Wed
Jan 31 2007
08:43 am

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

County Commission:
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 Schmid: he asked to be withdrawn. Withdrawn.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

290
like
bizgrrl's picture

Seeing bits and pieces on

Seeing bits and pieces on WATE TV.

Number9's picture

Keystone cops?

It is on Community TV channel 13 on Comcast and channel 6 on Charter.

It is also on the second WBIR cable channel. I do not know what that is on Comcast but it is channel 10 on Charter.

I am laughing my butt off. Commission is in the middle of meltdown over rules right now.

Randy, Betty, what is happening in the audience?

jah's picture

We need a new picture to

We need a new picture to stare at on refresh.

:)

KTB's picture

Live Feed

And for those of you who can't be there but want to see the live feed you can use this link from WBIR.

KTB

jah's picture

Clapping

That clapping over the feed is maddening!

Number9's picture

Amazing

After everything John Schmid has done he does a complete reversal and nominates Scott Davis for the Fourth District. But Richard Cate wins with ten votes.

Simply Ridiculous's picture

Dear God

Dear God give these commissioners the sense to see the Lee Trammel is neither qualified or morally sound enough to hold such a position.

Patricia's picture

Surprise

commissioners and sense in the same sentence is an oxymoron
with the emphasis on moron.

Simply Ridiculous's picture

Agreed. But my prayer is

Agreed. But my prayer is still sincere - even if just for a glimmer.......

terri's picture

ms butler

I feel the same way about robin butler. Thankfully they did have the sense to not appoint her, she has questionable moral character and does not seem to be what she appears, as well in my opinion

KTB's picture

Sense

How about giving the commissioners the sense that everybody doesn't need to revote when someone is removed from the list. Just make the commissioners that voted for that candidate re-vote and ask if anybody wishes to change their previous vote.

KTB

rocketsquirrel's picture

deadlock on 4th district

moore: "would anyone like to change their vote?"

griess: "five minute recess."

little arm twisting, anyone? gotta love that sunshine.

jbr's picture

Who asked for the recess?

Griess asked for the recess? Who did he vote for before the recess?

Nows when we should be able to hear what they are talking about.

Can a reporter stick close to them during recess?

rocketsquirrel's picture

griess

griess called for the recess. not sure who he voted for. after previous votes, he had to ask Chairman Moore to actually announce the tally each time. Moore hadn't been, just re-voting not letting commissioners (or us) know where their votes were landing. Can't let the unwashed masses know too much about the process.

Begone, you scoundrels. How dare you question our process?

btw, that five minute recess is going on fifteen by my watch.

Patricia's picture

Recess

They will get somewhere now, they are taking a "break" so they can do some more of their dealings. Scott Davis will come out ahead more than likely, he is a big developer, we all know how much the commissioners love those guys.

Number9's picture

This is what people came to see...

Showdown between Ragsdale and Hutchison. Wonder what they are saying?

rocketsquirrel's picture

All Units: Crime in Progress

Someone call Sheriff Jones. There's a crime in progress at the city county building. Somebody just stole our representative government.

The voters have been mugged.

Simply Ridiculous's picture

oh yeah....

Trammel works(ed) for Sheriff Hutchison. He is political person - spends a lot of time in Nashville. He is also personal friends with Scott Moore, Tony Norman, Randy Hinton, etc. His education goes no further than high school; his experience is with the Sheriff's office, though he just within the last year or so finished the training academy. Otherwise worked at Valley Produce with his best friend from high school.

He's a schmoozer....and only on there for the former Sheriff and Scott Moore.

His lack of qualification as opposed to the other candidates is most likely why he has presented no resume.

CL's picture

Lee Trammel

Otherwise worked at Valley Produce with his best friend from high school.

He's the guy that sent the fruit basket to Ragsdale. It made Rags so mad, he threw the fruit against the wall in his office.

jbr's picture

It sounds like they are

It sounds like they are determined to get Trammel on something. He seems to be in every vote.

rocketsquirrel's picture

another tie, another recess

another tie vote, another recess.

this can't be legal. this just cannot be legal.

