In one of its more bizarre editorials of late, the KNS says the County Commission vote to stop Midway is "nearsighted, shows a lack of backbone, and sends the wrong message to businesses that might want to invest in Knox County."

Further, some commissioners "seem more concerned about placating Thorn Grove residents opposed to the park than doing what's best for the county."

Since when is representing the wishes of the people who elected you "placating?"

But wait. There's more.

County Mayor Burchett is "unaware of the basic facts" and his "apparent ignorance" is "breathtaking and smacks of incompetence."


You'll have to pay 75 cents to read this chamber-speak propaganda hit piece because it isn't posted online. Can't say as I blame them. I'd be embarrassed, too.

slapshot's picture

This happens a lot at the

This happens a lot at the KNS. Controversial editorials somehow don't make the online version. Scott Barker will be here soon to apologize and it will be online around 1:00 PM or so. Difficult to find about 1:30 PM.

cafkia's picture

It would be worth the $.75

It would be worth the $.75 only if information was included as to exactly who wrote and/or pushed for the verbiage and publishing. It sounds to me like someone who either stood to get their hands in the public pocket or stands closely with someone who meets that description.

75 Cents Wasted's picture

Editorial assumes big business would located to East Knox County

When in fact our commercial history shows us otherwise. Phillips Consumer Electronic left this area several years ago for Atlanta and nothing, zero, zilch has even sniffed in that area since then.

The News Sentinel would not locate their facilities out there, why should they get on a soapbox and advocate other businesses located out there.

In my opinion, the heat is about to get turned up high on Edwards and the rest of the high dollar talent at UberChamber, he makes $100,000 a year more than his counterpart in Chattanooga and considerably more than most communities contribute as a whole to their economic development in the smaller economic development offices in the adjacent counties and everybody is running circles around him regarding development in East Tennessee. In typical political speak he has blamed everything on the planet besides his own incompentence, inexperience, and wholesale lack of familiarity with how you develop and relocate for profit businesses to Knoxville and Knox County. The economic development record speaks for itself and JOBS NOW! was nothing more than a fundraising excercise by the chamber to pay these exhorbitant salaries, perks, benefits, 401ks, and bonuses, again with no measurable or identifiable job to show for the effort.

Finally, people in the community (and in the local media) are begining to realize that our much balleyhooed economic development gurus, really can't compete with the professional recruters hired in other cities and the straight forward approach to bringing "outsiders" to the "inside" part of their community. In my opinion, Edwards and team need to be dismissed and as Burchette said get back to the drawing board and get back to bringing businesses to Knoxville and Knox County and stop the back room hyginx, lining pockets of local developers, and playing politics with everything and accomplishing nothing.

Crawfish's picture

"In my opinion, Edwards and

"In my opinion, Edwards and team need to be dismissed and as Burchette said get back to the drawing board and get back to bringing businesses to Knoxville and Knox County and stop the back room hyjinx, lining pockets of local developers, and playing politics with everything and accomplishing nothing."

That should be the curtain call for Mike Edwards. That is flat out insubordination. I think Edwards was knee deep in that editorial. He should lose his job for it. We don't need the Development Corporation. They have a poor track record and cost way too much money.

It's time to shut it down. Take the money back and pay off Ragsdale's bonds. County Commission has better not talk tax increases if there is one dime in the Development Corporation's bank account.

j.f.m.'s picture

It's online

It's online now.


trobinson's picture


They hit all of TDC talking points. None of the Community's perspective.
I'm surprised that they're attacking the Mayor, tho.
I hope this internety thing really does bring a voice back to the people.

trobinson's picture

thanks for the heads up

It's probably mostly written by someone at the chamber, they are huge advertisers at the NS.

It's ironic that the NS calls mayor Burchett "unaware of the basic facts". From my conversations with him he had a really good grasp of what's going on and from reading the stories and editorials in the NS they had a shallow understanding of individual issues. The Metro Pulse (another Scripts property?) had a thorough airing of the facts. Too bad MP stayed neutral and didn't discuss the big elephant turd in the living room. Everybody just keeps stepping over it.

Sounds like someone has had their feelings hurt.

j.f.m.'s picture

Speaking of Metro Pulse,

Speaking of Metro Pulse, here's our (OK, my) follow-up on last week's vote:


trobinson's picture

And thank you for it. I was

And thank you for it. I was struck by Edwards comment:

“There were some votes that happened Friday that I’m not sure I’ll ever understand."

