Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hurley Strikes Again

Julia Hurley, State Representative Candidate strikes again. You see on her twitter feed she pats herself on the back after doing a good deed.

Taking credit for a good deed is just wrong. Do it because it is/was the right thing to do. Don't do it to praise yourself for being a good person.

I do not see her tweets, but a Shock And Awe contributor informed me of it and I asked for a picture of the tweet.

So, readers of Shock And Awe here is your weekend edition of the Hurley Happenings.

A Week Off and Gathered Attention Statewide

This week I was in Nashville on business and just could not bring myself to blog, my apologies. All the Hurley posts last weekend got a lot of attention across the state and I appreciate it.

I will recap them so that you can review them and also to say Thanks to these well established purveyors of news you can use. First off Michael Silence of No Silence Here, really helped with this post last Friday. Then on Saturday, Knoxville News Sentinel Writer Bob Fowler with this story in the paper. Of course Hurley had to respond with an email to rehash her explanation, here is my post that included the full email by the Representative. Then on Monday, Steven Hale from the Nashville Scene wrote about and posted this He credited Shock And Awe. He wrote a little shock and awe in his story when he described Pepper as "butt ugly". Then Tom Humphrey the Sentinel's Nashville bureau Chief on Monday posted on his blog Humphrey on the Hill this about the Hurley missteps and credits me. A couple of days passed and then my hometown Metro Pulse writes in their Ear to the Ground this item and credits me.

To all the folks and organizations mentioned, I thank you and can not adequately express my gratitude for your mentioning me. It is an honor to serve in the trenches with you.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hurley Just Can't Stop With Dumb Missteps & Commissioner Randy Ellis Responds

Julia Hurley released a long email to her list explaining and rehashing her finer moments. Almost immediately her version of Pepper in the courthouse was disputed by County Commissioner Randy Ellis who was present at the incident with Hurley and Pepper. Remember, Hurley first alleged that Pepper was "her service dog".

Anyhoo, here is the email and below in case you haven't seen it and need to laugh out loud and below that is Commissioner Ellis response.

From: Julia C Hurley
Date: June 24, 2012 2:31:53 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Clarification (Please Read)

Friends, supports, and voters,

I have given writing this letter a lot of thought. I have debated in my mind even trying to explain or combat the attacks I have been receiving in any way. I feel it is necessary to set the record straight on several issues regarding the liberal news media and its' very wrong view of this campaign and the last two years of service we have all worked so hard to give for this district in Nashville.
Let me first begin by saying that this letter will be sent to all press. I am not in any way trying to say or accomplish anything without the public being aware of these statements. I have not and will not ever try to hide anything from the very people to I vowed to work for.

Issue 1. I am well aware that yelling at a police officer is incorrect. I also sent letters of apology to not only Trooper Brown herself, but to the Director of Safety with whom I have the utmost respect and work very well with and will continue to work with in Nashville. Did either one of those acts make it to the front page?
Has the liberal news or any challenger stopped to think yes Representative Hurley lost her cool, but Trooper Brown is the sister of Dennis Ferguson's campaign manager, and she just beat them. The officer's comment to the Representative upon approaching the vehicle stating, "I know who you are, Miss. Hurley" without the Representative saying anything at all about being an elected official? Have the liberal news given credit to the fact that Julia Hurley paid the ticket, apologized and went on to pass some of the top Transportation and Safety legislation in the 107th General Assembly?

Issue 2. Representative Hurley carved her initials in her desk in Nashville. Yes, she did. If you have ever visited Nashville or Washington D.C. you will see MANY names and initials carved into the tops, sides, legs and inside drawers of desks with over a hundred years of history. Not only did this make front page news, the liberal media decided to associate Representative Hurley as being a vandal, while two hundred years of history has shown this to be a traditional act in all aspects of Legislators services. On top of admitting that she did this, Representative Hurley paid to have the entire desk revamped. Something that no other legislator has ever been asked to do or been attacked in the media for doing.

