Live blogging from the Knox County Commission special meeting to appoint replacements for vacancies created by the term-limits ruling. Running commentary after the list of appointments.
Sheriff (Tim Hutchison): J.J. Jones
County Clerk (Mike Padgett): Billy Tindell
Trustee (Mike Lowe): Fred Sisk
Register of Deeds (Steve Hall): Sherry Witt
1st District (Diane Jordan): Josh Jordan
2nd District (Billy Tindell): Charles Bolus
4th District A (John Schmid): Richard Cate
4th District B (Phil Guthe): Lee Tramel
5th District (John Griess): Frank Leuthold
6th District (Mark Cawood): Sharon Cawood
8th District (John Mills): Jack Huddleston
9th District (Larry Clark): Tim Greene
8:38 We are on the scene at the City County bldg. Local media is here and commissioners are huddling. Beanster just showed up.
8:57 Call to order and roll call. Lumpy Lambert absent. Prayer, pledge. Scoobie: "Play Ball!" Oh wait, recess to wait for Lumpy.
9:06 Lumpy's here, call to order. Call for nominations for Sheriff. All pass. Smith: "What are we doing here?" nominates J.J. Jones.
Only name in nomination for Sheriff is JJ Jones. Vote. 18-0 1 pass (Schmid). Jones gets it at 9:09. Jones being sworn in at 9:11. Two minute recess to wait for judge to swear him in. 9:20 Jones sworn in by Judge Workman.
9:21 County Clerk nominations. Billy Tindell, George Stooksbury. Nomination from the floor: Jeffery Lawhorn. Tindell 14, Stooksbury 4. Tindell appointed. Question to law director. Tindell's seat now vacant. Can't vote. (Betty: Tindell out of office for the first time in 30 years.) Question: If he isn't sworn in yet, why is his seat vacant. Motion to swear him in and appoint someone to his seat. (Scoobie: the votes aren't going to be close. Schmid: Do you know something we don't?) Debate about process. Motion to vote. Griess moves to go by law directors opinion. Agreed, Schmid and Harmon vote no.
9:34 Nominations for Register of Deeds. Sherry Witt. Scott Emge. Vote: Witt 17, Emge 1 (Mark Harmon). Witt appointed.
9:37 Nominations for Trustee: Fred Sisk, One nomination. Sisk appointed, Unanimous.
9:40 Guthe moves for 4th district to go first since both commissioners are being replaced. Agreed. Nominations for 4th district seat A: Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon), Schmid: my nominee (Fisher) withdrew because of article in paper re. sunshine law. Scott Davis (Schmid). Griess nominates Fisher. Schmid: he asked to be withdrawn. Withdrawn. Lee Tramel (Lambert). Mark Harmon withdraws Elaine Davis. Greiss nominates Richard Cate. Tramel 4, Cate 10, Scott Davis 4. Richard Cate appointed 4th District Seat A.
9:49 4th District Seat B nomination. Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon). Jim Smeltzer (Guthe). Scott Davis (Hammond). Lee Tramel (Lambert). William Daniels (Smith). From the floor: Ed Shouse. Vote (fifth round) Tramel 8, Scott Davis 9. (Guthe passed.) Must have 10 votes.
10:10 Ten minute recess called. (Rumor is: Davis will get it. Guthe is the center of attention. New rumor: Swear in Cates so he can vote?
10:34 Convening. Greiss moves item be moved to end of agenda and proceed. Schmid objects. Roll call. Defeated. Voting again on 4th district seat B.
10:38 Sixth vote on 4th District Seat B: Jordon changed her vote, Guthe changed from pass to Davis. Tramel 9, Davis 9. Seventh, correction, eighth round: still deadlocked. Motion to postpone. Defeated. Ninth vote: still deadlocked. Two minute recess. (Reports that Cates was in the middle of being sworn in during the previous break but when the media converged they called it off...)
10:58 Reconvened. Smith moves to allow Tramel and Davis to speak for three minutes. Required 2/3 vote to change agenda. Motion fails. Tenth vote: Still deadlocked nine to nine.
