Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Victoria DeFreese Uses New Medium to Reach The Voters

State Senate Candidate Victoria DeFreese is utilizing new media mediums to reach out to the voters of State Senate District 6. She has a website, here. On her website, she is posting homemade videos, uploaded to youtube. Below, is the first one.

If you would like to hear from Victoria and her two opponents. There will be a debate tomorrow night at the Expo Center (corner of Merchants Rd and Clinton Highway. The State Senate candidates will debate from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Hultquist Launches Website to Support His Mayoral Bid

Former City Council Member Joe Hultquist was a guest this morning on the Ed and Bob Show on WNOX FM 100.3. During the one hour spot, Hultquist announced his web domain, the site is in the works. Be sure and follow his Mayoral bid here in the coming days and weeks.

Bean Expelled Gaseous Rhetoric

E.W. Scripps writer Betty Bean used her column this week to expel a bunch of gaseous rhetoric. Anyone that has read her columns, knows of her far left liberal leaning. Well, this week she focuses on Knox County Republican Party Chairman Ray Jenkins. (let the record to reflect that I have been critical of Jenkins ineffectiveness as Chair, but on this one Jenkins is doing his job)

Jenkins sent an email to the Republican faithful about last Saturday's breakfast at Wright's Cafeteria for Mayoral candidate Ivan Harmon. So, the gaseous one writes that the GOP are meddling in the non partisan Mayor's race. First, Ivan Harmon is a REPUBLICAN. He served on Knoxville City School Board, Knoxville City Council, the TN REPUBLICAN State Executive Committee District 7 (while he was a City Councilman) and then he served as a REPUBLICAN as a Knox County Commissioner. So, obviously he is a REPUBLICAN.

Now, the other candidates. Madeline Rogero (the favorite of the gaseous rhetoric Scripps writer) served as a democrat Knox County Commissioner from 1990-1998. Mark Padgett, is the son and grandson of former Democrat elected officials. Padgett has served as a Campaign Manager for former Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen and worked for the Governor's administration before beginning his own company. Joe Hultquist, is a former City Council Member, that has enjoyed Democrat and Republican support. He really can't be put in a Democrat or Republican box. As far as other Mayoral candidate Bo Bennett, I do not know of any partisan activity that he has been involved in.

Now, while the weekly Scripps publication has all this gaseous rhetoric against a simple email asking folks to come to Wright's Cafeteria and enjoy a sausage biscuit, ham biscuit or just a biscuit, compliments of businessman David Wright and Bobby Waggoner in support of Ivan Harmon. How different is that from
this email by the democrat Chair that was posted on the local left leaning liberal blog. The major difference I see is that at the Truman Day Dinner in August, the email states "but we do know that you will get a chance to hear from our State Party Chairman, Chip Forrester, 2 great Mayoral candidates, and some excellent live music."  Who are the 2 great Mayoral candidates?  Ivan Harmon and Joe Hultquist?  Ivan Harmon and Bo Bennett? Ivan Harmon and Madeline Rogero ? Ivan Harmon and Mark Padgett ?  Which other candidate will be joining Ivan at the Truman Day Dinner? I guess we all have to buy a ticket and go see.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hubert Smith asks Some Questions Concerning Haslam's Investment in Development that Required Council Action.

Hubert Smith of the Hubert Smith Radio Show and One on One with Hubert Smith asked some questions and posted his initial thoughts on the news story of Governor Haslam's investment in a private development that required Council action. Read Hubert's note, here. Haslam did not reveal his involvement at the time and for some reason "failed to timely report". What are your thoughts?  

Walt Wojnar asked So, What Haappens To The County Golf Parks?

This morning, Community Activist Walt Wojnar asked me a question that stumped me. So, Knox County sells Three Ridges Golf Course, Concord Park Par 3 and Beverly Park Par 3 to pay for a NEW Carter Elementary. Is it a requirement that the new owners operate golf course. His thinking is the the amenities that would be offered to a residential development at the Concord Park Par 3.