Issue 3. Bringing a dog into the Roane County Courthouse. Yes, she did. Pepper Hurley, the dog in question, is a wonderful companion. Hairless, hypoallergenic, toothless and quiet. Upon entrance into the courthouse Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham had just left with her two dogs, leaving behind their dog beds and two mice were just brought in the the courthouse to feed the 4-H pet snake held on the third floor. On top of the lack of any sign that forbid any animals or dogs from the courthouse, Representative Hurley brought hers in. The accusations by Randy Ellis that this canine could cause allergies or bite someone quickly became front page news and prompted a response from the County Executive after a month of news stories that ,"maybe it was taken a little out of hand" in the Knoxville News Sentinel. Maybe? If this were such an issue, where were the front page stories on Ms. Kirkham or for that matter the attacks on the entire 4-H program for having animals of any kind? Did Representative Hurley apologize? Yes. Did your Representative make sure to say it would not happen again and try to move past this issue? Yes. Is the liberal news media and current opposition continuing to bring these issues up instead of debating and speaking on actual issues? Yes.

Issue 4. Having my dog held safely in two arms, air-swimming in a car. If you are a pet owner, you know this is ludicrous. I cannot even imagine what the people who accuse Representative Hurley of abusing her dog consider abuse. Are these the same people that leave their pet outside in hot or cold weather? Do they also clothe their dogs? Feed them gluten-free food? Bathe them daily after having to wear 100spf sunscreen from being in the sun? Let their canine sleep in their bed so they do not shiver at night? I feel it necessary to say these things, because I love my pet. I take care of things I care about... much like the 32nd District. I fight for the things I care for and I will always fight for the Conservative cause and for the people who put their trust in my ability to do this job.

This is an exceedingly long email and my apology for it,however; I feel unless some explanation is given that we as a district will continue to focus on these matters without looking at the future of the true conservative leadership and voting record of Representative Julia Hurley. I am 30 years of age. I have many years of leadership left to give and help build the Conservative future Tennessee needs to guard against over 150 years of liberal laws. Without current, young conservatives, the future of the Republican party will never make it. My voting record is solid. My bills are some of the best written and defended in this great state we live in. I am, and will always do what is best for our people and look forward to moving past these personal attacks and get down to brass tacks with better DUI legislation, more strict drug laws, and creating jobs by eliminating the stress on private businesses. Government is not the answer to any of our economic issues and I believe and will work toward lessening the size of this government and putting my faith back in the people of the great state of Tennessee. It is certainly an honor to serve you and I truly wish to continue to serve you. I thank you for your continued support.

If you or anyone you know would like to view legislation or have ideas, please visit my website

Please feel free to contact me at any time. My phone is always on and my door is always open.
State Representative Julia C. Hurley

And now Commissioner Ellis setting the Hurley record straight.

It seems Miss. Julia Hurley is mistaken in her "clarification" email She stated

The accusations by Randy Ellis that this canine could cause allergies or bite someone quickly became front page news and prompted a response from the County Executive after a month of news stories that ,"maybe it was taken a little out of hand" in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Here is my exact statement to the paper. Link...

“My son is allergic to cats, and he gets really asthmatic,” County Commissioner Randy Ellis said. “You could be standing in line beside somebody at the courthouse that has a real bad allergic reaction to a dog. We just don’t know the situation.”

I never made any "accusations" that would prompt a response from the County Executive. As you can read in the above referenced link. The County Executive seen Miss. Hurley and her dog in the Court House and instructed security to remove the dog.

Miss. Julia Hurley has completely misstated the actions of this incident. At no time did I ever state the dog could "bite someone"

There comes a time when we as adults and elected officials should accept responsibility for our mistakes and move on and not continuously blame others for our lapse in judgment.
Randy Ellis
Roane County Commissioner District 2

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Update on the KARM Story

An avid reader of Shock And Awe called Burt Rosen who heads up KARM (Knox Area Rescue Ministries) after seeing the post about the KARM event at the Grove Park Inn. It seems that it was not a staff or board retreat. Instead, it was "a fundraising event with people targeted who would likely attend and be supportive."