Simply Ridiculous's picture

It sounds like they are

It sounds like they are determined to get Trammel on something. He seems to be in every vote.

Yes, it is this guy who wants him:

"Ain't nobody lobbied me," Moore said. "No, heck no. That would be against the law. I can't speak to what others are doing."

Patricia's picture

"Lumpy"

If they don't speed this up Lumpy is going to pass out from food deprivation, he probably hasn't eaten in 30 minutes

Sandra Clark's picture

Control

In some ways, this is a vote for control of the commission between the Moore faction and Ragsdale. This one's huge.

jbr's picture

One thing that has struck

One thing that has struck me, since I am new to watching this closely, is how many people are developers in government. I didnt realize it was that prevalent.
No wonder they seem to have carte blanche in the area.

Trammel must have some good info on these guys. They are determined to get him in somewhere.

rocketsquirrel's picture

tug of war

the issue couldn't be any more clear. like a dog on a chewy bone.

jbr's picture

Think they are pushing it

Think they are pushing it the the end to sort out where it fits into the power balance after other decisions are made?

jbr's picture

What I know of Helen Lewis

What I know of Helen Lewis she seems like a good person. We have had some dealings with her as director of the YWCA.

Number9's picture

Question about the rules?

Why is John Schimd still voting? Schmid is seat A. Richard Cate replaced him for Seat A.

Should he not vacate his seat just as Billy Tindell did in the first appointment? It seems County Commission is violating the instructions of the Supreme Court which instructed that Commissioners would serve until they are replaced. Schmid has been replaced.

How does that work?

KTB's picture

Tremmel and Jordan

What are the credentials of Josh Jordan, is he the one with the High School education that owns a lawn mowing business?

Also, I fond this from the Tyler Harber resignation letter.

I have known for some time that I was a political target of the Sheriff or at least persons in the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Since Knox County Sheriff’s employee Lee Trammel leaked false or misleading statements to the media concerning last year’s Copper Cellar incident, I became painfully aware that I had become an enemy of the Sheriff by ways that I cannot identify or understand.

KTB

redmondkr's picture

What are the credentials of

What are the credentials of Josh Jordan, is he the one with the High School education that owns a lawn mowing business?

Just saw this at KNS:

Josh Jordan is the owner of a construction company and co-owner of a property company, and he worked as a counselor at the East Knoxville YMCA from 1998-2000.

Come See Us at

The Hill Online

KTB's picture

Josh Jordan Resume

Yes. I was referring to his lengthy political resume (view here). I can see how he would be a shoe in against somebody like Evelyn Gill
KTB

Simply Ridiculous's picture

Yes. I was referring to his

Yes. I was referring to his lengthy political resume (view here). I can see how he would be a shoe in against somebody like Evelyn Gill
KTB

How funny...I say everyone should go back and compare resumes of those appointed vs. those that should have been. It will then be even more clear that commission sealed the deal before Chairman Moore announced his plan for this meeting today.

Knoxquerious's picture

Apple didn't fall far

Josh Jordan's resume is hilarious. Is he serious? Someone should have told him not to just jot some things down on his cigarette break.

Tess's picture

It is consistent

Mr. Jordan seems to be skilled at "disbursing checks," and that should make him qualified for commission.

Leslie's picture

comedy of errors

For what it's worth, the notion of swearing in commissioners as they were selected, was discussed at the front end of the meeting. There was concern as to seats being selected and filled and leaving the term limited commissioners involved in the process as they were replaced. If a new one is to be sworn in now, to break a 'deadlock," I would suggest that the whole process will then be open to lawsuits.

Simply Ridiculous's picture

comedy of errers

Leslie - I agree. The EXISTING commission was supposed to vote on all of the replacements. They should have waited until it was finished to do the "swearing in". Scott Moore thinks people are stupid - and it infuriates me. I think he should be investigated because he had most, if not all, of this set up from the get-go.

Whatever happened to doing the right thing?