I talked with a couple of sources from County Commission and the initial talk is that there would be deed restriction on a sale of Three Ridges Golf Course would require that it remain a golf course. Simply because the terrain would be difficult for housing and supposedly one of the reasons Three Ridges was built was to provide a buffer between the residences and the Knox County Detention Facility. According to Commission sources, there isn't enough room to build house on the golf course property. However, it appears that a development company could (at this point in time) purchase the Par 3's and potentially build residential properties,

Monday, June 27, 2011

NRR and Their PR Guy

NRR (Natural Resource Recovery) the entity that has tarnished the previous Knox County Mayoral administration. The entity that has Brad Mayes on a mission. The entity that is on it's way out of Knox County, so far out of Knox County that Mayor Burchett is selling the property they reside on.

But the talk in the back of the Main Assembly Room today was about their PR guy. Mike Cohen, he's the former Press guy to the previous Knox County Mayoral Administration. So, what did he know about that contract and why did NRR secure his services? Could it be because of what he knew?

Carter School Funding! We Don't Need Devon Group

I totally support Mayor Burchett's proposal that pays for a new Carter Elementary School with cash. You see the Mayor proposes selling the Solway property of NRR, selling Three Ridges Golf Course, selling the two Par 3 golf courses (one at Concord Park and one at New Beverly) With all of these sales, Knox County has the cash to build Carter Elementary.

So, there is no reason to contract with Knox County's IDB (Industrial Development Board) or the Devon Group. If the county is going to pay with cash. Then select a CM (Construction Manager)and go build it. Select a CM that guarantees to build the school for the stated price, not one dollar more. If the Mayor needs a recommendation of such a CM, I know one.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Is The Priority? Revenue?

On Friday, while most of North Knoxville was hoping their power would get restored by KUB. It seems that KPD was running radar and not just running radar. They were actually issuing tickets to individuals driving 5 miles over the speed limit. These people who have been without power for multiple days, these people who are having to run the fallen trees that they had cut up to a recycling facility.

In addition, some political candidates had volunteers out canvassing in North Knoxville as well. Instead of canvassing for votes. These volunteers would have gotten their candidate more votes had they been cutting up trees and assisting in the clean up. Come on political people, you obviously need to replace your current advisers and consultants for someone that understands a real opportunity.

$221,000 plus for a 1/2 acre of land & benefits a private business.

This story on today's News Sentinel website. So, it's $221,000 plus dollars supposedly to assist the South Knox Waterfront project. But the money will improve the Knoxville & Holston River Railroad and the improvements will benefit PSC Metals. The owner of Knoxville & Holston River Railroad serves as 1 of 3 members of the Knox Railroad Authority. You think he will vote NO?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Marshall Stair - Where have you been?

Marshall Stair, candidate for City Council At-Large Seat B is an interesting candidate. He is young (32 years old), he is the son of Caesar Stair, a prominent Knoxville Attorney. The Metro Pulse (the weekly liberal left leaning rag owned by E.W. Scripps) published recently that he was reportedly recruited to run by Tom McAdams, a local Attorney and close confident of former Mayor Victor Ashe.

What McAdams and others obviously didn't look into is the fact that (according to my sources) he has NEVER voted in a Mayor's election; NEVER voted in a City Council At-Large election; NEVER voted in a City Council Primary. Which means at age 32 he has NEVER voted in an election for the seat that he is asking city voters to elect him to.

Now, let's look at the other candidates for City Council At-Large Seat B. Buck Cochran and Tierney Bates have both been candidates for City Council in the past. Bill Owen has previously served as State Senator. So, all three of them have  at least the experience as a person that has cast a ballot for City elections in the past.

