franktalk (2007-42)

Winning Platform

Frank Talk

Tell Mom Iâ’m a piano player in a whorehouse, wonâ’t you?

by Frank Cagle

There seems to be no shortage of candidates for the Knox County Commission next year and, after studying it from all angles, Iâ’ve decided I might as well go for it, too. After all, itâ’s not just a job, itâ’s a lifestyle.

A lot of you have decided not to run because you donâ’t want your mother to find out you are on the Knox County Commission. Youâ’d rather she think you are a piano player in a whorehouse. (I know itâ’s an old joke, but there is a younger generation to educate.) But Iâ’m a political columnist used to people cussinâ’ me every week; what do I have to lose?

I confess Iâ’m really doing it for the children.

Two of themâ"in school, and needing a county job when they graduate.

Since Iâ’m semi-retired, I also hope to get one of those jobs for myself where I â“work from home.â” In the old days we called them no-show jobs, but that was before computers and cell phones. I could also use some free cable, health insurance, and a pension. Iâ’m sure the padded chairs at the Commission meetings are more comfortable than the park benches I usually use. Wonder if they let you whittle during the meetings?

I want to assure the News Sentinel I would never be guilty of a Sunshine Law violation. None of the other members of county Commission would speak to me anyway.

The current Commission doesnâ’t seem to understand that it doesnâ’t matter what you do or who you screw, as long as you have â“process.â” I promise you we will bus in the â“publicâ” and allow them to scream and rant or even make logical, common-sense arguments, if they insist, before we do what the lobbyists want us to do. I promise you the process will be impeccable. Weâ’ll even ask a blogger working in the Homebuildersâ’ office to monitor the meetings and critique our performance. What could be more transparent?

My platform will be to bring efficiency to the governmental process. The present process is just a hodge-podge. I will set up a system where the groups that lobby county Commission can participate in a simple bid process. You want a piece of property rezoned? Put in the highest bid and you get it. No suspense. No worry about getting the votes. Weâ’ll trust you to send along the cashâ"FedEx, no checksâ"because we know you will want to do business in the future. That would be to our campaign account, of course. What were you thinking?

You want to re-write the stormwater ordinance? No problem. Itâ’s the Golden Rule, adapted from the state Legislature. Them that have the gold, rule. You want drain pipes made out of paper-maché? Why not? Just have your lawyer write up the ordinance and send it to me and Iâ’ll introduce it as an amendment.

You want to put 1,000 units of housing on a half-mile of two-lane county road? Not a problem. We can work it out. I suggest a round of free golf and a few beers at the 19th hole while we come to a meeting of the minds.

I am somewhat concerned about some of the latest proposals requiring a meeting every week for committees, workshops and public input. When you go from working one day a month to working four days a month, itâ’s a 400 percent increase in the work load. (I also want to be on the finance and budget committee.) I would think a pay increase would be in order.

Itâ’s a hellish job, but someone has to do it. Iâ’ve had a lot of good things happen in my life and have benefited from living in Godâ’s country. It is a small price to pay to volunteer to serve. As for my opponents, I would remind you of the reality of your continuing to run for office.

You are going to spend an inordinate amount of time in the same room with Mark Harmon, R. Larry Smith and Lumpy Lambert.

Think about it long and hard.

Frank Cagle is a political analyst . You can reach him at .


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