Thursday, January 18, 2007


Democracy Falls in Knox County

"Welcome to the Republic of Knox County. Prepare to be governed."

That should be the text of the road signs welcoming new residents to our fair county. Democracy has failed, much in part to a short-sighted Tennessee Supreme Court decision that was long on law and pragmatism but short on solutions. Maybe they could scroll those words into the new "Gateway Bridge" that TDOT erected over I-40 that cost Tennessee taxpayers so much money.

The Supreme Court left the power in this case to those who have been squabbling over it for years. These same power players have protected their offices (for the most part - I hate to lump everyone in together, because then good men like Larry Clark get swept in with others who are not so just) and now will appoint their successors to protect their own interests.

Quotes by people like Randy Tyree that this process will be open and honest show that those in power think that the average Knox County resident is as dumb as a stump, or perhaps those in power have lost touch with reality and lack the competency to serve.

Take a look at Michael Silence's excellent posts regarding what is happening here in Knox County. Mike is all over this story, but even that is just the tip of the iceberg. This government is being set up through phone calls, text messages, and e-mails that no one in the public will ever see. Everyone involved is producing the same drumbeat, that this process is "open" and will be decided in forums. Since all of these names are out there - and not by happenstance, mind you - and no forums have been convened, these claims of openness and honesty appear to rival the used car salesman's claims of "good condition." Gene Patterson is also posting heavily on the subject.

The whole process is sickening. There's Mark Cawood reportedly trying to get his wife appointed to his seat. That's a bit amusing, especially since it has been alleged that it was pure nepotism that got her the current job she now holds at the Knox County Juvenile Court Clerk's office. Then there's Lumpy Lambert acting as kingmaker, all but endorsing the Cawood family spot on the Knox County Commission.

Then comes word that a plan is being floated that would have Tim Hutchison with the Sheriff's Office in some capacity until he has enough time in to collect his $80,000+ annual pension that was recently narrowly approved by Knox County voters.

Praise the Lord for Herb Moncier. He saw the problems coming and filed suit in federal court earlier this week to have special elections for sheriff set so that we can end the republic/aristocracy that currently exists in Knox County and return us to the democratic form of government that most of the country enjoys. Moncier believes that the same provision that he is citing in his suit would include the other offices, but he didn't include them in his suit because his clients are not parties to that particular suit.

I wonder who has been anointed to serve my Ninth District on the County Commission. I'm sure it will be decided prior to any "open forum."

What a mess.


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