Armstrong for Law Director

The News Sentinel reports here yesterday's official announcement that former East Knox County Commissioner Richard Armstrong will seek the Knox County Law Director's position next year. Brian's Blog was the first (back on May 31, 2011) to report this rumor, here.  Mike Donila over at Screams from the Porch actually followed up on our rumor and reported (on June 2, 2011) here that Armstrong was "coy" about it. Then on June 3, 2011 I posted (here) how Armstrong attended the bi weekly "Pinkston Breakfast".

So, when I got the invite last week for a Richard Armstrong announcement on the Court House steps. I wasn't shocked. I was unable to attend, you see making a living is much more important to me than hearing officially what I reported on May 31.

Kudos to the News Sentinel for fleshing out that Armstrong has ONLY been licensed to practice law for 3 years. Is that what Knox County wants? I mean Bill Lockett was licensed to practice longer than that when he was elected. I like Armstrong as a person, but as Knox County's Law Director? I am not convinced. Do we really want to turn the law department over to a guy just cause "he's from around here"?

Also, next year East Knox County resident Phil Ballard is being challenged for re-election by a Certified Appraiser in John Whitehead. Is putting Armstrong and Ballard on the countywide ballot at the same time a wish and a prayer that all East Knox County will vote for them and over ride the West Knox County vote? If it is, I would say, this is another failed corryton hatchet job that won't work.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Commissioner Broyles Is Concerned Over Emails, What If As A Private Citizen You Ask Questions And Get Accosted?

Commissioner Broyles is concerned about two anonymous emails received in June and one received in October 2010. I have served as an elected official, Between 2000-2004, I have received emails, letters, phone calls, had several angry citizens in my face. On election day in 2004, I had a male citizen get very irate when I professed (at his question) to be a Bible believing Christian.

As Republican Party Chairman from 2005-2007, I encountered people that were unhappy on a regular basis. The most grievous action was just last year, when I was accosted for simply asking questions of the Knox County Election Commission. Don't just take my word for it, read the eyewitness account from a News Sentinel reporter, here.

While it is uncomfortable when citizens disagree, Commissioner Broyles is receiving $37,704.86 in compensation from the taxpayers. Read the compensation story,

Chairman Hammond Admits To Deliberating Outside the Sunshine

In this story posted on Knoxnews today. It details that a Knox County employee is on administrative leave pending a possible threatening email to County Commissioner Amy Broyles. Certainly it doesn't appear that anything that has occurred except his being placed on leave. That makes sense to place him on leave pending a fact finding, due process of the employee's right to free speech -vs- threats. It is revealed in the article that a committee of three will determine the employees status reportedly after an investigation. That committee is made up of Commission Chairman Hammond, HR Supervisor Frances Fogerson and Sheriff's Department Merit Board Chair Tom Pierce.

Evidently, they have already made a determination in the employees status, Hammond is quoted in the article as saying  “We have begun the termination process,” Hammond said. “We need to take a look at what action we can take. I believe we need to take further action. I’m consulting with the law director.” When did Hammond, Fogerson and Pierce meet ,  deliberate and determine to begin the termination process?

Hubert Smith Focuses On Talk Shows

This morning, Hubert Smith withdrew from the Knoxville City Council At Large Seat A race. He will continue his Friday night Community Television show, One on One with Hubert Smith and his Sunday call in radio talk show The Hubert Smith Show

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tomorrow is Moving Day!

If you are a member of the United Methodist Church then tomorrow is moving day. The church typically moves Pastor's every five or so years. Tomorrow is the annual moving day. My buddy David Green after six years as the Pastor at Norwood Methodist Church is moving out into the hills of East Knox County. He will be the Pastor of Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church.

My former Boy Scout leader, Tom Ballard is moving back to Big Orange Country. He has served the community of Wytheville, VA and is becoming the District Superintendent of the Morristown District. Welcome home, Tom.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day 2011!