So, there you go the rest of the story!

Hurley and Reality, They Apparently Do Not Go Together

This article in today's News Sentinel is yet again an example of Rep. Julia Hurley's inability to understand consequences. Thanks to News Sentinel Reporter Bob Fowler for the reference to the find by this blog. However, it appears that it is neither a "website hijack" or a "political attack" as Hurley would like for the public to believe that it is. She failed to maintain the website registration.

In another find yesterday, it seems that the domain PepperHurley is a website that links to a news story about the Representative that recently appeared in the Nashville newspaper "Nashville Scene" that details nearly every one of the Representative's bone headed acts. PepperHurley is the name of her pet, the website is here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Where Do Contributions for KARM Go?

There has been a lot of attention to the issue of homeless in Knoxville. The failed experiment of the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homeless. One of my Shock And Awe sources sent me this link that reveals that KARM (Knox Area Rescue Ministries) took a Presidents meeting to the luxurious Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC in April 2011 (about 14 months ago)

The blog post says "The next morning I went to The Grove Park Inn for the President’s Gathering for the Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries (KARM)." and then a description of KARM's ministry, "KARM is a ministry that seeks to treat the whole person regardless of need. They meet the folks where they are and help them find the healing and restoration that is so badly needed. Whether it is a place to stay, a meal, marketable skill, counselling – KARM seeks to be the hands and feet of Jesus."

I would like to hear from many of you (the readers) of Shock And Awe if you believe that this is where you believe that dollars donated for the homeless should be spent on a retreat meeting to the Grove Park Inn.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What is Going ON?

State Representative Julia Hurley has begun putting up yard signs. Yard signs that tell people to go to When you go here you find her opponent Kent Calfee's website. It seems that Pepper has taken over.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chris Ahler, candidate for Harriman City Council

Chris Ahler, is a candidate for Harriman City Council on August 2. Check out here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fred Luter Elected SBC President

Black Pastor Fred Luter was elected without opposition to lead the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) today. If you do not know who Fred Luter is or if you haven't heard him bring the word. Here is a sample. To God Be The Glory!

Roane County Canines Take A Position

With all the attention on Pepper. Roane County Canines are taking sides. Jack pictured on top of the house and Roxie pictured in the house asked their owner Sarah to get a sign and to start the campaign to protect canines that are not big enough to defend themselves.

THP! APB, BOLO Tomorrow!

To my friends at the TN Highway Patrol,

It is necessary to issue a APB (All Points Bulletin) and a BOLO (Be On Look Out) tomorrow between Nashville and Roane County. It seems a certain defenseless animal could be in danger.

A source has provided me with this tweet that a certain elected official tweeted about 9 p.m. EST tonight.

A footnote, a source had to provide this to me because after my earlier post, the "certain elected individual" has blocked both my twitter account and my Facebook. If you can't defend your actions, either personal or in your "official" capacity then get out of the way and let someone else do it.

Is This Worth The Time Of The Wheels of Justice?

Remove the emotion if you are an Auburn or Alabama fan. Is this really worth the time to spend on bringing the wheels of justice to a stop? It is a tree! I mean if the guy is found guilty "of charges that include criminal mischief and desecrating a venerable object." Are they expecting him to get jail time? Will he get sentenced to die? What if Mother Nature had taken out these two trees with a tornado, would they charge or sue Mother Nature?

Can Hurley Quit Making Dumb Missteps?

This morning, the Knox News Sentinel had this story about Roane County Legislator Julia Hurley and a youtube video of a companion of Ms. Hurley's holding a dog out of the window of her car as she video tapes the dog while she drives. It was Michael Jacksonesque (remember when he held one of his children over a balcony) With the difference being that had Hurleys campaign lost grip on the dog it would have been a severe accident, based on the speed of the vehicle.

