Fri
Sep 11 2009
09:10 pm

Knox County Charter Sec. 2.03 specifies the following elections for County Commission in 2010:

County Commission District 1 for six years
County Commission District 2 for six years
County Commission District 3 for four years
County Commission District 4 for six years
County Commission District 5 for six years
County Commission District 6 for six years
County Commission District 7 for four years
County Commission District 8 for six years
County Commission District 9 for six years
County Commission Seat 10 at-large for four years
County Commission Seat 11 at-large for four years

Rachel's picture

Greg, Settle this for me. I

Greg,

Settle this for me. I keep hearing arguments both ways. Can Paul Pinkston run for another term or not?

Greg Mackay's picture

Can Paul Pinkston run for another term or not?

I don't know.
He may be able to be on the ballot.
Can he serve if he wins?
I don't know.

I know it sounds like I'm dodging the question but, as Administrator, I really don't have the legal authority to decide who goes on the ballot.

Do you want to live in a country were somebody in the Courthouse decides who does and who doesn't get to be on the ballot?

I think not.

Read Frank Cagle's column:
(link...)

Read the Charter:

Sec. 9.17. Term limits.
A. Effective January 1, 1995, no person shall be eligible to serve in any elected office of Knox County if during the previous two terms of that office the person in question has served more than a single term. Service prior to the passage of this measure shall not count in determining length of service. Judges are exempt from this provision.

rikki's picture

Sec. 9.17. Term limits. A.

Sec. 9.17. Term limits.
A. Effective January 1, 1995, no person shall be eligible to serve in any elected office of Knox County if during the previous two terms of that office the person in question has served more than a single term. Service prior to the passage of this measure shall not count in determining length of service. Judges are exempt from this provision.

It looks like Frank Cagle did not read the charter. His logic is based on the idea that a person is term limited after they serve two full terms, but the charter clearly states "more than a single term." Hammond and Pinkston have both served more than a single term and can not run for the seats they currently hold. Can they run for an at-large seat? Yes, just as they could run for mayor or trustee or any other seat they do not currently hold.

As for Cagle's abusive interpretation of the residency waiver, I think he has the right answer to that: let the voters decide. It's a clear violation of the spirit of the law for, say, someone from Halls to try to represent Farragut, and I suspect anyone who tries something like that would receive few votes or contributions.

Rachel's picture

Do you want to live in a

Do you want to live in a country were somebody in the Courthouse decides who does and who doesn't get to be on the ballot?

Umm. I wasn't asking you to do that. I just thought you might know the definitive answer.

And I hadn't read MP yet this week. Cagle's column was interesting, to say the least.

Greg Mackay's picture

I wasn't asking you to do that.

I know that you weren't.
I was being a bit over-dramatic to make the point that it ain't my call.
You asked a legitimate question.

I don't know the answer . . . yet.

Nobody's picture

A Realtor

can't answer a legitimate question about elections. However, Mike Hammond can't run, he has clearly served two terms. But, the powers that be in the courthouse don't want to tell the man that is the puppet master to the Big Talker, 100.3 that he can't run.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Hammond, unreliable

However, Mike Hammond can't run, he has clearly served two terms.

Hammond doesn't care. He can raise money running for Commission and then give it to Tim Burchett. Or he can raise money and run for County Mayor.

Hammond knows he cannot run again for Commission. But who will call him on it? You would think the Election Commission would step in as what he is doing is false advertising. But right now Hammond is running countywide for Commission. I sense a memo from Hammond coming.

You would think someone in government would ascertain where Hammond really lives. In the Fifth District, or the Ninth District?

Hammond is not overly concerned about rules.

Greg Mackay's picture

can't answer

Mr. Mitchel,
If only life were so simple, my friend.

bill young's picture

My Objective..if..if..if

I am a voter in Ward 10-N.

A.If redistricting plan 3-A passes county commission,
Ward 10-N will remain in the 1st district.

