After the airing of Inside TN this morning I have a couple of thoughts. The panel was moderated by John Becker, WBIR Co-Anchor. The panelist were Attorney Don Bosch and PR Guy Mike Cohen. The guests were Charter Review Committee Members Rene Hoyos, Property Assessor employee Craig Leuthold and Bill Stokes, former aide Income Tax Proposing Governor Don Sundquist.
First, the discussion about the Knox County Sheriff's Uniformed Officers Pension Plan. Cohen stated that the voters approved the pension plan with no financial impact to the taxpayers. Actually, the voter referendum stated that it was the equivalent to an .08 cent property tax increase. Mayor Ragsdale's administration decided not to increase the property tax in order to fund the plan.
There are 27 individuals that serve on the Charter Review Panel. Of the three members of Charter Review that were on the InsideTn panel. Leuthold desires that the Knox County Commission to address the pension and allow the County Commission to put it on the ballot for the voters. Stokes who is salivating at being able to get his hands on the Sheriff's pension and Hoyos agreed with him that she felt the Charter Review Panel should deal with the voter referendum question for the voters.
In an unrelated Charter Review question. Bosch asked Stokes (who also serves on the PBA Board) about the recent Hardin Valley / PBA Audit. Bosch defined the audit as clearing PBA. Stokes said the audit was brought on by "a disgruntled contractor" and "bloggers". I assume he was referring to Sandy Loy, a CCM (Certified Construction Manager) I do not believe that Mr. Loy can be identified as a disgruntled contractor. I do not believe that he has ever responded to a RFP to thee PBA and to my knowledge has never performed any work for PBA. *side note: if they did, they wouldn't have the problems they consistently have.
As for the "bloggers" that Stokes was referring to, I did not realize that the local throw away weekly newspaper Focus was considered a blog. In that paper for over 6 months they ran weekly articles about different aspects of the operations of the PBA. In addition, Reporter Mike Donila over at the Big Metal Shed on the Hill has a blog that is his own Screams From the Porch. Donila 'da career killer' has posted all the emails between Loy, Walls, one or two from me and Law Director Joe Jarret. He has posted it without much opinion. So, why Bill wants to pick a fight with the Focus and the Big Metal Shed on the Hill is perplexing. But then again, it probably goes back to his advice to Sundquist to propose a state income tax. It must just be ingrained in him.