ear (2006-34)

Bug in Our Ear


There was some fear that there might be an adverse reaction to the sale of the property, given the current controversy over other TVA land sales. But local recruiters think a company large enough to be interested in the site would not be reluctant to pursue it in the face of adverse publicity.

Pay Per View?

There will be a delegation protesting a proposal to buy acreage at the Midway Road exit on I-40 in East Knox County for an industrial park. There will be a pitch for more money to fund the new Hardin Valley High School. There is also a proposal postponed from last meeting on pensions for Sheriff’s deputies. Those items will be considered by five commissioners attending their last meeting: David Collins , Wanda Moody , Larry Stephens , Mary Lou Horner and Mike McMillan , all defeated or retiring. Then there are the eight commissioners supposed to be term-limited but reprieved by Chancellor John Weaver : Diane Jordan , Larry Clark , John Schmid , Phil Guthe , John Griess , Mark Cawood , Billy Tindell and J ohn Mills .

There are only six commissioners who are not term-limited and who won re-election: Mike Hammond , Craig Leuthold , Ivan Harmon, Paul Pinkston , Tank Strickland and Scott Moore . Should the state Supreme Court uphold term limits, only these six members will be voting Monday and will still be around to deal with the results on the pension, the Hardin Valley School and the industrial park.

The meeting is also scheduled to pass congratulatory resolutions for all the outgoing commissioners, departing Law Director Mike Moyers and retiring Chancellor Sharon Bell .

He’s Baaaaaack!

Harber told the Shopper he had two different county jobs and never did anything but politics for the mayor, running political campaigns for County Commission, the school board and the General Assembly.

The e-mail sent around after the election purported to be from Tyler Harber actually was from Harber, listing all the elections he worked for Ragsdale and in which he was largely successful. One eye-opener was his taking credit for helping defeat the downtown convention center hotel, which should come as a surprise for Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam .

Who Holds the Gavel?

The item, proposed by Councilman Joe Hultquist , was withdrawn as the council meeting began because Hultquist thought his colleagues needed more time to think about it. He says the measure has nothing to do with current Mayor Bill Haslam, who he says does a “positive” job of presiding. Hultquist says a strong mayor form of government, which Knoxville has, should not have the executive presiding over a meeting, which is the most important function of Council. He also points out that the previous administration demonstrated that the form is open to abuse.

Hultquist argues that the present form relieves legislators of responsibility to manage “the most important part of their function.” He said he hopes to bring the measure back sometime in the future.

Ethics Trip

There is a candidate from New York and one from Massachusetts and one from the U.S. Navy. Cynical Nashville observers think these individuals are excellent cover to enable the commission to hire William Walter Hunt III , the fourth finalist. “Trip” Hunt has been the disciplinary counsel for the state Board of Professional Responsibility, and he has investigated thousands of ethics complaints against Tennessee lawyers over the years.

The six-member Ethics Commission regulates public officials and has subpoena and audit powers.

Peyton Bends the Curve

Tennessee has a lot of players in the NFL but the high ranking may be the result of Peyton Manning blowing the curve: on a points system per-player on such things as ranking in the draft, scoring, NFL success, etc. Manning scored 94 success points out of a possible 96. The paper notes 60 percent of the rest of the Vols points “came from alumni on lousy teams like Green Bay.”

The next five most successful NFL producers were Michigan, Miami, Auburn, LSU and North Carolina. North Carolina?