B.If any other redistricting plan passes county
commission that keeps Ward 10-N in the 1st district.

C.If there are no court rulings that would overturn
the charter changes voted in last year per county
commission.

My objective is to do everything I can to elect
County Commissioner Sam McKenzie to the 6 year
1st district term.

I started working on it a few weeks ago.

Went to the UT Democrats meeting in search
of 10-N voters.

When I found 'em told 'em they needed to
start thinking about voting in the county
Democratic Primary for Sam.

B Harmon's picture

Sixth District

The likelihood that Lumpy could get re-elected to the sixth district for another term is quite alarming, especially if that were for a 6 year stint, giving him a total of ten years of making a mockery of county commission.

It is best described here for any that might have missed this in yesterday's KNS.

Memphis Slim's picture

Somebody in the Courthouse needs to have stones to say NO

to some of these career politicians which the county via the taxpayers have supported for years. Election Commission is in charge of the ballot and who goes on the ballot and to simply say it is not the election commission's job is to completely ignore the fiascos which have occurred over the last 4 years in our electoral process and to continue to ignore the term limits cases which specifically address Knox County and our charter. Had election commission not put these knuckleheads on the ballot in 2006, Diane Jordan's term limit case would have never been an issue, Black Tuesday would never have occurred and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees would never have been spent.

I'd suggest that the Election Commission quit passing the buck and go ahead and file a declaratory judgment action in front of one of the Chancellors regarding all of the existing members of commission in anticipation of what is coming in connection with the redistricting and the politically charged climate coming in 2010.

Election commission owns the ballot and have an obligation to the taxpayers not to put people on the ballot that are not eligible for elected office.

If the Election Commission doesn't want to say no, then go ask a judge what you should say.

Tabbers's picture

If Election Commission can't control its own ballot, what can

it do besides hold elections, maintain an accurate voter registration program, and create lawsuits where many of them could have been avoided.

I think Election Commission, and their newly minted overpaid assistants, need to look at what their job is besides collecting rather generous public salaries, perks, and benfits. They need to be willing to step up to the plate and interpret the election laws themselves rather than constantly running to Nashville to borrow somebody else's balls.

The Republican Party controls the election commission now and they need to be a whole lot more decisive and instructive than the Democratic led organization that did nothing but create 12 years of invalid county candidates and provide fodder for lawsuits.

reform4's picture

They need to overstep their bounds?

Who made them judges? I would say this is judicial activism at its worst, but these people aren't even judges.

The irony is astounding, given the apparently leanings of the author. So much for the so-called "rule of law." Just toss it out for political expediency?

PLEASE read and understand the charge of the Election Commission before mouthing off.

This is why I'm glad we kept a grown-up (McKay) in charge instead of an idiot political appointee.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Not "activist," if approached reasonably

Personally, I don't think it would be "judicial activism" to allow a five-member, bi-partisan Election Commission to make the call.

If presented with a water bill that proved nobody, certainly not a candidate and his family of four, lived at an address claimed by a candidate on his qualifiying petition, isn't it both safe and expedient to allow that body to make a determination? Isn't it less expensive, too, than to fend off the Election Commission lawsuit from the outraged citizen protesting inaction?

(I guarantee you that it's less expensive to the outraged citizen. Been there, done that.)

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Not the fault of the LEA

They need to be willing to step up to the plate and interpret the election laws themselves rather than constantly running to Nashville to borrow somebody else's balls.

So far as qualifying candidates for the ballot is concerned, the problem lies in the ambiguity of state law, not in our Local Election Administrator's (or Local Election Commission's) inability to interpret it.

Basically, one section (TCA 2-11-202) outlining duties of the State Election Coordinator charges him/her with "ensuring that" the Local Election Administrator qualifies candidates.

A parallel section (TCA 2-12-201) outlining duties of the Local Election Administrator DOES NOT charge him/her with that responsibility.

(Check me here: (link...))

Hence the "running to Nashville." Write your legislators to demand that they clean it up. I have.

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