Hurley was not available for comment, at the publishing of this mornings story. However, later today. Rep. Hurley defended her and her companions action, here

In addition to the lack of care for the animal, how about the distracted driving of operating a cell phone video camera while driving a car? How about the lack of proper animal restraint, which sources indicate that Hurley voted for in the last legislative session.

Hurley will immediateely say this is a personal matter, not a matter of her legislative experience. However, many of her constituents point out this is an indication of Hurley's lack of character which also reflects on her ability to be a legislator.

Here is the latest antic, 

Corker Campaign Consultant Selected at a Restaurant

A source of Shock And Awe informed us that a staffer of Senator Bob Corker was observed and overheard to be employing a Knox County Campaign Chairman for his re-election campaign.

Corker who is finishing his first term (6 years) in the US Senate is being challenged in the August 2012 Republican Primary by US Military Veteran, Constitutional Conservative and Tea Party Favorite Zach Poskevich along with James Durkin and Brenda Linard.

The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democrat Primary. The Democrat candidates are Larry Crim and Grover Mullins.

The winners of the Republican and Democrat Primaries will then face Independent Mary Tayor-Shelby in the November 2012 General Election.

Corker's campaign war chest exceeds $10 million and he continues to raise more money.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

You Know You're A

Republican if you believe the U.S. Constitution clearly supports strip mining.


Democrat if you believe the U.S. Constitution clearly supports strippers.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Couple of Thoughts on Two Media Reports

First, on the Shelly Breeding case (her house is in Anderson County, mailbox in Knox County and she wants to be a DEMOCRAT candidate for State Rep in District 89). The local court says no go. The Court of Appeals says no go. Now she is appealing to the TN Supreme Court. In my opinion had she selected competent co counsel instead of good ole boy less than 25 percent against State Representative Jamie Woodson Hagood for the State Senate seat Billy Stokes, she would have fared better in the lower court and appeals court.

Secondly, the story in this weeks Metro Pulse on the community meetings against blight. Jeff Talman is quoted as saying that the University of Tennessee is sending people west and they should be protecting their neighborhoods. The act of redlining is illegal and it appears Talman is suggesting redlining West Knoxville. Additionally, why is it a state agency that represents all citizens of the state should be in the business in forcing people into neighborhoods of Talman and others?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sights from the Stormers Hardware Cash Mob

During the KnoxCashMob at Stormers True Value Hardware in Four Way Inn
Nascar Legend Dale Earnhardt and Republican President Ronald Reagan, forever together at Stormers. Yep, that's where I come from.
In the earlier post yesterday I made reference to Cecil Lee as the Mayor of Four Way Inn. Here is the certificate for his 1984-1988 term as Mayor.
Mrs. Faye (Sister in Law to Cecil Lee and Aunt to Dustin Lee) Mayor Tim Burchett and now owner and operator Dustin Lee. (the youngest son of Cecil Lee)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Knox County Mayor Teams With Mayor of Four Way Inn

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett has announced that tomorrow the next Knox County Cash Mob will be at Stormers Hardware in Four Way Inn. Having been a resident of the Sunnyview and Carter communities until 1992, I know the owners of Stormers fairly well. Cecil Lee has worked and owned Stormers for a very long time. Cecil was named the Mayor of Four Way Inn back in the 1970 or 1980's by the local community newspaper "East Knox News". The paper is not in existence anymore, it was replaced by flyers of printed scandal plagued agenda pushing papers aka Fountain City Focus and Shopper News.

Cecil Lee has retired (but is present at the store on a frequent basis) Cecil and his wife Betty have three children Doug, Dana and Dustin. Dustin currently owns and operates Stormers. Please get out and support this family owned business. While you are in the neighborhood, Cardin's Drive In has the BEST cheeseburgers. Also, milk shakes and dipped ice cream cones are a speciality.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lindsay Lawler, One of my Favs!

I don't remember if it was 4 or 6 years ago. But, I was in Nashville for a couple of nights and wandered into Tootsies Orchid Lounge and on stage was Lindsay Lawler.