I'm sure that's true. I don't think he will ever understand why people are against this type of development. Many folks I talk to do understand: Prominent Knox business leaders, Econ Dev people, the posters here. But I truly think that he doesn't. Is that the person we need recruiting more HGTV types of businesses?

I hope the local press will hold these people accountable, It doesn't seem anyone else is.

PS: why didn't you use my favorite quote of the night: farming is a "bad use" of farmland.

j.f.m.'s picture

PS: why didn't you use my

PS: why didn't you use my favorite quote of the night: farming is a "bad use" of farmland.

I did like that quote (it was a highlight of our live Twitter coverage of the meeting). I wanted to work it in, but was already devoting too much space to summarizing the meeting.

EricLykins's picture

and Frank Cagle's, h/t Flory:

MemphisSlim's picture

Edwards is paid big bucks to push this crap thru commission

through MPC, through the court system, and through the community.

However, in this instance he has failed every step of the way and he's got to answer to some very moneyed people about why things didn't turn out the way he is paid to make them turn out. Again, he points his finger at everybody, now Burchette, now the commission, however, as everybody enjoys the holiday season, who's lame now Mr. Edwards? If you blame, you're lame.

Riddle me this, if Edwards wasn't pontificating as the head of the SuperChamber, where would we find him employed? The answer to that question fully demonstrates his lack of business and economic development skills necessary to bring jobs, businesses, and real economic development (not strip shopping centers) to Knox County.

MemphisSlim's picture

KNS and McELroy forgot to mention the talented recruiters and

capable business development leadership in Chattanooga, (VW assembly, Amazon, Wingard)Greenville, South Caroline (BMW assembly, Michelin, Lockheed, GE)Tuscaloosa (Mercedez Benz assembly, converting to C class cars by 2013, BFGoodrich). These are huge employers and manufacturers and Edwards want to claim it's the land not his leadership that prevent Knoxville and Knox County from attracting these types of employers.

But, the Chamber is in discussions with several parts suppliers for VW (outright falsehood), talking about a billion dollar project in East Knox County (Strickland took some liberties with the facts - another falsehood)and we have a bunch of political hacks and spin meisters running business development and those are the type of people and programs private business do not want to get tangled up with.

It's the people in charge of recruiting business and industry to Knox County, not the availability or existence of raw land.

rikki's picture

There's not much vision in

There's not much vision in that editorial unless you consider nostalgia for the Homestead Act visionary. Is luring in outsiders with land giveaways really how Knox Co should "prepare for the future?"

It was TDC's lack of vision that was most striking at the commission meeting last week. Instead of saying he was unprepared and trying to play the victim card, Todd Napier should have listed the types of tenants that could fit into the traffic and wastewater constraints of the proposed development. TDC just tossed out vague employment projections and envy at the acreage nearby cities can offer. That's vision?

R. Neal's picture

Smaller Cities Becoming

Smaller Cities Becoming Hotbeds for High-Tech Growth

Look at the cities they profile. They're all around us and we have many of the same attributes (except maybe the educated hi-tech workforce part). Somehow this message isn't getting out.

Pam Strickland's picture

Just want to note that

Just want to note that somebody in Cincinnati signs my checks for the KNS column and I have said we need to go with this techy-geeky thing but first we'll have to cough up some education dollars. The troglodyte commenters hate me for it too.

Don J. 's picture

I read that editorial a few

I read that editorial a few times and it doesn't make sense. That could easily have been written by someone at the DC. They seem to have difficulty telling the truth. It may be the most slanted piece I have ever read in the Knoxville News Sentinel. The oversight of it not being online is suspicious. Not a good day for the Knoxville News Sentinel. Not a good day for Knox County.

Ann's picture


That editorial was so lame (and embarassing for the citizens of Knox County). If the almighty private businesses understand what's going on, they'll continue to give us a wide berth. The good news is the people who actually live and work here are now trying hard to keep and grow all the good things about Knox County.

75 cents wasted's picture

Attached are the Chamber's "upcoming events"

and it is quite easy to see why they are not attracting business and industry to Knox County, they are way too busy running a social club, raving about Facebook and social media, and celebrating themselves that they have fully and completely missed the mark, but they will be living large at the UT-Vandy basketball game come January 15. It's all about who and what your priorities are Mike Edwards (ribbon cutting at the 3 minute car wash, seriously?)

