Tuesday, January 23, 2007


An Answer on the Knox County Mess

I have been asked if I am interested in the Ninth District seat on the Knox County Commission by more than a few people. Given some of the names that Georgiana Vines has put forth on No Silence Here, I thought it pertinent to address this question.

Would I be interested? Perhaps. I know Larry Clark, and whomever is appointed to his seat has big shoes to fill.

I have three concerns.

1) I, like many people in Knox County, am of the opinion that the-powers-that-be already have their people in place for the appointments. This is a problem on two fronts. First, if you're not that person, you are going to have a hard time being appointed. Second, one has to wonder what kind of public support an appointed commissioner would have if the overwhelming public sentiment is that he or she was put there by inappropriate means. Which leads me to my second concern...

2) I'm not sure that I would want to be part of something that wretches of impropriety. There's no telling how many times Tennessee's Sunshine Law has been violated during all of this mess. Does a person who follows all of the necessary disclosures and works properly within the system risk being swept up with the general discontent aimed at those who have worked against democratic ideals? That's a tough question to answer.

3) I'm not sure if South Knox County would want me on the commission. Basically, I agree with most if not all of what Larry Clark has done during his service on the Knox County Commission. In that sense, I wouldn't be much of a change. However, Larry is much more of a politician than I am when it comes to dealing with the commission. I'm not sure if people want someone who is going to "stir the pot" as much as I might.

Basically, I am undecided right now.

I understand that David Kiger is extremely interested in the position, and I think that David is a nice guy and could be a decent commissioner. However, I have three concerns regarding David. First, I have not seen him at various political functions in Knox County (such as the South Knox County Republican Club meetings) where commissioners would need to be present so that they are accessible to the public. Second, if he still owes the massive tax debt that was alleged against him in the GOP primary in 2006, then he doesn't need to be serving. Period. He needs to focus on getting his house in order and then come back to public service. Third, I am concerned about David's connections to the County Mayor's office. While I have no confirmation of this, I have been told by numerous sources that Kiger is very close to Mayor Ragsdale. I would like Mr. Kiger to be forthcoming with such ties, if they exist, before he sought appointment.

Those are my thoughts as of the morning of January 23rd. We'll see what the future brings.


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