When I first heard her voice, she became one of my favs. I bought her CD that night ad since then she has appeared on one of Tiffany's recent projects and has released another project.

Here is an interview she did with truckernews a couple a nights ago. It will introduce her to you and there are samples of her music.

Paging the KNS Editorial Staff

Ok, I am not a avid reader of News Sentinel columnist David Hunter. But one of my hundreds of Shock And Awe sources has alerted me that this weeks David Hunter column is the same one that the News Sentinel published last week. Re-Runs do not normally happen the very next week. Any body paying attention up there at The Big Metal Shed on the Hill?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Steve Hunley Use To Think Mike Hammond Was 'da Bomb

Today's column by Georgiana Vines is an interesting read. The story is regarding a recent poll for Steve Hunley's weekly newspaper "Focus" based in Fountain City.

It seems that Hunley commissioned a poll about the popularity and re-electablity of County Commissioner Mike Hammond, now Commission Chairman.

Hammond rightfully indicates to Vines this appears to be a form of intimidation. As Hammond states, "I am term limited"

Which begs to question why would Hunley take it upon himself to be Hammond's political advisor and pollster?

Interesting, because Hunley once thought that Hammond was 'da bomb. Especially in the early days of the launch of Con Hunley's country music career, Con is Steve Hunley's brother. This was back when Hammond was influential at country radio station WIVK. Hammond's career spanned more than 30 years before recently leaving to join Q93.1 in Knoxville.

Now, Hunley's son Stephen is pursuing a singing career and Hammond has been helpful in promoting that endeavor.

It is interesting to note all the press attention Hunley's pollster Ben Farmer has received. Farmer was first introduced to the political scene in Knoxville between 2002 - 2005 to many Republican insiders by then advisor to Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, Tyler Harber.

Of course Harber has moved on to a bigger and higher profile stage. Harber is a political advisor based out of Washington, DC and appears on Fox & Friends and other Fox News programs as a regular political pundit.

If Mr. Haslam is For the Extra Money for Schools, Is the Sentinel For It Because......?

So, several Knox County Commissioners indicate that Mr. James A Haslam, Jr called asking them to support the extra $35 million for Knox County Schools. Did the Sentinel support it, simply because Mr. Haslam buys 20-50k newspapers on Friday to give away at all his Knox County truck fueling stations. Think about that, 20-50k papers a week for 52 weeks a year. Even at wholesale cost. Mr. Haslam is providing a job, two or three inside the "Big Metal Shed on the Hill"

Maybe if the truck refueling stations could increase a few more papers a week, my favorite UT Athletic Historian Tom Mattingley could begin blogging again. His hiatus is taking way to long.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shock And Awe Meeting a young member of our community

My, My How The Sentinel Editorial Positions Change

This editorial in today's Knoxville News Sentinel is a two faced McElroy Special. It demonstrates how McElroy and Barker turn on people. Back when Jack McElroy joined with some disgruntled citizens and was suing Knox County Commission, Commission Chairman Scott Moore and Commissioner Paul Pinkston. They believed and reported that Judge Blackwood was the bomb when Blackwood ruled that he could not fathom that Commission Chairman Moore couldn't remember a phone conversation and thus removed Chairman Moore from the county commission. McElroy praised Judge Blackwood back then.
Now McElroy and Barker are editorializing that Blackwood has been ruling in secrecy and not in an open and transparent manner. Are we supposed to buy into the McElroy and Barker world that this is a new trait of the Judge? Or is it that McElroy and Barker have turned on the Judge now but didn't bother as long as they were happy with the outcome?
I don't know Judge Blackwood, so I can't opine on his manner of working through the system. I do not believe that just because Judge Baumgartner was on drugs that all these people need new trials. I believe Judge Blackwood is wrong in awarding new trials. I also do not believe the evidence revealed that Chairman Moore should have been removed from office. But Chairman Moore left and hasn't raised any resistance to Judge Blackwood. But boy howdy has McElroy and Barker raised objections. I am perplexed, if Judge Blackwood is now the enemy of McElroy. I don't know what to think.

