Sunday, April 29, 2012

Scottie Mayfield Should Drop Out of Congressional Race

Third District US Congressional Candidate Scottie Mayfield's 33 year old son slashed the tire of a staff member of Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. The story of his apology just keeps coming up in Third District media outlets.

One thing is clear, Mayfield obviously has been lacking in the raising of his 33 year old son and in my opinion should drop out of the race and focus on his family.

Today's News Sentinel Story on the Schools Central Office

In today's Knoxville News Sentinel is this article about other school districts and their reaction to the staffing of central office. What I found interesting is that every person interviewed from other areas, whether they be central office administrators or school board members they all echoed the same thing, communicate what you are doing. The problem this year in Knox County is the message that two school board members have said publicly is "you point us to the waste and what you would do to replace that activity". That is not the right approach, if you want my tax money from my County Mayor and County Commissioners. It is called checks and balance.

I thought the Beanster Was Having A Flashback

When you see tomorrow's Shopper and you look upon the column authored by the Beanster. You may think that she is having a flashback. You see the two headlines are "Here's To Tyler" and then "A 55 year love affair Cooper's happy, active in retirement". 

Everyone knows that former County Commissioner Leo Cooper and his wife have recently celebrated their 55th Anniversary. So, when you glance back up, you are believing that she is writing about Tyler Harber. The young political operative that she despised when he was here organizing the winning campaigns that knocked out her cronies and friends. However, when he made it to Washington, DC as a political operative, Beanster took a junket to DC to get him to give her some details that she could author three weeks of bird cage material. 

But upon actually getting beyond the headlines, you discover that the Beanster actually wrote a pretty good story on Tyler Summitt, the son of our Beloved Lady Vols Basketball Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt. The second story is a good story on Leo and Joanne Cooper. 

Every time that I think about the Beanster and Leo Cooper, I am reminded of her being at a fundraiser at the intersection of Jacksboro and Tazewell Pike for one of Leo's political fundraiser and how she stood at the window from inside the fundraiser mesmerized at the bread truck with the Scott Moore campaign signs attached to it. It tore the Beanster up!

So, this week the Beanster did a good job for the Shopper and you can read it right here

Another Shocker from the Hardin Valley Academy Audit

Before I throw this audit away. On page 14 under "Other Matters of Interest" item 2 is "Pending Litigation" reads

"During the course of the project, PBA contracted the security installation through an existing contract that the Knox County Schools had issued to a local vendor. PBA was instructed to use this company in order to make sure that the equipment and software were consistent with the rest of the schools. PBA complied with that direction and issued a purchase order for the installation of the various components of the comprehensive system, which includes cameras, access control and intrusion protection."

The report continues "The security system was installed, and upon inspection by PBA, it was determined that there were deficiencies in the installation. After repeated attempts by PBA and Knox County Schools to have the problems corrected, PBA contracted with a third party expert to have the system audited for compliance with the contract requirements. The audit resulted in a finding of numerous problems and variances from the contract. After consultation with Knox County and Knox County Schools, it was decided to pursue legal remedies to resolve the problems."

Government Auditor Richard Walls added at the Audit Committee meeting that Hardin Valley Academy and Powell Middle are both schools with security deficiencies. I then asked are they still deficient? On March 13, 2012 the answer was YES!

I held off on posting this in hopes that the deficiencies have been corrected. However, it is the government we are talking about here.

What's a Government Auditor Think of $608?

I was cleaning off my desk and ran across that March 13, 2012 Audit Report by Richard Walls on the Hardin Valley Academy Construction.

I must have missed where he wrote on #6 Findings and Recommendations under Markups. "During our audit, we noted that fifty-seven reimbursable expense items of the architectural firm totaling $6,083 were marked up 10%, resulting in an overpayment of $608."

So, what was Mr. Walls recommendation? "We do not recommend recovery of this item due to it's insignificance."

Do What!? $608 is insignificant? So, if my tax bill to Knox County is $1,216 then I can pay $608 because it is insignificant. What if the Knox County Commission decides that Mr. Walls monthly salary will be cut $608 because that amount is insignificant?

This guy is the eyes of Knox County's checks and balances. Unbelievable! Why did it take me till now to see that? Who knows. As Donila would post, Anyhoo.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sheriff Jones Will NOT and Can NOT Be Bribed

This group of activists have been turned away from meeting with Sheriff Jones three times. On their fourth try, they think they can entice him to meet with them because they have 12 cupcakes. Come on people! Read the story here from the News Sentinel.

