Knoxville Issues » Insights by Joe Sullivan

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  • Knoxville's Rising Pension Costs Published 3/21/2012 at 11:41 a.m. 0 comments

    Projected increases in Knox County contributions needed to fund its Uniformed Officers Pension Plan pale by comparison with those required to keep the city of Knoxville’s employee pension plans on a sound footing over the next decade.

  • Redefining Knox County’s Community Grants Process Published 3/7/2012 at 11:14 a.m. 0 comments

    When County Mayor Tim Burchett announced he was dispensing with the citizen review panels that had been selecting recipients of community grants from Knox County, I would have expected lots of protest. But Burchett has drawn little criticism for his ...

  • Upping Performance Pay For Top Teachers Published 2/22/2012 at 12:07 p.m. 2 comments

    More performance-based pay for top teachers and for instructional coaches ranks high on Superintendent Jim McIntyre’s list of needed initiatives. But as matters stand, it’s not even clear where the money will come from to sustain the strategic compensation program ...

  • Joe Jarret For County Law Director Published 1/25/2012 at 11:50 a.m. 1 comment

    The job of law director is more complicated in Knox County than most places because the director represents not only County Commission and the mayor, but also all of the county’s other independently elected officials including the Board of Education, ...

  • Overcoming Obstacles to Blighted Property Reclamation Published 1/11/2012 at 11:08 a.m. 0 comments

    Mayor Rogero has made changing state law to reduce if not remove obstacles to delinquent-tax sales a top priority.

  • Lakeshore’s Closing May Yield Benefits Published 12/28/2011 at 12:00 p.m. 0 comments

    The initial announcement of state plans to close Lakeshore Mental Health Institute sent shock waves throughout the community. But local mental health advocates and service providers are convinced that the state’s plan will strengthen rather than weaken supports for the ...

  • Development Projects Raise Questions About UT's Priorities Published 12/14/2011 at 4:35 p.m. 0 comments

    The University of Tennessee is pursuing several ventures in assorted commercial realms, primarily in the name of economic development and job creation in the state. Since all of these endeavors come at a time when UT is generally in a ...

  • Enhancing South Knoxville’s Heritage Published 11/29/2011 at 6:43 p.m. 0 comments

    The 22-acre hillside on which Fort Stanley once was mounted has been acquired by the Aslan Foundation for a reported $750,000. That brings to more than $3 million the total Aslan has invested in protecting key portions of what’s also ...

  • Pioneering a State Health-Insurance Exchange Published 11/9/2011 at 11:19 a.m. 0 comments

    Either a Republican victory in next year’s presidential election or an adverse U.S. Supreme Court decision could undermine implementation of the landmark federal health-care law that’s due to take full effect in 2014. But given the long lead-times needed to ...

  • Innovation Valley’s Unfulfilled Promise Published 11/2/2011 at 2:39 p.m. 0 comments

    ORNL and the University of Tennessee are plainly the Knoxville area’s two biggest economic assets. Not only are they among the area’s largest employers of the present, but they’re also the source of inventions and technologies that hold potential for ...

  • Hillside Protection Plan’s Time Has Come Published 10/12/2011 at 11:27 a.m. 3 comments

    After a protracted process that’s involved a lot of wheel-spinning, the time has come for County Commission and City Council to jointly approve a Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan worthy of the name.

  • Chattanooga’s Economic Development Edge Published 10/5/2011 at 11:59 a.m. 0 comments

    Not since 2008, when Green Mountain Coffee started roasting here and Sysco opened its big distribution center, has Knoxville seen a major new employer come to town.

  • Alignment Needed In County Redistricting Published 9/21/2011 at 11:31 a.m. 0 comments

    Of the 64 counties in Tennessee that have a single countywide school system, Knox County is one of only four in which school board districts are not aligned with County Commission districts.

  • All Online Sales Should Be Taxed Published 9/7/2011 at 11:36 a.m. 0 comments

    The dispute over whether should collect sales tax on its online sales to Tennesseans needs to be resolved. But the solution needs to come from Washington, not Nashville, and it should apply to all online retailers, not just Amazon.

  • A Former Metro Pulse Publisher Reminisces Published 8/24/2011 at 5:07 p.m. 1 comment

    Joe Sullivan: When Metro Pulse started in 1991, I was looking, at age 54, to undertake what amounted to my fourth career.

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