for Jenkins. When Jenkins becomes a Judge it would elevate First Vice Chair Phyllis Severance to Chairman. However, there was apparently a snafu over the First Vice Chair becoming Chair in Wilson County. It would serve them all well, to read the TN Republican Party bylaws before trying to promote Severance. You see the Knox County Republican Party does not have their own bylaws and MUST adhere to the TN Republican Party bylaws.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Art Williams - The Life Coach

Old South High Should Have Been Torn Down in 2002

This story in the News Sentinel is about 10 years late. When I was on the School Board (circa late 2001 early 2002) the issue of Old South High first came to our attention. That was before the County Commission took the issue and conducted a competitive bid. I said then that there was NO viable re-use option for Old South High, that it was a hindrance to the Sarah Simpson Educational and Training Center. I advocated then to tear it down. I made won friends and influenced Kim Trent and Knox Heritage with that position. But, as time has passed and the inevitable has become reality. I was right.

Blog Name Change - Web Address is the Same

Today, I changed the name of the blog from Brian's Blog to Shock And Awe Hornback I Am. The mission of the blog remains the same. Expose the truth behind the curtains of the agenda beating members of the media and political factions. To promote Constitutional Conservatives, Tea Party members and just all around movers and shakers of the political establishment. For over a year, I have used the #ShockAndAweHornbackIAm on my twitter account. As that name has become the trademark for me, it was logical to change the blog name.

Let's Not Be Like the Democrat's!

This article from today's News Sentinel details Senator Randy McNally's comments that the student protesters that were arrested earlier in the week should be kicked out of school at the University of Memphis. While I have great respect for Senator McNally, I have to disagree. A misdemeanor arrest for their protest is sufficient punishment in my opinion. There are enough Sargent at Arms and Troopers at the Capitol to handle protesters that exceed the limit of free speech protest. There is no reason to take away their college education and disband them as an organization. That would make Republicans like the liberal, democrat, socialist. Let's not do that.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Knox County Trustee is Into Phone Soliciting?

In a humorous line found in this blog post from Mike Donila's blog Screams From The Porch He refers to Chadwick B. Tindell as a phone solicitor. Should Knox County really be getting into the modern day solicitation of the world's oldest profession? And from a lawyer at that?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Knox County School Board Districts Must Be Approved By County Commission

At the next Knox County School Board workshop there will be a discussion about the upcoming redistricting of the School Board districts. This is the districts that determine who you vote and elect to the School Board. It is not the districts that determine what schools your children attend. A majority of the board believed that they could redistrict and that County Commission must approve it. There belief is based on the court approved settlement in the county commission/county school board lawsuit. It seems that Marty McCampbell, staff Attorney of the Knox County Law Department has researched the issue and has discovered similar ruling where in this incident State Law supersedes County Charter. So, the redistricting is ultimately decided by County Commission. The School Board can propose any redistricting plan they want to County Commission. County Commission can accept it or can modify it any way they want.

TN GOP Set To Probe Knox Co Republican Party By Laws Violation

As you read here at Brian's Blog on Thursday March 10, 2011 the Knox County Republican Party had failed to publish in the Knoxville News Sentinel an advertisement announcing the party's reorganization scheduled for Friday March 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.. The TN Republican Party bylaws state it must be published 10 days prior to the precinct meetings.

Today March 12, 2011 the Knoxville News Sentinel ran the following notice. "PUBLIC NOTICE Knox County Republican Party will be having their biannual reorganizational meetings. These meeting will at their polling precincts on March 18th, 2011 (unless otherwise scheduled by the precinct chairman.) If you would like to be a delegate be there by 7:00 p.m. We will also be holding our Knox County Republican Party Convention at Central High School on March 26th at 10:00 a.m."

It is clearly 3 days late of the TN Republican Party bylaws. State Chairman Chris Devaney has referred this item to the bylaws committee. It seems that the spin to Chairman Devaney is that the News Sentinel delayed publishing the notice.

Now, it is widely accepted that I am not a fan of the currently management of the News Sentinel. But I know a few things about the Sentinel, having been the Chairman of the Knox County Republican Party in purchasing an ad in 2007 and from having purchased ads in the Sentinel before for my business interests. They do not intentionally delay publishing ads that they receive payment for in the course of daily business. So, if there is an attempt to stop Chairman Devaney and the TN GOP bylaws committee from a complete review of this incompetence than it is because of personal self interest.