I am a Blessed Father of 3 amazing kids (20, 16 and 15) and 1 Beautiful, Wonderful Wife.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Taria Long - Country Music's Up and Comer

Taria is here on the web. Taria is on twitter, here

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Commissioner Ownby Walks The Talk

I talked with Fourth District County Commissioner Jeff Ownby tonight. He contacted the Knox County Finance Department earlier today (before this blog post) and instructed the Finance Department to take the $3,900 that is his travel bonus and put it in Knox County General Fund. Ownby believes that if the Knox County employees couldn't get a raise then he is not going to take or receive a raise. Ownby in his first year as a County Commissioner proves with this action that he walks his talk. Ownby represents the area from Sequoyah Hills through West Hills, Rocky Hill and Bluegrass.

WBIR - Thank You for the Preview!

Between Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy this evening, WBIR cut in on the live taping of Inside TN. The guest is Mayoral Candidate Madeline Rogero. The Moderator is John Becker, WBIR Anchor. The panel is made up of Criminal Defense Attorney Don Bosch on the far left, Susan Williams in the middle and Jack McElroy sitting next to Becker.

Rogero was talking about being a Democrat and how although she was a Democrat when she served on County Commission the votes were never Democrat or Republican. The question was asked by Bosch if she could win 50% plus 1 in the primary thus avoiding a run-off. She said they would have to wait and see.

I called WBIR and asked if they knew it. They said they did and was working on it. I thanked them for the preview and said I may have to blog, she said Thaaaanks!

It's all good.

Knox County Commissioners Total Compensation

In response to a question asked of me on my Facebook page, I requested of Knox County Finance Department the detailed Salary information for each of the 11 members of the Knox County Commission.

Bradley R. (Brad) Anders $23,735.14 ( $19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,791.14 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02 in Retirement. Total Compensation $26,754.70

Richard M. Briggs $23,735.14 (19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $,1815.84 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02 in Retirement. Total Compensation $26,779.40

John M. (Mike) Brown $23, 735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,798.42 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190. 02 in Retirement. Total Compensation $26,761.98

Amy M. Broyles $23,735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,366.30 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02 in Retirement plus $11,375.00 in Insurance (Consumer) Total Compensation $37,704.86

Michael (Mike) Hammond $23,735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,460.94 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02 in Retirement plus $396.46 in 457 Match plus $9,945.00 in Insurance (Silver) Total Compensation $36,765.96

Samuel P (Sam) McKenzie $23,735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,815.84 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02 in Retirement Total Compensation $26,779.40

Rex (Tony) Norman $23,735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,815.84 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02 in Retirement. Total Compensation is $26,779.40

Jeffrey C. (Jeff) Ownby $23,735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,763.06 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02  Total Compensation is $26,726.62 After this posting, I talked with Commissioner Ownby he had already instructed the Finance Department to return his travel bonus to the general fund. (check this post) His Revised Total Compensation is $22,826.62

Edward D. (Ed) Shouse $23,735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,417.26 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $2,134.34 in Retirement plus $11,375.00 in Insurance (Silver) Total Compensation is $38,700.14 * Shouse is in TCRS Retirement and the employer rate is 10.76%

Larry Smith $23,735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,551.68 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02 in Retirement plus $11,375.00 in Insurance (Silver) Total Compensation $37,890.24

Dave C. Wright $23,735.14 ($19,835.14 in Salary plus $3,900 in travel bonus) plus $1,798.24 in Social Security plus $38.40 in Life Insurance plus $1,190.02 in Retirement. Total Compensation is $26,761.98

It Is Not Just Commission That Got $300 More Per Month

When Mayor Burchett proposed cutting the travel bonus of County Commission. It was not just for the 11 Commissioners. It would have included the 9 School Board Member. You see, the Charter of Knox County states that School Board will be paid the same as County Commissioners. So, when they vote to reinstate a $300 a month travel bonus. They are also taking $32,400 out of the Knox Co Schools budget. That is the cost of an employee. You see $300 a month times 12 months is $3,600 times 9 School Board Members is $32,400. So the annual cost for the 11 Commissioners travel money is $39,600 plus the School Board Members $32,400 equals $72,000. Wake up, Knox County these people are spending real money, OUR MONEY!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Broyles Says You Don't Matter