The Feds Should Step In On the Mayfield Investigation

Because Tyler Threadgill, a campaign staffer for Congressman Chuck Fleischmann had his tire slashed by 33 year old Michael Mayfield, son of Congressional candidate Scottie Mayfield I believe the federal authorities should work with the Kingston Police Departments investigation of this incident as it was an attempt at harming a staffer of a federal officeholder. Mayfield should face terrorism charges, in my opinion.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Scottie Mayfield's Campaign Resorts to Vandalism

Scottie Mayfield's son vandalizes the car tire of a campaign staffer of Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. Is this an early indicator of the campaign antics of the Mayfield campaign? The fact that Mayfield and his son inherited a successful businesss and they have never had to work for what they have. So, when the going gets tough early in this campaign Michael Mayfield resorts to vandalizing the vehicle of a Federal Elected Official on County Government property. Hopefully, the son of Scottie Mayfield will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I do not believe that the Roane County government will cave into Mayfield's affluence. Read the story here from the Roane County News.

RIP Pat Wood

Yesterday, Knoxville Businessman Pat Wood died. Mr. Wood was a great man and one that when I asked for his opinion on an issue would always shoot straight with me.

There are so few good business mentors and Mr. Wood was one that I could rely on. God Bless Pat Wood's life and it is with a thankful heart that I was able to spend time with such a man.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How Does This Guy Have Any Credibility?

PlanET is Drawing Attention

This week the "5counties+1kumbayahvision" aka PlanET began input gathering meetings from the citizenry. In Blount County on Monday night the organizers agreed to answer questions. Here are a couple of interesting facts. The $4.3 million dollar grant that was awarded for the funding of PlanET was out of a pot of $100 million. The $4.3 million was awarded to the City of Knoxville. Of the $4.3 million, $1.3 million has been designated for the out of state consultant.

Is the City of Knoxville imposing their will on the 5 counties by possessing the funding? Shock And Awe (aka Brian's Blog) intends to follow this issue without a Kool-aid induced stupor that the other media apparently enjoy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mayfield Drawing NO Crowds

Scottie Mayfield, Republican candidate for Congress in TN's Third District launched a bus tour this week. Below are a couple of photos taken of his stop in Hamilton County, TN

What was interesting about his stop in Hamilton County is that all the people milling around, were riders on the bus. There was not a crowd to meet him at the stop.

It was like a tour bus just taking a recess stop to stretch.

School Board is Utilizing Media Friendly Allies

The Knox County School Board is utilizing some media friendly alleys to help advance their multi million increase for next years school budget. Last week it was Cumulus owned NewsTalk 98.7 FM and their morning show Hallerin Hilton Hill. Each morning, Hill had Dr. Jim McIntyre and individuals with the school district on air to discuss "future factories" aka public schools. One of the criticisms I heard yesterday is that Hill has at times had his children in private schools. He reportedly has a commercial discussing the benefits of the school his daughter attends.

Yesterday, E.W. Scripps Publisher of the weekly Shopper News Sandra Clark and the Managing Editor Jake Mabe appeared during public forum to ask the County Commission to support the Knox County School Boards budget request. Clark handed out some feathers. This had some symbolism to her column last week about leaders needing to lead and something about chickens needing to roost or something.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Best Use for the Metro Pulse

Last night I went to the Downtown Grill and Brewery, as a few friends and I waited on a table I noticed someone using the Metro Pulse in the best use I have ever seen.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bill Stokes is a Slow One

Democrat Supporter and Former Close Advisor to Income Tax Proposing Governor Don Sundquist Bill Stokes in an effort at transparency today disclosed at today's Election Commission meeting something a Shock And Awe commenter revealed on February 8, 2012 here.

This morning Bill Stokes in representing an Anderson County Democrat resident in an effort to be a candidate for State House of Representatives stated that he would like to disclose that his daughter is an attorney with Knox County Law Director Joe Jarret. So, that a blogger doesn't mis state something about him. Why would Stokes take a shot at Mike Donila like that?