As for the meeting notice, how is someone that wants to get involved supposed to know that their precinct chair has otherwise scheduled a different location? If a Chairman knows that there is a move to replace them as Chair by a group of Constitutional Conservatives, they could arbitrarily schedule the meeting without informing the other folks where the meeting is to be held. The ole' bait and switch. Of course with the recent happenings where TEA Party members have taken over Roane, Cumberland and Wilson Counties. You can see why Jenkins and Severance are giving the Chairs the opportunity to schedule meetings elsewhere.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ray Jenkins - The Next Criminal Court Judge?

Sources from the City County Building have reported that Knox County Republican Party Chairman Ray H. Jenkins is telling individuals that he will be the next Criminal Court Judge to succeed Richard Baumgartner. He points to his coordination of the Republican wins in 2010 and delivering the large percentage of Knox County for Bill Haslam as Governor in August 2010. Governor Haslam will ultimately appoint Baumgartner's replacement after a judicial commitee narrows the applicants to 3 candidates for the Governor to choose. Apparently individuals in the courthouse over the last day or two are are now calling Jenkins, Judge. He is the son of the late Criminal Court Judge Ray Lee Jenkins.

Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma Coming to Knoxville

The Knox County Republican Party will have their annual Lincoln Day Dinner on April 8, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Knoxville. The Speaker will be Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. of Oklahoma. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and John Duncan III are the Chairmen of the dinner. The price is reportedly $25 per person.

As of this posting, I am not sure why the change of venue. The dinner has historically always been held at Rothchild's Catering and Conference Center. I also wonder of if there is any fear that with a speaker like Coburn that too many TEA party members may attend and mess up all the fun for the RINO's and moderate loyalists.

Senator Coburn's website is here.

Lt. Governor May Be On To Something

This report from today's Commercial Appeal inform us of Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey comments that the State of Tennessee should take over the Memphis City Schools before a merger with the Shelby County Schools. At first, I thought like the state has enough taxpayer money for that! NOT! But then I continued thinking about it and Ramsey may be on to something. The State of Tennessee takes over the Memphis City Schools and then takes the taxpayer dollars currently being spent and then outsource the Memphis City Schools to a private educational company.

Halls Has It!

Read about it here from today's News Sentinel

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Knox County Republican Party Trying to Keep "IT" In The Family

The Knox County Republican Party is set to reorganize this month. First, the precinct reorganization is set for Friday March 18 at 7 p.m. The problem with that is that this is the Friday of Knox County Schools Spring Break, Knox County Schools are closed. Some current precinct chairs are rightly meeting at their precincts outside at 7 p.m. to reorganize. Some precinct chairs like mine is informing people that we will be meeting at the home of the precinct secretary. When I asked about the legality of that, he conferred with Phyllis Severance the First Vice Chair of the Knox County Republican Party. She informed him that it is acceptable to meet in an alternative location because the location was not published in the meeting notice.

The Knox County Republican Party does not have their own bylaws so they must adhere to the bylaws of the TN GOP bylaws. So what does the TN bylaws state about the meeting notice requirement. It states in "Rule F, Part 1, Section 5: "At least 10 days before the Precinct Conventions...the County Chairman shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation of said county...a paid advertisement stating the date, time, and PLACE, and the purpose for holding the Precinct Delegated Conventions to reorganize the County Party...."" So, a meeting notice should have been placed in the News Sentinel by 3-8-2011. Reviews of recent News Sentinels have not produced the meeting notice.

A phone call was made to the News Sentinel with the legal/meeting notice department. They could not confirm that the notice has or has not been placed. A communication was sent to Chairman Ray Jenkins on Tuesday March 8, 2011 at 7:22 p.m. The communication stated Ray, when was the meeting notice published and when concerning the party re-organization? As of this posting no reply has been received.

As of this posting the calendar on the Knox County Republican Party website does not reflect precinct reorganization on March 18 or a Knox County Reorganization convention on March 26. The pic above is of the online calendar TODAY.

Severance has also stated to certain Knox County Republican Party officials that her precinct chairman has always met in their home. Severance also stated the precinct reorganization does not have to be done on the 18th, it can be done anytime between the 19th - 21st. As long as the information is turned into the knox gop office by the 21st.

So, why the secrecy? There are a couple schools of thought. A. Jenkins and Severance are running for re-election and are trying not to have competition. B. The TEA party takeover of Roane, Cumberland and Wilson County GOP's scare Jenkins and Severance so they are being secretive and moving the meetings around.