This News Sentinel report details the budget process yesterday at Commission. Chairman Mike Hammond in an interview on FM 98.7 yesterday morning in talking about Commissioner Broyles says "she does her homework" then in the News Sentinel article she says that "she worked her butt off". Evidently, she didn't do enough, she wanted to spend $2.7 million dollars with only $670,000 savings. But her additional quote in the Sentinel says the people that matter appreciate it. So, the 85% of Knox County citizens that elected Mayor Burchett don't matter. Interesting just call her the 15% Commissioner. But as for her amendments yesterday, she got ZERO wins.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do County Commissioners Represent Tax Payers or County Employees?

Commissioner Amy Broyles says that her position as a County Commissioner is to support and defend County employees. Who is supposed to represent the hard working taxpayers? Obviously in her world, it is not her.

Amy Broyles Has A Personal Agenda Against Mayor Burchett

Tonight's Commission meeting revealed the nasty side of personal angst. Commissioner Broyles was so obviously angered by Mayor Burchett. The slow burn bomb began igniting tonight. Brian's Blog has continually pointed out that she was absent from the Mayor's budget presentation, did not attend any public input sessions on the budget that the Mayor hosted. She refused to return phone calls of the Mayor to discuss the budget. In turn, she creates her own budget, meets with the News Sentinel Editorial Board and then did not call to meet with the Mayor until 4 p.m. this past Friday.

Every amendment that she presented tonight was voted down. Her personal disdain for the Mayor was evident when she asked him who the bonding agency was and asked when he met with them. He turned to his Finance Director and she abruptly said "YOU, WHEN DID YOU MEET WITH THEM?"

Here is a photograph of her during a break in the meeting. She is obviously frustrated by her own ineffectiveness.

Commissioner Sam McKenzie! Get In The Real World!

During Commission meeting today Sam McKenzie says that gas is down to $3.79 a gallon. Get in the real world and drive around Knox County Commissioner, it is currently $3.49.

Monday, June 13, 2011

What Is The Motive?

Tomorrow at 3 pm, the Knox County Commission will meet to consider Mayor Burchett's 2011/2012 proposed budget. One Knox County Commissioner has gone the budget process alone. That Commissioner is Amy Broyles. She did not attend the Mayor's budget presentation, she did not attend any of the Mayor's public input sessions. She would not return phone calls of the Mayor's office to meet with them. Here is what she did, she crafted her own proposals, refused to share them with the Mayor or Commissioners. She met first with the News Sentinel Editorial Board to present her plan. She then and only then scheduled a meeting with the Mayor to present her plan.

What is her motive in operating in a silo (alone)? Could it be that she is setting herself out in the public and with media as a "quasi leader" to help advance herself for a countywide position or possibly as a leader of the Commission when they reorganize the Commission leadership in September?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bo Cross Story in News Sentinel - Great Read!

I have been waiting for this story for two Sunday's, it finally got published. Great story on Bo Cross.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Local Liberals Are As Smart As A NY Congressman Using Social Media

How funny to see this post over on the local liberal blog. While their comments on Rep. Weiner have remained zipped up unlike their NY Congressman pants. They brag about how Commissioner Amy Broyles wants to send more money on her pet projects and how she wants to pay for it by not paying our debt off. I wonder if Broyles and her husband get more money for diapers by not paying their debts monthly? Better yet, maybe Broyles thinks Knox County should just not pay any of it's debt.

Note to Construction Workers: Don't Use Gas Powered Equipment Indoors

Sweet! Check This Limo Out

Friday, June 10, 2011

Call to Action for ALL Pro-Lifers: Reject Commissioner Broyles Pro Baby Killing Amendment

Commissioner Amy Broyles obviously ticked off about Mayor Burchett's reasonable and responsible budget that contributes a quantitative amount of money to Beck Center and to the KAT Seniors Ride Free Program has decided to propose ELIMINATION of the Hope Resource Center. Never mind that Hope has an educational component that educates our communities pre-teens and teenagers to abstain from pre-marital sex. Never mind that Hope saves babies from being murdered by Abortion providers.