Are The School Budget Increases All Part of a Grander Political Plan?

All political sources from across the state expect that Governor William Haslam will be running for President of the United States in the next four to eight years. What better campaign issue and agenda but to show that Tennessee is smarter after a four to eight year stint as Governor of Tennessee.

But how can Tennessee become smarter and not while a Governor is a tax and spender like Mitt Romney. Remember Romney raised lots of taxes for his RomneyCare (a state mandated health insurance plan)so Haslam doesn't want to do that. As a matter of fact instead of raising taxes, why not lower taxes of food? Lower it a little this year, a little next year, all while getting the free publicity for being a tax reducer. While I like that, it just seems like they are doing it for political posturing.

So, for political posturing reasons the state can not raise tax revenue to make Tennessee smarter. But, if the larger counties and school systems could raise the money and get a sudden spike in test scores. Then you have a Governor that reduced taxes and made the State smarter.

So, let's see Metro Nashville Public Schools asked for $48 million in new money. Read it here. Mayor Karl Dean proposed it and it appears they will get most if not all of it. In Knox County, the school district asked for $35 million in new dollars. But (Ruh Roh) Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said "oh no you didn't" and "oh no you ain't" After a campaign by the Chamber Partnership, Great Schools Partnership and many members of the silk stocking crowd and then a campaign by those rogue pesky tea partier conservatives and "knuckle draggers" the public won out and the schools got $4 million for a "Community School Initative" they also receive the $3 million for Mayor Burchett's proposed "reading initiative"

But that is all, $4 million instead of $35 million. No tax increase!

At least a couple County Commissioners have said they receieved phone calls from Mr. James A. Haslam, Jr. the father of Governor William Haslam advocating the $35 million in new "Knox County" tax dollars for schools.

One issue that I asked District Attorney General Randy Nichols at his press conference, State Senator Stacey Campfield at a Center City Republican Club and State Senator Becky Massey at a recent breakfast gathering of 20 professionals was this. Here in Knox County, we taxpayers send $40 million dollars to Nashville to be redistributed to the other school districts through the states BEP (Basic Education Program).

If we in Knox County could keep that $40 million here and have the state leave us alone. Knox County would be that bright shining school system in the state. Where kids are smarter, the men are stronger and the ladies are more beautiful.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Free Fish Saturday

Today was Free Fish Saturday, meaning in the State of Tennessee you can fish without a fishing license.

So theTWRA and Knox County joined together to offer a community event at The Cove at Concord Park. The TN Valley Sportsman's Club provided lunch of hot dog, chips and water. Many local businesses like Academy, Gander Mountain and others provided door prizes.

Here are the sights from a great event.
Parents and kids checked in the gazebo for a TWRA  packet, a ticket for door prizes and a borrowed rod and reel for any child needing one. 

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett helped a lady reel in a ............
they reeled in a Catfish
The TN Valley Sportsman Club hosted and provided lunch of hot dogs, chips and water.  Mayor Burchett thanking a member of the club for their hospitality. 
Mayor Burchett talking with another of the many volunteer organizers. 

Mayor Burchett talking with WBIR about the event and the venue, The Cove at Concord Park located in deep Southwest Knox County. 

Mayor Burchett thanking the guys that keep the Knox County Parks in Southwest Knox County, clean, safe and enjoyable. 
The door prizes are getting ready to be drawn, a few young folks were checking out the loot. 
Mayor Burchett meeting a new constituent and assuring him that his public education will make him a leader. But iPad's will likely be replaced with the "Next Big Thing."