Stokes who has long been a constant enemy of Former Sheriff Tim Hutchison appears to be unable to bury the hatchet. You see Stokes was a supporter of Former Sheriff Joe Fowler who Hutchison beat in 1990. Then when Cathy Quist won Circuit Court Clerk, Stokes supported her opponent. When his motorcycle buddy Chadwick B. Tindell and his client/campaign manager got in a disagreement about Tindell's emails. Stokes got upset at the Sheriff's Department investigation that put Stokes between his buddy and his client who was also his State Senate Campaign Manager. It seems that Stokes is still stinging from his 25% vote for State Senate.

Stokes in disclosing his daughters position is moving in the right direction toward transparency. unfortunately, he is more than two months behind a loyal Shock And Awe reader.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What is the "real" story on the mulch fire?

A reliable source has informed me that over the past 10 years that over 155 calls have been made to the authorities concerning fires at the mulch operation that has been in fully engulfed since Sunday. That is an average of at least one call a month.

With all the attention by the Big Metal Sheed on the Hill concerning Knox County's Solway facility, why have they never focused on an enviromental mess just under their nose?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Revive Asheville

I met 6 individuals in Asheville that were part of a group of 400 people from all across America that are meeting the people of Asheville. I met folks from Flint, MI and Dallas TX and Asheville that are spending several days.

The out of town folks are being housed in homes in the Asheville area by the locals.

The movement began last year in Flint, MI with a Revive Flint event. The movement is non denominational. The Founder is Kyle Martin

They have a website.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sometimes What You Dislike Is What You Become

After seeing last weeks Knox Focus, I was reminded that when Publisher Steve Hunley created the Focus he was motivated to be the opposite of Sandra Clark of the Halls Shopper. Clark has become an entity of the mega conglomerate E.W. Scripps Company. Clark is still the Publisher of the Halls Shopper. 

When Hunley created the Focus he voiced frustration with Clark's constant promotion of her friend and former newspaper business partner County Commissioner Mary Lou Horner. Hunley continually voiced his intent to be "the positive news" and said that "if they say potato we will say potato. If they say tomato, we will say tomato". 

Last week several weeks post March 6 election he featured School Board Member Mike McMillan. It seems that what Hunley first disliked in the Shopper News his publication has since become. 

"The Shed" is Against It Before They Support It

When Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett appointed Burton Webb as the next Knox County Finance Director. The Editorial Board issued this editorial on April 4 with a veiled threat that if anything went wrong they would hold the Mayor accountable. The Mayor discovered new information and Webb's appointment was quickly rescinded.

The Big Metal Shed on the Hill editorialized here on April 11 supporting the Charter Review Committee proposing having the County Mayor appoint positions like Law Director, Trustee, Property Assessor and others. The bottom line is that the Big Metal Shed on the Hill only likes appointments from the County Mayor when they agree with the individuals that are appointed otherwise they do not like it. Hypocrisy at it's best or actually worse. 

Whatever Became of Arnett's Transparency Pledge?

When Foster Arnett first ran for Knox County Clerk, he pledged to throw the door open on the Clerk's Office. A symbolic gesture to ensure transparency in the operation of the Clerk's Office. However, we were the first to report that Arnett was AWOL (Absent With Out Leave) although he probably gave himself leave and was hospitalized for many days. 

After our Wednesday posting here Mike Donila of Screams From The Porch contacted Arnett and got the Arnett version here on Thursday. Donila credited Shock And Awe for the story. Then Donila got it placed in this published article on Friday over at the Big Metal Shed on the Hill. 

So, why did Arnett slam the door shut in disclosing his 10 day (3 days in Critical Care Unit) hospitalization? No transparency there. The public has a need to know when their elected officials do not have the ability to perform the functions even short term that they were elected and are being paid to perform. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Foster Arnett, Knox County Clerk on the Mend

When Knox County Commissioner Ed Shouse was admitted to Park West Hospital with pneumonia all the main stream media immediately reported it. Sources contacted Shock And Awe this evening asking about the condition of Knox County Clerk Foster Arnett. We began contacting friends, close acquaintances and family members of Arnett and have learned that Arnett was recently hospitalized for 10 days for several undisclosed issues. Arnett apparently is at home and is on the mend. Here at Shock And Awe we encourage you to continue praying for Commissioner Shouse and add Clerk Arnett. We are confident that Arnett would appreciate the extra attention.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good Soldiers are Dunn and Campfield! I will refrain from commiting for a while

The news of Sen. Rick Santorum's departure from the race to be POTUS is disappointing. However, Bella's health is more important. While die hard Santorum supporter State Representative Bill Dunn is a loyal Republican and has said publicly he will support Romney. While Santorum convert State Senator Stacey Campfield himself is still a loyal soldier in voicing support for Romney. I will NOT be as quick. Here is the article with Dunn and Campfield's comments.