Evidently Broyles is an advocate of killing babies and teen sexual activity. Contact the Knox County Commissioners and demand that they NOT eliminate the Hope Resource Center from our tax contributions. The next generation (the unborn) need you to stand up NOW.

Sam McKenzie 865-524-1458; Amy Broyles 865-224-6269 or 865-237-6538; Tony Norman 865-524-4301; Jeff Ownby 865-441-6162; Richard Briggs 865-966-5125 or 865-632-5900; Vice Chairman Brad Anders 865-539-5348; Richard Larry Smith 865-679-4106; Dave Wright 865-687-6677; Mike Brown 865-577-3481 or 865-577-4715; Chairman Michael Hammond 865-470-8599 or 865-212-4516 and Ed Shouse 865-584-7858

Broyles Is Holed UP at the Big Metal Shed

Sources visiting the "BIG metal shed on the hill" report that this morning Commissioner Amy Broyles was holed up in a room with members of the Editorial staff outlining her budget plan. Interesting that Broyles did NOT attend Mayor Burchett's budget presentation, did NOT attend any community budget input sessions (even one in her district) has not returned any phone calls from the Mayor's office attempting to schedule a meeting to discuss any concerns she may have.

Broyles has reportedly refused to submit any budget amendments prior to next weeks meeting because she can't trust anybody. Interesting that she can have meetings at the Time Warp Tea Room with any Commissioner that will show up over there.

What we can share is what she mentioned at the Commission June 8 workshop. 1) She wants to add a 3% pay raise for County employees 2) Increase Ijams budget 3) Revisit Legacy Parks budget 4) Revisit employee layoffs 5) Eliminate Hope Resource Center budget (I will blog more on this one later TODAY) 6) Reinstate $75,000 to KAT Seniors Ride Free Program. She did not indicate where she would get the money from for these increases.
Wonder what the Editor thinks about Broyles inside talk to him? Will it sell papers? Or just make him feel big, since he has advance notice?

Fifty Years Ago Today

On June 10, 1961 Jack Hornback and Wanda Blake were married in a ceremony at Caledonia Presbyterian Church in East Knox County. On October 7, 1962 their first son Jerry was born. On August 20, 1966 their second son Brian was born. I couldn't have asked for better parents on earth. Happy 50th Anniversary, Mom and Dad.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Ron Peabody Will Receive a Few Ruthie Friends but ALL her others

Any credibility that Ron Peabody might have had all ended when he appointed his Treasurers. He appointed Rick and Ruthie Kulhman. Rick Kulhman was rumored early on to be a candidate to challenge Finbarr Saunders. You remember Saunders beat Ruthie in 2008 for County Commission Fourth District. Evidently, Rick was going to redeem his wife's honor. However, he decided not to challenge Finbarr. But now it appears the anti-Finbarr regime will tie their hopes, dreams and wishes to Peabody. One thing Ruthie hasn't learned yet, while she may help with a few friends. Everyone that does not like the loud, abrasive tactics of Ruthie will not even consider Peabody. So, if I were a betting man (which I ain't)I would say that Finbarr will be alright. After all, he had a bunch white and blue stickers that say "Republicans for Finbarr" and in city elections politics ain't an issue.

Is Shouse Caving in to Foreign Interest?

Sources close to Commissioner Ed Shouse indict that the former Ambassador to Poland (a foreign interest) has been leaning on Shouse to support tax money for Beck. While that may play well in the city limits and with foreign interest. Is Shouse considering the county residents in Farragut, Karns, Powell, Halls, East Knox County and South Knox County? Wasting county funds on Beck would likely make Shouse a one term At Large Commissioner. Beware the carpet baggers!

