Smaller Size Matters
Bug in Our Ear
You may have read about Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert calling Commissioner John Schmid a name during a heated exchange in the hall outside the County Commission meeting last week, reported by the daily to be an "anatomical epithet."
Lambert called Schmid a "peckerhead" and suggested they look on top of his bald head to see if there was a hole through which he... well we aren't going there.
The exchange occurred after Schmid discovered newly picked Commissioner Richard Cate in the hall about to be sworn in. Cate was to be sworn and then take his seat and give the sheriff's slate an additional vote to fill the other 4th District seat. Schmid, who has represented the 4th District, faced down Cate and persuaded him to back out of the plan.
Cate explained to reporters he didn't really know what was going on, he had just wandered out into the hall and discovered a judge walking by and thought he would just go ahead and be sworn in. "Somebody" had suggested he get sworn in but he couldn't remember who. Later in the meeting, newly named Commissioner Chuck Bolus was sworn in to provide the extra vote.
When Bolus was seated, it was suggested that all the newly named commissioners also be sworn in if any of them wanted to be. Most of the newly named commissioners were in the hall, but none volunteered to get into the middle of the mess. Bolus was the only new commissioner to vote naming Lee Trammel to the 4th District seat.
The stop-Tramel movement attempted to nominate developer Scott Davis to the post and the result was a 9-9 tie for several votes. But in the early going, Davis had nine votes, since Commissioner Diane Jordan voted for Davis. Davis could have been named. But Guthe inexplicably voted "pass" on that go around. Jordan switched to Tramel in later rounds and Davis never got to the 10 votes needed to be appointed.
The only explanation we could get from commissioners about the strategy involved in the "pass" maneuver is: "Somebody dropped the cue cards."
Saltsman has been working for U.S. Sen. Bill Frist in recent years and was expected to work for Frist's presidential run. Frist not only retired from the Senate, he gave up his plans to run in 2008.
Saltsman is a former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party and is roundly despised by some conservatives, like the Tennessee Conservative Union, for bumping conservatives from the party executive committee in favor of former Gov. Don Sundquist 's choices. You may remember his father, Bruce , Sundquist's Transportation Commissioner, who had a very public feud with former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe over area road projects and had a dust up at a press conference with then state-Rep. H.E. Biddle over the Hardin Valley by-pass.
Smaller Size Matters
The State of the Church in America, Diocese by Diocese , a study conducted of 176 dioceses and reported on by the Rev. Rodger Hunter-Hall and Steven Wagner , was published in the February/March 2007 issue of Crisis magazine. Criteria considered in the study included the number of active priests, number of vocations to the priesthood and number of adults received into the church. The report concluded smaller dioceses fared best and that the Northeast is the least healthy region of the church and the South is the most robust. Following Knoxville's diocese, in order, were those in Savannah, Ga.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Alexandria, La.; Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., and Santa Fe, N. Mex.