1/6/2011 Social Media for Business Seminar Series: Should You Be Using Social Media for your Business? The Answer Might Surprise You!
1/7/2011 Health Insurance Exchange Briefing
1/11/2011 Social Media Seminar Series: Facebook for Business
1/11/2011 New Member Reception
1/13/2011 a.m. Exchange at the Knoxville Marriott
1/13/2011 Alternative Fuel Information Session
1/15/2011 Chamber Family Night with UT Basketball
1/15/2011 Chamber Family Night with Lady Vols Basketball
1/18/2011 Social Media Seminar Series: Twitter for Business
1/19/2011 Ribbon Cutting for 3 Minute Magic Car Wash of Knoxville
1/20/2011 Exclusive Premier Partner Event with Dr. Jim McIntyre, Knox County Superintendent of Schools
1/20/2011 Ribbon Cutting for Family Dentistry of Knoxville
1/25/2011 Social Media Seminar Series: Blogging for Business
2/10/2011 Fantasy Casino Night
5/6/2011 Save The Date - 2011 Pinnacle Business Awards Gala

Rachel's picture

I don't know why ya'll are so

I don't know why ya'll are so surprised. The KNS consistently supported Midway.

Fazion's picture

"The KNS consistently

"The KNS consistently supported Midway."

So did MPC. That is why people are upset. This wasted a lot of time and money. It shows what is still wrong in Knoxville. Too few people making too many important decisions. MPC should have taken Midway out of the sector plan. There were plenty of chances to do so. You people need to wake up.

bill young's picture

August 9,1945

The end of WWII was on August 9th,1945.

At that time,we laughed at our neighbors to the south.

If you wanted to see Rock City..go to Chattanooga.

If you wanted a job come to Knoxville.

Sixty-five years ago,we were a blue collar manufacturing hub.

And,IMO,a vibrant economy is based on blue collar payrolls not retail,tourist or government payrolls.

However,we got lazy & went,whole hog,with "the notion that Knoxville is a government town."

Our blue collar manufacturing payroll shrunk & our government/retail payroll swelled.

Just look at the explosion of jobs @ TVA,Oak Ridge & UT from 1945 till the mid-80's.Also,don't forget the boost of the 1982 World's Fair payrolls.

In those 40 years (1945-1985),the payrolls from TVA,Oak Ridge,UT & the World's Fair gave us a false sense of a stable local economy.

Frankly,we were government payroll junkies.And like all junkies we didn't see that the TVA/Oak Ridge/UT economic engine has been dying for the last 25 years & is DOA in the 2nd decade of the 21st century.

Therefore,a generation..maybe 2, never learned the hard task of blue collar payroll recruitment.

So for nearly 40 years (1972-present), we have followed the primrose path of touting West Towne,East Towne & Turkey Creek retail centers,big box retail expansion,a tourist attraction(World's Fair),a Convention Center,a rebuilt Downtown & hoped for expanding government payrolls, as a vibrant economic plan.

It's not.

No blue collar payrolls;just 40 years of dependence on government/retail/tourist payrolls.

I would ask the News-Sentinal.

1.How many times, this year, has the paper advocated the TVA/Oak Ridge/UT economic engine?

2.Or the payroll created @ Turkey Creek/Downtown?

The paper is simply advocating the same ole primrose path

The payrolls @ TVA/Oak Ridge/UT are gone.
Don't see 'em ever coming back.


Retail payrolls are unstable.
First to go in uncertain economic times.

OTH,how many times has the paper advocated bringing blue collar payrolls to Knox County from China,India,Russia or Japan?

To get blue collar payrolls invested in Knox County takes hard work.Must go global & get 'em local.

That's the Chamber,the Mayors,the Council & the Commission,The Sheriff & the Chief & the school system all working together.

And YES!!

The News-Sentinal as well.

In the 21st century our neighbors to the south are laughing at us...

If you want to see a football game..go to Knoxville.

If you want a job..come to Chattanooga

sugarfatpie's picture

You need to look at the data

You need to look at the data on what types of jobs in Knox Co, and nationally, are growing now. Its not manufacturing. These jobs aren't that desirable anyways. Pay is often low and the threat of moving to Mexico, China, or Mississippi, is always there.

As usually I waded into your way too long ramblings, got to the point where I could stand it no longer, and skipped the rest. Sorry if you realized that manufacturing jobs are not the answer somewhere towards the 4th or 5th foot of your scroll.

j.f.m.'s picture

Not quite

If you want a job..come to Chattanooga

I think everybody's going overboard about the wonders of Chattanooga. Current unemployment rate, Knox County: 7.2 percent. Current unemployment rate, Hamilton County: 8.1 percent. From the latest ACS, median household income, Knox County: $46,233. Median household income, Hamilton County: $45,557.

