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.