Friday, June 08, 2012

Hubert "all things news" Smith is Everywhere Now

You can catch my friend Hubert Smith on his CTV show on Friday nights at 7:30 pm or on his Sunday Morning call in radio talk show on The Rock, FM 90.3 at 10 a.m - NOOON but now you catch him writing for Athenaeum News, found here. Here is his latest article (a post mortum on the Commission vote regarding the Schools request). Here is his second story. And of course his first one is here.
So now you are caught up, check over there regularly to read what is on Hubert's plate and/or mind.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

WBIR is Getting a New News Director

Sources tell me that WBIR has hired a News Director. She is coming to Knoxville from San Antonio, Texas! She should be here (and on the job) within the next month. She replaces Bill Shory, who left under scrutiny and controversy.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Scott Walker Remains In Wisconsin

Walker survived the Wisconsin recall. So all you liberal whackos & establishment RINO's (Republicans In Name Only, you know who the heck you are) go back to your hole.

Wisconsin leads America from the Heartland!

Who is the Victim at the Schools After Last Night? I believe It Is Dr. McIntyre

A couple or three of the Knox County School Board Members did a lot of talking about leaders leading last night. But, I believe the victim was Dr. McIntyre. You see they hired him at a larger salary then the last guy and so when there is criticism about asking for more money the public attack his salary.

If the board members (who are compensated $30,000 +/- a year) actually led, they wouldn't hide behind the Superintendent like bashful and shy children. Instead they subject him to the criticism while they sit on the front row.

Only two thirds of the board even attended the meeting last night. Board Member Fugate was out of town and Board Members McMillan and Sepesi were no shows.

The courage of the board would end, if the board members had to set the tax rate. However, now they just hide behind Dr. McIntyre and lobby shots at Commission and the Mayor. When Board Member Carson quoted the Bible it suddenly got cloudy outside.

Can Knox County Move Forward

Emotions were raw last night at the Knox County Commission meeting. The individuals that supported the School Boards additional request were intense. The folks against raising taxes were intense.

The question is will Knox County and it's various leaders be able to move on after the vote? WATE Political Analyst George Korda said a few weeks ago on Gene Patterson's Tennessee This Week that emotions had gotten so ramped up that there would not be any moving on afterwards with a pat on the back.

School Board Chairman Thomas Deakins was on one of the television stations last night after the vote proposing another retreat with Knox County Commission.

Two suggestions to the idea of another retreat. #1 include Mayor Burchett and bring him in on the front end. (not expecting him to be a spectator at the last minute) #2 have that retreat in Knox County (not in Blount County) were TEA Party activists, teachers and school stake holders can attend and feel that they are valued and welcome to the discussion.

Finally, two additional comments. Can't all Knox County just get along and Give Peace a Chance.

Something I like!

My progrssive friend Cathy McCaughan told me yesterday that I never blog what I like. So to Domestic Psychology. Here is my first of what I hope are many blog posts of what I like. I like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He stood up to the vocal minority of unions that tried mob rule and today the voters of Wisconsin will decide to let the mob rule continue or reject the mob rule and allow the recall to fail. Here is hoping Wisconsin Reall fails tonight

Monday, June 04, 2012

Lessons Learned from The Budget Process

Here are my suggestions to Dr. McIntyre and the School Board now that this budget process is over. It is FREE advice so take it for what it is costing you.

First, aligning with the Chamber Partnership was not a good idea. Go back and see how this Commission reacted to the Chamber on the property they own at Midway Road.

Second, aligning with the silk stocking crowd and the likes of small groups like League of Women Voters and Great Schools Partnership did not serve you well. The rest of the county (as former Knox County District Attorney General Ed Dossett once said Thorngrove to Solway) outside Sequoyah Hills doesn't relate and doesn't desire to relate.

Third, aligning with former elected officials that are responsible for the state of where we are did not bode well. Former Commissioners DeSelm, Leuthold and Former School Board Members Woodle and Jablonski is not a step in the right direction.

My suggestion is to get out into the schools. Meet with all teachers and employees and begin to show appreciation to the front lines. The CFO of a family owned truck stop entity doesn't connect with your front line soldiers.

Begin working cooperatively with Mayor Burchett. Discourage the negative comments from board members and staff about how dumb the Commissioners and Mayor Burchett are.