Not a knock on Chattanooga, they're obviously doing some things well in terms of industrial recruitment. Of course, they have some advantages on that front that Knox County doesn't. Likewise, Knox County has some advantages on other fronts. None of that is to defend or trumpet Knox County's economic development efforts. But a little perspective is important. If you listen to talk here or from county commissioners, it sounds like Chattanooga is somehow economically leaps and bounds ahead of Knoxville. The numbers don't bear that out.

rikki's picture

The strange thing is

The strange thing is Chattanooga envy died years ago, and there has been barely a peep about it, then it started up again when you got back. It's probably just a coincidence.

bill young's picture

It's not envy

It's that, for decades, I believe Knoxville/Knox County has been way behind in recruiting industry that employees middle class working folks.

Could be the rambling comments I have made don't really get to the point but the ideas are based on the method Jack Fishman used to recruit industry to Morristown.

And the bottom line's a simple goal but not an easy task.

To get the elected folks,the police chief,the superentindent, the Chamber & the News-Sentinal singing from the same song sheet is not easy.

First, agree that we have a problem.

Next,set goals.

Then...make it so.

Sure folks are going to have swallow things they don't
like but we got to..GIT ER DONE!

j.f.m.'s picture

Ha. Well it was kind of

Ha. Well it was kind of disconcerting to hear people singing from that songbook again. It's like when Briggs said something about Knoxville having a "history of missed opportunities." It's the old "Inferiority Complex Waltz," why can't we be City X, Y, or Z? I thought we had sort of moved beyond all that poor-mouthing. (For the record, I'm sure Knoxville has missed some opportunities, but different people might have very different ideas about what those were. And Knoxville has also embraced a great number of "opportunities" that turned out to be less than they were sold as.)

bill young's picture

I don't know..just throwing it out there

But I do know something ain't right.Should be nailing down folks to invest in industrial property...not a long drawn out battle to secure the property.

By the time this thing was brought to the final was a dead man walking.

7-4 is a stomping.

Dante Malebranche's picture

Simply ..."Those who can make

Simply ..."Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."... Voltaire

jbr's picture

Watching the recording of

Watching the recording of county commission meeting on Midway Road it looked
like Anders was texting while Jarret was talking at the beginning. What are the rules on communication during cc meetings by commissioners?

Up Goose Creek's picture

Don't waste farmland on commercial parks

In an ironic twist - KDC may have made a brilliant investment in farmland - they just don't realize it yet.

The price of farmland is soaring:


bill young's picture

Blue Collar Payroll

The VW plant in Chattanooga is a prime example of a 21st century blue collar payroll.

And in both the 20th century & 21st century blue collar payroll bottom line is.....

Middle class working folk drawing a good wage.
With employment security.

Which,IMO, for Chattanooga ,means:

In the short term, disposable income will rise.

That will trigger spending & build retail payroll which in turn will create more disposable income....

A steady increase in Chattanooga's retail sales will get revenues hitting '07 numbers..not the bleak '08-'10 numbers.

And an increase in retail sales = an increase in sales tax revenue.

In the long term, housing.

The housing market is in a deep freeze.

But the stability of blue collar payrolls is the first step in housing investment.

Without job security one stays in a starter home a little longer than they had planned.Or continues to rent not buy.

But with job security many of those folks will start buying homes.

Sooner than most Chattanooga will experience a thawing of the housing market.

And a thaw in the housing market = an increase in property tax revenue.

Ah..yes the point of this ramble...

Paychecks for working folks is where it's at for a thriving economy.But we must span the globe to find those paychecks.

And when we find 'em we gotta bring 'em home & get those paychecks in Knox Countian's pockets.

It's a simple goal but not an easy task.

The Mayors,the Superintendent of Schools,the Sheriff,the Chief of Police & the Director of the Chamber, must be in harmony.

And the City Council, the County Commission, the School Board, the state legislative delegation & the Chamber's Executive Committee must be singing off the same page.

The News-Sentinal must also be on board.'s a simple goal..everybody work together to get jobs in Knox County.

But it's a difficult task to make it happen.

trobinson's picture

The comments are still coming

The comments are still coming in over at the KNS. The tone is pleasantly surprising.
No Backbone.

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