Simply Ridiculous's picture

And I DO know how to spell

And I DO know how to spell errors.

shortstuff's picture

Josh Jordan's Resume

Works for me! Sounds like scheduling appointments and purchasing tools gets you on the "A" list. I guess I need to be rethinking my financial background and buy a lawn mower. What can you say, it's their community. Besides, they have Ezra Maize now who seems to be great at twisting the facts. Wonder if Josh mow's Ezra's yard.

Knoxquerious's picture

editorials

Who out of this bunch will and won't get the KNS endorsement in 08'? Any guesses?

Barry's picture

Sworn in

Probably because Cate hasn't been sworn in yet. I guess Jones had to be sworn in because the County needs a sheriff at all times, but the new Commissioners don't have to start the minute they're elected/selected/appointed/annointed...

But according to Randy they started to swear in Cate and were interrupted. I wonder if they ever got back to it.

Did Lee Trammel go to Central High? If so, he's probably the one I was there with, though a couple years behind. Joy.

Number9's picture

Maybe...

Probably because Cate hasn't been sworn in yet. I guess Jones had to be sworn in because the County needs a sheriff at all times, but the new Commissioners don't have to start the minute they're elected/selected/appointed/annointed...

I had thought of that but I believe the replacement commenced with the vote not the swearing in. I hope you are right otherwise there may be more lawsuits.

Number9's picture

Let the lawsuits begin...

This is a fraud. The selective use of the swearing in process to determine the time of removal of a Commissioner to fix a vote shows how pitiful this Commission is.

During the Ragsdale led County Charter review process the opportunity for recall was not chosen. If there was a recall process, what would you think? Replace them all?

Has the law been followed today or has law been created on the spot?

Leslie's picture

The law director is there of

The law director is there of course, and was trying to offer guidance at the front end, ie, sitting commissioners are not "replaced" until the new ones are sworn in.

For recall law, I think because of the charter, you would have to go TCA to determine the process.

But don't hold me to that. It's been a few years since the last recall drive. ;)

bizgrrl's picture

Scott Davis withdraws. What

Scott Davis withdraws. What a speech. Respect, let's get along, respect, move forward, process, respect, many friends, served with, respect.

Patricia's picture

Same old **** just different names

Not a surprise at all, the "rumors" that were floating around last week amazingly came true. It is a sad day once again for Knox County voters. More registered voters need to show up at the polls in 2008 and take control of our government.
What a joke this is. Not one candidate that ran against the ousted "terrible twelve" were appointed today. It is sad that the people that had to get a qualifying petition, raise campaign funds, knock on doors and spent many hours trying to get elected wasted their time and energy. These people just walked in, no money spent, etc. and now have the positions.

Number9's picture

Two words...

Chairman Mike Hammond

Simply Ridiculous's picture

Chairman Mike Hammond Agreed

Chairman Mike Hammond

Agreed - but Moore just got himself re-appointed Chairman with the addition of Trammel, Bolus, Jordan, and Cawood.

Leslie's picture

it's a circus

and I'm sorry I had to leave. How's the crowd handling all of this??

FtnCity HAPPY's picture

Not to happy today....... Rep to Dem

I can not believe they put a Republican in a seat that has been held by a Democrat for years and is one of only a few democratic districts. Thanks Jonathan for giving it your best. District 2 give um’ he11

Rachel's picture

Who the hell is Bolus? Is

Who the hell is Bolus? Is he a Democrat? And he gets nominated by Scott Moore, after all Moore's sanctimonious talk about how the district Commissioners knew their districts and the folks in them better than anyone else?

Barf. Barf. Barf.

One thing that has struck me, since I am new to watching this closely, is how many people are developers in government. I didnt realize it was that prevalent.

Watch and learn grasshopper. And Commission most certainly did NOT just get less developer friendly.

StaceyDs Cat's picture

Bolus is the republican

Bolus is the republican drinking friend of Scott Moore. 'nuff said.

Andy Axel's picture

One thing that has struck

One thing that has struck me, since I am new to watching this closely, is how many people are developers in government.

Steve Ballmer would approve.

