ear (2005-46)

VIPasses?

Bank Nixes Bus Stop

Limits are Limited

Judge Races Emerge

Got a Quarter?

Bug in Our Ear

VIPasses?

Carlene Malone , former city councilwoman and a leader of the campaign, has sent the letters in a bid to build support among elected officials against the position of County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and the Public Building Authority. The PBA operates the building, and on their recommendation, citing security concerns, Ragsdale has been adamant about restricting use of the parking decks to employees. Knoxville City Council has passed resolutions supporting opening the garage to the public. In addition to the City County building, the garage also provides access to a walkway over Neyland Drive, leading to the city’s riverfront development.

Malone has also asked the PBA for a list of the people who have parking passes to see if all of them are authorized. Her letter to legislators says she has been informed that her inquiries served as a “catalyst” to update the list and that some parking passes have been revoked. The list turned out not to be as current as the PBA would like. Malone says that’s evidence the parking ban is not about security, since  unauthorized people have been parking there.

 

Bank Nixes Bus Stop

According to a letter from bank vice president Jayne Burritt , the bank’s security department in Memphis (Memphis?) advised against the bus-stop proposal due to the fact that the UT campus branch was “one of our highest ‘crime-related’ centers in Knoxville and is under consideration for a full-time armed guard onsite in 2006. They just did not feel comfortable introducing additional congestion and traffic to an area that already has such high security concerns.”

Some promoters have seen the bank’s response as a slap at the moral caliber of bus riders, who include known foreigners and the handicapped. But considering that bus riders at best form a tiny minority of those who roam the Strip at all hours of the day, we wonder if the bank meant it as a compliment—that KAT’s bus service is so speedy and reliable that bank robbers, could use the No. 11 to make a clean getaway. Maybe the bank wants to be sure that if bank robbers take the bus on a rainy day, they’ll at least get wet.

 

Limits are Limited

Meanwhile, Knox County Chancellor John Weaver has ruled that former County Commissioner Bee DeSelm does not have standing to sue to oust Sheriff Tim Hutchison under the provisions of the term-limits referendum. Attorney Herb Moncier had filed a series of suits on behalf of DeSelm, seeking to oust the sheriff, arguing that he has been in office longer than two terms. Weaver also denied a Moncier motion asking Knox County judges to recuse themselves from the case.

Weaver ruled that removing an official alleged to be holding office “illegally” must be initiated through a lawsuit filed by the District Attorney General. Not only did DA Randy Nichols not join the suit, he filed a motion to dismiss it.

Voters approved term limits in city and county elections in 1994, and they have been in force in the city. But an attorney general’s opinion says county officeholders, delineated in the state Constitution, are not subject to a referendum ordinance. In a case in Memphis, a local judge ruled that a local referendum there did apply to the county commission; the case is on appeal.

             

Judge Races Emerge

Cerny, who has served one term on the bench, is a former prosecutor. Tindell managed to steer a course through several contentious elections and a bitter primary fight last year without too many scars. He is well liked by the party establishment. But defeating a sitting judge could be a problem.

With few county officeholders facing a serious challenge at this point, the battle over judgeships could be the most contentious of the season. There will be a battle for Juvenile Court judge between Cynthia Chapman and Tim Irwin , and there may be a Sessions fight between Cathy Quist and Jimmy Kyle Davis .

County Law Director Mike Moyers is expected to run for chancellor, with the retirement of Sharon Bell . Criminal Court Judge Ray Lee Jenkins , who has had health problems, may or may not run again. If he does, he may have an opponent in the primary and will almost certainly have a Democratic opponent in the general election.

 

Got a Quarter?

The rates would go into effect in January. The regular monthly pass will increase a little more steeply, to 40 bucks. 

It will all be discussed before the Knoxville Transportation Authority on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 3 p.m., in the City County Building’s Main Assembly Room.

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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