So, if you are a Constitutional Conservative, TEA Party or Campaign for Liberty member and want to get involved, you will have to work hard to break into the Knox County Republican Party. It may not be worth it. But then again that is what Jenkins and Severance wants. They talk about wanting to build the party with big tent thinking. But if you don't follow their lead. Your out. After all what should we expect from a former Assistant Commissioner under Governor Don Sundquist and then an Assistant to a county wide Democrat official. Just the good ole boy / girl network. Right here in Knox County in 2011. You thought the days of backroom secrecy was over, no the bodies just changed.

The Cost of the Hillside and Ridgetop Task Force Boondoggle

Yesterday on Josh Flory's News Sentinel blog he unveiled here the Hillside and Ridgetop Plan map that appears on the KGIS website.

Brian's Blog last week submitted an Open Records Request for all expenditures in the creation of this government boondoggle. In FY 2008/09 there were 3,188 hours spread between 15 MPC staff members that cost the taxpayers $147,259 In FY 2009/2010 there were 2,682 hours spread among 11 MPC staff members that cost the taxpayers $141,402 In FY 2010/2011 there have been 1,115 hours spread among 8 MPC staff members costing the taxpayers $40,218. For a grand total of 6,984 hours and $353,984 for the 2.5 years.

MPC employees Liz Albertson and Mike Carberry appear to have worked extensively on the plan. In three years, Albertson logged 3,471 hours and compensated $150,653. Carberry having logged 998 and compensated $89,370. *The value of the staff time equals salary plus benefits plus overhead.

In addition to the salary values,

7/11/2008 the initial task force workshop cost $2,448 Leadership Knoxville was paid $1,600 for facilitation, $660 for breakfast and lunch and $138 for supplies.
8/25/2008 Print cost for material $282.36
9/29/2008 Rental for a 12 passenger van for a day trip to Asheville, NC (several MPC staff and task force members attended. $145.43 (lunch was provided by the City of Asheville)
10/8/2008 Attendance at TN Farmland Legacy Conference in Burns, TN $541.74
10/16/2008 Food for a task force meeting $28.09
11/4 and 11/7/2008 Gas cost of $11.82
11/18/2009 Print 5 maps at $65 each equal $325.00
11/19/2009 Print 10 maps at $65, 1 at $260 and 1 at $146 equal $1,056
4/12/2010 Food Cost for meeting $22.51

So the total cost of the boondoggle is $358,844.95

There were some revenue reported TN Department of Agriculture/Forestry Division Grant reimbursement of $24,700 Also, Tony Norman and Joe Hultquist gave $1,200 each. The assumption is that this is from their Commission/City Council discretionary spending accounts.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Monday, March 07, 2011

What Hand Out Does E W Scripps Want From Mayor Burchett?

Sources around The Big Metal Shed on the Hill aka News Sentinel building have informed Brian's Blog that Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett was seen meeting with Patrick Birmingham, E W Scripps Publisher this morning. While no one knows what Birmingham was asking Burchett for, we can only assume it is another hand out, like the P.I.L.O.T (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) that Scripps received when they built the Big Metal Shed on the Hill.

Election Commissioner Position Available

Mike Donila of the News Sentinel reports on his blog Screams From The Porch that the Knox County Republican legislators are seeking letters of interest for the Republican Knox County Election Commissioner position once occupied by Paul Crilly. Donila has all the details, so read this post and you will know what to do.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Knox County Commissioners Seek to Increase Political Patronage Dollars

The 11 members of the Knox County Commission took up the issue of their discretionary money. Each Commissioner has $3,000 to distribute to whatever group they personally desire. At their Chairman's luncheon on Monday the discussion is to increase the the amount to $10,000 per Commissioner. While Commission Chairman Hammond says that this is the taxpayers money being given back to the taxpayers, is bull crap. It is political patronage money. The Commissioners give this money to groups and organizations that they need to court favor with. The then get their picture made given the political patronage money to give the appearance that they are doing a worthy good deed. When in fact over 4 years they are buying re-election favors. Here is the story from yesterday's News Sentinel.

Roane County GOP is NOW Roane County TEA GOP

Last night the Roane County GOP reorganized. It selected Flo Charles to repeat as Chair lady. However, all the other county leaders are TEA Party activists. Bradley Williams, the son of Chancellor Williams active in the TEA party is Vice Chairman. The Secretary is the Treasurer of the TEA party. The Treasurer is Brandt Williams, a staunch supporter and member of the TEA party. The Vice Treasurer is the Secretary of the TEA party.

The Roane County GOP reorganization normally attracts 30 - 40 Republican activists. With the influx of TEA party activists the number was more than doubled last night.