Monday, April 28, 2008

Live- April 28th Commission Meeting

  • 35 minutes just to make modifications to the agenda...

  • Noise over approval of the contract for the new school superintendent. Even though CC approves the contract and provides an overall school budget, it really doesn't have the authority to set the salary or tell the schools how to spend their budget. Clearly this contract will make it difficult for the school board to get a budget increase in this tight year, in the eyes of some commissioners.

  • South Knox school will go out for open bid, with right to reject the results if they are not deemed satisfactory. I have heard of at least one developer that is interested.

  • Libraries will take over maintenance and operations from PBA, in hopes of saving about $1M.

  • Passed resolution to ignore unfunded mandates from the State Legislature. Also voted to urge State officials to comply with same standards (e.g., Open Meetings Act) as those affecting Knox County.

  • Resolution opposing toll roads in Knox County. Some noise that the State wanted to come down and explain why they wanted to do their study. Too bad, CC sez, we don't want a bloody toll road. Motion passes to light applause.

  • Motion to ask Fansler for an advisory opinion on the Open Meetings Act. John Owings, as in the Committee meetings, continues to warn that this is a bad idea. Resolution withdrawn.

  • John Owings noted that the law office has spent 10 hours on an issue Moore brings up about someone who was turned down for a $730 business tax license (apparently hung up due to a successorship issue and unpaid back taxes from the previous owner). Moore is mad because the clerk's office won't return his calls. Apparently the new business owner is using the same address, business name (Knoxville Pre-Owned Center), and phone number. Apparently the Clerk's office feels this is an attempt to avoid due taxes and is denying the license.

  • Audit meeting set for May 19th.

  • Ordinance to amend Charter Committee process to allow CC to be part of appointment process (rather than just the Mayor) passes first reading. Ordinance to change timeline for Charter Amendments also passes first reading.

  • Charter Petition Committee proposals:
  1. Reducing number of signatures- passes second reading
  2. Reducing size of commission, adding two at-large positions- Scott Moore moves to withdraw, with considerable support from other commissioners. Hammond says one person can't do the job, but he's not against people voting on it. Trouble with school board alignment issue, as some school board members would have to move to stay within their elected districts. Stackhouse is raising lots of reapportionment issues (2010), as well as future civil rights lawsuits. The school board provision is problematic. KCP is offering to drop the school board alignment provision (Don Parnell). Current motion is to withdraw (after Moore calls the question cut off Larry Smith's input!). Motion to withdraw passes, so no action on this.
  3. Conflict of Interest- attempt to withdraw fails, motion to approve fails 12-6-1 (Lambert passes). THIS WAS A NO-BRAINER.
  4. Inspector General- Fails, Pinkston, VDF, Wright, Ballard, Lambert, Leuthold, Davis, Ivan Harmon, Strickland + 1 other voting against.
  5. Anti-Nepotism- Fails. Against: Ivan Harmon, Davis, Leuthold, Lambert, Moore, VDF, Pinkston. THAT ONE WAS A NO-BRAINER.
  6. Qualifications (No County Employees on Commission)- Against: Pinkston, Moore, Davis, Ivan Harmon +1 other i didn't catch, Lambert passes. Leuthold recuses. FAILS.
  7. Conflict of Interest for County Commission. Against: I Harmon, Davis, Leuthold, Lambert ,Moore, VDF. Pinkston recuses. FAILS.
How does anyone square voting against anti-nepotism and against conflicts of interest????

Tonight left me totally speechless.

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