It took me an original Herman Cain supporter to come to Santorum but did so within a couple weeks ater Cain's departure. I will not be as quick as my friends Dunn and Campfield. I would encourage Romney to select Santorum as his running mate just as Reagan did when he selected George Herbert Walker Bush as his running mate.

So, I will sit over here and watch from the sidelines for a period of time.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Why Bring That Up? You are slamming Mayor Rogero & Mayor Burchett

The "Support Our Schools" aka the staff of the "Great Schools Partnership" or at least GSP staffer Virginia came an email today begging for Urgent Contact of the County Commissioners.

The last FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) they defend Superintendent Dr.James McIntyre's salary. Why even bring it up? Because in their response to the question, they are slamming Mayor Rogero & Mayor Burchett as uneducated and illiterate.

They shouldn't have even brought it up, in my opinion.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Confusion Abounds on News Sentinel's Editorial Page

Yesterday (Saturday) the News Sentinel's Editorial page had a letter to the editor authored by William J. Morgan. You can locate his letter here. What was confusing is that Morgan is commenting on an April 2 story about Elvis Presley's Knoxville appearance back in 1972 at Stokley Athletic Center. 

A story never appeared in the News Sentinel's April 2 edition. An article written by Jake Mabe over at the Shopper News appeared here in the April 2 edition of the Shopper. The Shopper is a sister publication to the News Sentinel being owned by their parent company E.W. Scripps. However, News Sentinel editorial and press assignments do not manage the operation of the Shopper. 

The failure of the News Sentinel in forwarding the letter to the Shopper and publishing it as if the article was in their newspaper either indicates that the editorial department does not  verify that they actually authored and published such article that the letter writer was addressing. Thus, the News Sentinel Editorial staff is incompetent or just plain lazy. Or, the News Sentinel Editorial staff wants to take credit for articles written and published by others than themselves. 

Interesting to note that the additional information that Mr. Morgan shares in his letter were actually included in Mr. Mabe's article. Elvis as always in spite of equipment malfunctions, he still gave the crowd a performance unlike any other. 

Knox County Legislative Bodies Battle Ahead

If you read today's News Sentinel story about the Knox County budget and in particular the Knox County School Boards Request.

The staffing and salaries of the Schools Central Office are in the eye of the storm. The interesting point in today's battle between the funding body (Knox County Commission) and the receiving body (Schools) is the desire to say little to nothing.

The School Board members are saying show me specific positions that are wasteful, should be eliminated and how the Schools should have that role performed in the future.

Mayor Tim Burchett and Knox County Commission are saying show us how you will spend it and what the expected results will do.

So, again in Knox County our leaders are at an impasse.The Commission can not get the specifics. The School Board won't entertain any discussion unless they are directed to specific examples.

On this issue, I must side with Commission. The burden of proof is on the shoulders of the elected School Board Members. If they want this kind of infusion of cash, they must make the case, they must demonstrate where the dollars will go and what the achieved results will be. It is common sense business approach. Let's face reality, schools are business.

Friday, April 06, 2012

NIMBY's Keep Holding Knox County Back

Well the Nimby's (Not In My Backyard) are continuing to keep Knox County down. While Sevier County wins again. A handful of vocal nimby's that have NEVER supported anything but trying to protect their own self interest and telling the IDB (Industrial Development Board) what they can not do with the property the IDB bought off Midway Road in East Knox County. Read about KaTom's decision to locate in adjoining Sevier County,here.

After seeing the reaction from the Nimby's they were probably scared about the reaction during construction and eventual operation of their business. Good luck to KaTom on their new location where they are welcomed with open arms.

School System Central Office Information Discussed on Ed&Bob on WNOX

This morning, frequent radio talk show caller "Mike" called into the "Ed&Bob Show" on WNOX FM 100.3 and shared some analysis that he discovered by information linked at Mike Donila 'da career killa" blog Screams From The Porch, here

It has been stated in the past that Central Office cost were between $5 and $5.5 million dollars a year. "Mike" stated that he discovered the Central Office Salaries were $21,595,071.45* that the total number of Central Office Employees are 209 so the Average salary of Central Office Employees is $103,325.70*. "Mike" called back in an hour later and said that in his calculations there was a decimal error and that the average Central Office Salary cost is $16,200,000 bringing the average salary of Central Office employees to $77,493. He stated that "another set of eyes needs to be on this." Mike added that transparency by the school board is most desirable.