Broyles Wants to Give Mayor Burchett More Money

Sources close to Commissioner Amy Broyles have informed Brian's Blog that Broyles is discussing delaying the vote on the county budget. Which means that Knox County would operate on a continuation budget. While the new proposed budget cuts the Mayor's own budget 20% a continuation budget will give the Mayor more money to spend. Hey, Mayor how about taking a blogger to lunch at Wright's with Broyles hair brained idea?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Where Is The Accountability on Covering The Joint Committee on Redistricting?

The Knox County Joint Commission and School Board Redistricting Committee met today. The members from the County Commission on the committee are Commissioners Sam McKenzie, Amy Broyles, Jeff Ownby and R. Larry Smith. The members from the School Board are Members Gloria Deathridge, Cindy Buttry, Lynne Fugate and Mike McMillan.

When the meeting began, it was a shock to see a non member of the committee calling the meeting to order. School Board Chair Indya Kincannon began the meeting, she immediately stated and placed into motion the names of Lynne Fugate and R. Larry Smith as Co-Chairs of the committee. She asked if there were other nominations, no one spoke up and then immediately R. Larry Smith who just so happened to sit beside Kincannon began the brief meeting.

Commission Chairman Mike Hammond was not in attendance in an obvious move to remain neutral and not attempting to influence the committee's work. Kincannon however NOT a member of the committee not only began the meeting as the Chair but violated Roberts Rules of Order in making a motion for the Co-Chairs as the Chair of the Committee.

Rebecca Ferrar of the News Sentinel, Erica Estep of WATE, a representative of WBIR was in attendance. However, not one of them noticed that a non member of the Joint Committee was not only participating but also making the motion and participating. Where is accountability?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Wow, the local liberals are silent

On the "wiener" incident. However, let it be Mark Foley or any other Republican or Conservative and the 8-12 liberal Knox would be posting their Views.

Victoria is In It To Win It

I found out today that Victoria DeFreese will be a candidate for State Senate District Six. She just completed a stint as a 6th grade teacher in Knox County Schools. She is married and they have four children. DeFreese has been active as a community organizer in the So. Doyle Homeowners Association. She served a stint on the Knox County Commission. She is joining two other female candidates for this seat. They are Marilyn Roddy and Becky Massey.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Not Because of Sandra...

When you read Sandra Clark's column tonight online or in tomorrow's Scripps owned Shopper News, you will see where she brags of three female candidates running for office. She credits Jamie Woodson for women deciding not to shy away from a tough challenge. While I don't disagree that Woodson is a trend setter. What is funny about Clark's position is that had Sandra had her way when Jamie Woodson ran for State Senate. The district would be represented by a RINO (Republican In Name Only, Personal Assistant to State Income Tax Proposing Don Sundquist) Billy Stokes. She authored many stories and supported Stokes. So, ole' Sandra is always there to try and get the credit. But this dog don't hunt.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Campaign Season is Active and Well

This morning was the bi weekly breakfast named the "Pinkston Breakfast". It is named for former 9th District County Commissioner Paul Pinkston. However, it is just some folks that get together. There are Republicans, Democrats and some that really don't care that attend. One of the first stops that Senator Fred Thompson made when running for U.S. Senate was to Pinkston Motors to visit then Commissioner Howard Pinkston and his brother Paul. It was at that meeting that it is said Thompson came up with the idea to use a red pick up truck as his campaign vehicle.

So, now as local candidates emerge it is imperative to get to the "Pinkston Breakfast". I have always enjoyed the crowd, great folk, great conversation. Commissioner Pinkston likes to call me "Hornbeck", because of a certain appointed person that mispronounced my name during a tv interview in 2000.

This morning, did not disappoint. Council Candidate John Stancil was there. He filled in as a master of ceremonies so to speak and asking for updates on various members of the group that have been ill. City of Knoxville Mayoral candidate Mark Padgett was present. State Senate District Six candidates Marilyn Roddy and Becky Massey were in attendance. Roddy visited with nearly everyone and was very comfortable with the group. Knox County Property Assessor candidate John Whitehead was there. Also, former County Commissioner Richard "Bud" Armstrong and rumored candidate for Knox County Law Director was present. Armstrong was low key.