The anger from the supporters toward the Mayor did not bode well. After the vote, I was standing beside the Mayor and Buzz Thomas, the Director of the Great Schools Partnership approached the Mayor and talked rather low in volume to him. I did hear the last line and Thomas told the Mayor, "this is not about you." I asked the Mayor what that was about, he blew it off. But that type of response is not professional.

Now, I didn't take a position for or against the $35 million. I said that this was a decision that I elected Dr. Richard Briggs, Mike Hammond and Ed Shouse to decide. I did not ask any of the three to vote for or against. But at the end of today, they did their job.

So, there is my comments on lessons learned as an unaffiliated observer tonight.

Mayor's Buddget Approved With a Slight Tip to the Schools

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett's budget was approved tonight. The Mayor had already included the $3 million for a reading initiative. Chairman Hammond made a motion to fund the community school initiative with half the proceeds coming from Knox Counties savings account and the other half from the schools savings account.

Bottom line is no tax increase on the property owners of Knox County.

I Got A Better Idea for the School Board To Consider

According to this story in today's Knoxville News Sentinel the Knox County School Board will discuss the possibility of selling the Old Knoxville High Building over near Fifth and Gay tomorrow night in their workshop session.

I have a better idea! Move Knox Schools Central Office to the Old Knoxville High and sell the Andrew Johnson Building to an entity that can outfit it for a small boutique hotel and condo/lofts on the upper floors.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

24 Hour Countdown To a Decision on Our Money

Well in 24 hours we should know what the Knox County Commission is going to do with the ying and yang between Mayor Tim Burchett's county budget and the Knox County School Board's wish list.

A couple of weeks ago State Senator Stacey Campfield and State Representative Steve Hall attended the Center City Republican Club meeting.

Senator Campfield explained how back in the winter as the legislature were beginning their session. Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre and members of the Knox County School Board came to Nashville and visited with the Knox County Legislative Delegation.

The legislators were given a list of priorities. The number one item on the list was keeping the Superintendent's job as an appointed position among the nine member school board and not elected by the general public.

Senator Campfield explained that he suggested to the Superintendent and board members that if they would contact him that he would work with them to get lottery excess proceeds for Capital expenditures (that is what $28 million of the $35 million request this year is proposed to go) The legislature continued to meet and concluded their business and no one ever contacted Senator Campfield.

Opportunity lost.

Did you know that we currently send $40 million dollars of our property tax dollars from Knox County to the State of Tennessee to fund all the other districts in the State. If we could keep $35 million of that $40 million the County Commission would not have the School Board asking for more than the Mayor proposed.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

TCU Opposes Tax Increase

The oldest conservative group in Tennessee the TCU (Tennessee Conservative Union) has taken a position opposing the Knox County School Board's request for $35 million in new dollars.

The organization has been the driving force in keeping Tennessee income tax free.

Come On People, It is a Room Not a Hall

It was funny to point out the other day that Buzz Thomas of the Great Schools Partnership referred to the City County Building's Main Assembly Room as the Main Assembly Hall. But now in today's article in the Knoxville News-Sentinel (here) Lydia McCoy refers to the Main Assembly Room as the Main Assembly Hall.

Come on people, we are Knox County! We are NOT England. A room is area enclosed by walls, a hall is a corridor with only two walls.

How many dollars will it take to teach these folks at GSP the difference in a hall and a room, East Tennessee style?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Pro Tax Rally on Monday

Buzz Thomas the Executive Director of the Great Schools Partnership has put out a notice that on Monday at 3:30 pm there will be a rally outside the Main Assembly Hall. Not sure wheere the "hall" is but the assumption is he means the City County Buildings "Main Assembly Room".

Sources indicate that this will be a rally against Mayor Burchett's proposed budget for 2012-2013 and in favor of the school board's $35 million increase proposal. Sources have told me that it will be a pro tax rally.

The rally will be held thirty minutes before the Commission conducts it's public forum and an hour and a half before the Commission takes up and votes on Mayor Burchett's budget. Read Thomas message here.