School Board Member Karen Carson has said on record concerning the Central Office staffing and financial. "One comment I hear frequently when discussing budget proposals for Knox County Schools is that central office is overstaffed. I am asking that people please give me specific positions that they believe shouldn't be in central office or other data that leads to the conclusion that it is overstaffed. I will look into any information that is given to me that would allow for further cuts in central office. Data that I have available now, leads me to the conclusion that staffing levels are appropriate in that office. I have reviewed the MJLM report, which is now 10 years old, and supports that staffing is appropriate or slightly understaffed. Also, I would refer you to the report from the National Center for Educational Statistics. NCES instruction expenditures top 100 table_07 This review of the 100 largest school districts in the US indicates that Knox County Schools ranks 7th in the % of dollars used to support instruction and ranks 96th in the % of FTE's in administration." On Thursday, "Mike" called into the Ed&Bob Show and said that only 69 cents of every dollar is making into the classroom. If the information that Mike has shared is accurate, no business would survive by a Board of Directors that had the businesses best interest at it's core.  

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

School Board Meeting Tonight

The Knox County School Board meet tonight and approved their budget request for $35 million in additional dollars this coming year. That is $28 million in Capital Improvements and $7 million in general operations. While the board spent a lot of time discussing the merits of the request and how it will take the board to be leaders in the community to justify the additional cash. So, while the board were feeling good about themselves, they got a cold splash of water in the face, waking them up from the dream of state-person stature when Halls parent, Mr. Fitzgibbon spoke at Public Forum and told the board while you all are patting yourselves on the back. My daughter is being harassed at Halls High School. He asked, Why do you have FIVE Principals at Halls High School when TWO are acceptable. It seems his daughter has shorts that meet the schools dress code but evidently the Halls High School administration has decided them Halls girls should have longer shorts than the Board and Dr. McIntyre have said she should. If I understood the gentleman correctly, the shorts were bought at Halls High School. 

So, much for being visionary leaders, the board was quickly awakened to their real role and that is to set policy and procedures for the school district and apparently a North Knoxville Principal believes that it's standard is better than the Director of Schools and his NINE employers believe it should be. 

Now it is time for County Mayor Tim Burchett to present a budget to the Knox County Commission. I would not hold my breath that the School Board will get what they asked for from the Mayor or the Commission. Unless, they decide to just let the voters decide. Here is what Mike Donila 'da career killa' posted earlier about the budget on his blog Screams From The Porch.   

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Does the Trustees Office Use Threats or is That Just Chadwick's MO?

Last Saturday this article appeared in the Knoxville News Sentinel. A friend of mine this past week if I had read the comments. Especially the comments by the Delinquent Tax Attorney Chadwick B. Tindell.

As you read his response to questions posted as comments. First, he attacks "anonymous" commenters and criticizes the News Sentinel for not imposing the rules of the Tennessean. The Tennessean is the newspaper in Nashville. The Tennessean is owned by the largest competitor to E.W. Scripps (the parent company) of the News Sentinel. How quickly Chadwick forgets about his own hypocrisy. Immediately after I became KnoxGOP Chairman, Chadwick was sending emails to every media person in town that would respond back to him, always beginning his email with "you didn't hear this from me". Here is the News Sentinel link detailing his 33 pages of emails that were nothing more than his own childish rants He attempted to squash this story by complaining to Jack McElroy and Publisher Bruce Hartmann.

Additionally, Chadwick tells individuals with questions that he will only answer their questions if they come to office and meet with him face to face. They must first call, what is this a threat that he will have someone there to break their legs? It certainly can be perceived to be a threat. How about the fact that parking is not accessible to the taxpayers to visit with Chadwick at "the deathstar" aka the City County Building? How about if someone is handicapped and can not get to the deathstar. Better yet, most people have jobs that keep them busy during Chadwick's 8:00-4:30 and can not take off work. I hope that Mike Donila "da career killer" will look at the comments for the questions that were being asked of Chadwick and maybe he can write a story at least on his blog Scream From The Porch detailing the answers.

The real question remains, is this just Chadwick's MO or is this the direction of the Trustee's office?