A Day Late, $3,065,000 Gone

Sources close to Knox County taxes  -vs- Beck Center debate indicate that the "Beck Audit" reveals that during the time of Commission Chairman Mike Hammond's term the Beck Center has received in excess of $3.0 million dollars. Had Commissioner Hammond sought the financials of the Beck Center in 2004-2005, instead of simply rubber stamping county tax dollars over to Beck there would be enough money for Knox County employee raises.

It appears from this story in today's News Sentinel print edition (yesterday on knoxnews) that the City of Knoxville is now seeing that the time to apply the brakes to the tax gravy train. At least demonstrate what the ROI (Return On Investment) has been. Government needs to run our like a business, it seems that Mayor Burchett is doing what a majority of citizens have begged for, now let's get other elected officials on board with making rational business decisions with "our" money not simply reacting to emotion and "red meat" rhetoric.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Beck Center Obviously Doesn't Need any Government Dollars

The Beck Center has been complaining that the Community Grant money has been reduced in the County Mayor's budget. The advocates for the government handout for Beck contend that Beck can not survive without the County tax dollars. Evidently it isn't that bad, sources indicate that Beck has retained the services of Arnold Cohen. Sources indicate that Cohen is known as an expensive, liberal leaning lawyer.

Knoxville's Hampton Inn Downtown is FIRST

Downtown Knoxville’s Hampton Inn & Suites is the first hotel in the city to earn a “green” designation from the Tennessee Hospitality Association. Hotel General Manager Anita Lane announced the achievement this morning at a dedication that included City and County mayors Daniel Brown and Tim Burchett and featured hands-on recycling activities in lieu of a traditional ribbon-cutting. Knoxville Mayor Daniel Brown praised the hotel’s commitment to conservation. “Environmental asset number one for the Hampton Inn & Suites is their downtown Knoxville location,” he said, adding that the neighboring Knoxville Convention Center is the other city facility to have earned its Green Hospitality designation. “Now, they have leveraged that asset to become leaders in their industry.”

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said the Hampton Inn & Suites’ achievement will enrich how others view East Tennessee. “Sustainable travel is important to many businesses and families, and this is a great example of the private sector responding to those demands.When people visiting us see that this hotel has a green designation – see that our convention center has a green designation – they realize this community values what we have and wants to protect it.”

To qualify for its “Tennessee Green Lodging” certification, the Hampton Inn & Suites undertook an exhaustive environmental effort to save costs, conserve energy, reduce water consumption, protect air quality, reduce waste, and participate in environmentally preferred purchasing. “From the application phase through the on-site audit,” Lane said, “we had to find the best environmental approach to virtually everything. Every one of our employees was involved.”

The resulting initiatives and practices range from offering “green event” meeting packages with recyclable supplies and water in pitchers rather than bottles, to using a low-detergent “ozone” laundry system and working towards LEED accreditation for the entire Hampton Inn & Suites facility.

But natural resources are not all the hotel is conserving. “We began this program to draw more guests to the Hampton Inn & Suites,” said Lane. “Now our occupancy is trending up and we are thrilled to say it has also reduced our operating expenses.”

The green accreditation ties in directly with the core values of both the Hampton Inn and parent brand Hilton, including their mission statement: “To show the world we take care by preserving our environment and enhancing the health and well-being of one another, one caring moment at a time.”

Currently, thirty-one Tennessee hotels, motels, attractions and other hospitality facilities have been certified in the Tennessee Green Hospitality program.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Larry Danner - A Man That Makes A Difference

Today's News Sentinel has this story on Larry Danner, the band director at Farragut Middle School. In my time on the School Board, Mr. Danner always spoke passionately about students and the need for band. This was a time when the Superintendent discussed cutting band. Mr. Danner is a man that makes a difference for students.