Playing to the Press

It is unusual for a government department head to go to the media with a budget-busting proposal without clearing it with the boss.

If the boss is for it, you let the boss announce it. If the boss can't afford it, you don't make them turn it down in public.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch came to the budget hearings with a proposal for 40 new cops, which led coverage of the event. He followed that by making another pitch on the front page of the News Sentinel the morning of Mayor Madeline Rogero's budget luncheon.

Aside from stepping on the mayor's big public relations event, he put Rogero in the position of having to turn down the request in a public forum.

One can only imagine the reaction of some of Knoxville's previous mayors.