11:01 Griess moves to put the vote at the end of the agenda. Requires 2/3 vote. Motion passes.
11:03 Nominations for 1st District. Jordan nominates Josh Jordan. Helen Lewis (Mark Harmon). Nick Della Volpe (Smith). From the floor: Jimmy Golan/Golden (?) (self), Robin Brothers (self). Vote: Jordan 16, Lewis 1, Della Volpe 1. Josh Jordon appointed.
11:09 2nd District nominations. Amy Broyles (Mark Harmon) John Wimmer (Norman). Debra Porter (Smith). Charles Bolus (Moore). From the floor: Chuck Williams. Vote (third round): Bolus 6, Wimmer 6, Porter 3, Broyles 3. Recess called at 11:21.
11:35 Resumed. Fourth vote: Bolus 11, Wimmer 5, Porter 1, Broyles 2. Bolus wins. (Got an extra vote there, not sure where the error is.)
11:38 Nominations for 5th district. Teresa Shupp (Norman). Frank Leuthold (Griess). Robin Butler (Lambert). From the floor: Tom Salter. Vote: Shupp 1, Leuthold 15, Salter 1, Butler 1. Leuthold appointed.
11:46 Nominations for 6th District. Sharon Cawood (Lambert), Howard Phillips (Smith), Jimmy Shelton from the floor. Vote: Cawood 15, (others drowned out by applause).
11:48 Nominations for 8th District: Maurice Freed (Harmon), Jack Huddleston (Mills), Kay Fazier (floor), Tom Pressley (floor, Bill Young). Vote: Huddleston 17 Freed 1.
11:54 9th District nominations. Martin Pleasant (Mark Harmon), Tim Greene (Clark). From the floor: Josh Lowe, Matt Meyers (by Josh Lowe), joke nominee "the good guest" who knows when it's time to pack up and go home, Ruby Wright (self), Ronald Lee Tucker (rants about the "travesty" and says he will keep talking until they making him leave, Scoobie says "then I'll have to ask you to leave"). Vote: Greene 16, Pleasant 1. Greene Appointed.
12:00 Recess called.
12:04 Rumor: Chuck Bolus sworn in, may seat him to try to break the deadlock. Tramel in?
12:08 Reconvened. Bolus takes Tindell's seat.
12:10 Mark Harmon, point of order: notice someone new seated. Objects to swearing in one commissioner instead of all as previously agreed. Law director: this was always a possibility. Bolus has taken the oath, filed it with the clerk. He may take his seat. Schmid: Stinks! Despicable, underhanded, something to that effect. Insult to the people of the 4th district. Guthe: should we now start over for 4th District nominations? Law director: Yes, because Bolus was not involved in nominations. Lumpy: Can others be sworn in? Lumpy moves to recess to swear in replacements. Scooby, this was always a possibility. Anyone can get sworn in if they want. Guthe withdraws motion. Scoobie asks if anybody wants to be sworn in.
12:16 Start 4th District B nominations all over again. Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon), William Daniels (Norman), Lee Tramel (Ivan Harmon), Jim Smeltzer (Guthe) Scott Davis (Hammond). Scott Davis (from the floor) withdraws name from nomination. Tramel 12, Daniels 1, Smeltzer 4, Davis 1. Tramel appointed.
And that's all folks!
UPDATE: Speculation is that Ragsdale was the loser today, and now he's looking at a tough budget with a new under/unfunded pension, and no votes on county commission to raise any new taxes. One person remarked that "we just witnessed a sheriff who is out of office take over Knox County government."
Whatever it was we watched today, it was historic (as radio talk show host Hubert Smith who was sitting nearby put it) and from my point of view it was fascinating.
And not knowing who all these people were or the names being thrown around or all the power plays and insider trading going on, I REALLY appreciate Betty Bean helping me at least get some of the names spelled right. I'm sure she will have a full play by play of all the inside baseball and dynamics at play in the next Halls Shopper. Scott Barker will likely have a good report in tomorrow's News Sentinel, too.
Photos after the jump...
The media gathers
Standing room only
Sheriff J.J. Jones sworn in
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