____________________________

Recursive blogwhore.

rikki's picture

county lock up

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Does anyone want to change their vote?

Rachel's picture

Well, for some reason this

Well, for some reason this dang thing just ate my comment, but I'll try again.

It's certainly not unheard of for District 2 to elect an R - David Collins had Mark Harmon's seat until the last election. But the district tends D, and would certainly want at least a moderate R. I doubt that they will be thrilled with Scoobie's pal.

If Wimmer & Broyles can bury the hatchet and work together, one of them will win next year. Maybe even if they go at each other in the primary.

KTB's picture

Proceedings

Interesting proceedings.

KTB

redmondkr's picture

Great job blogging this

Great job blogging this event. Thanks, Randy!

Come See Us at

The Hill Online

R. Neal's picture

Well, that was fun!Some

Well, that was fun!

Some have been wondering why Tindell had to vacate his seat and could no longer vote while other replaced commissioners didn't have to.

The way I understood it was that it is because Tindell was appointed to another position in county government and can't hold two offices at once. That worked out pretty convenient, didn't it?

Personally, just my opinion here, I think this was all pre-arranged. The law director had a rather thorough opinion ready, and Moore was quick to ask him for it. A few, including Tindell, seemed surprised. Others, not so much.

I also heard that another candidate was offered a deal that he would get the nomination and enough guaranteed votes for the seat if he would agree to be sworn in and support a certain nominee. He refused. Someone else may not have. That's all just rumor at this point, but stay tuned to the local papers...

FunkBuddha's picture

ridiculous...

Whatever happened to REAL men?

(link...)

BlueNeck1's picture

The announcement of having

The announcement of having the whole group swearing in at 3, then having one new appointee sworn in to try to break a tie stinks. Your rumor that some selected swearing in was discussed in advance to swing votes stinks. The whole thing stinks. They get away with so much stinky stuff that maybe some of it will finally get on them. The selective swearing in seems illegal - for its own sake and because they had to blatantly violate sunshine to plan it.

Rob Huddleston's picture

Thanks for your work, Randy.

Thanks for covering the horrific blow-by-blow.

Even if I hadn't had better things to do this morning (like doing what I could to help a few Sevier County children in Juvenile Court), I'm not sure if I could have stomached the disgusting acts perpetrated by those in power.

This isn't a Republican thing. This isn't a Democratic thing. This is about the people being subordinate to a selfish few that have seized the reigns of power through the Knox County government.

Ideology has nothing to do with it. These people are out for themselves.

As I posted this morning, it's as if we live in Long's Louisiana.

While I'm comforted (more so than I can express) that I don't have to deal with the stress of trying to expose the pork in the Knox County budget, I am shamed that no one on that Committee will do so, either.

In any case, good job. I've done the liveblogging thing, and I know how tough it is.

Number9's picture

The drama of the 4th District

The bold move to break the tie between Davis and Tramel with the surprise swearing in of Charles Bolus plus the Scott Davis withdrawal speech.

Part II conclusion

watcher's picture

Who are we dealing with?!?!?!

The bold move to break the tie between Davis and Tramel with the surprise swearing in of Charles Bolus plus the Scott Davis withdrawal speech.

That video gave me the heebie-jeebies, then infurated me. In order to behave that way, they must truly think we are all a bunch of idiots. Either that, or they know we're not idiots, but that they'll get away with it anyway...just wait it out until the next scandal distracts the spotlight.

rikki's picture

Knox County voters

Knox County voters overwhelming supported term limits, then watched passively as lawyers invented excuses for ignoring them, and they continued to elect those politicians. Commissioners have no reason to regard their constituents as anything but idiots.

Number9's picture

It's a rap.

Commissioners have no reason to regard their constituents as anything but idiots.

I think that concludes this years election process.

watcher's picture

Idiotic constituency

Knox County voters overwhelming supported term limits, then watched passively as lawyers invented excuses for ignoring them, and they continued to elect those politicians. Commissioners have no reason to regard their constituents as anything but idiots.

Good point...I stand corrected!

Simply Ridiculous's picture

How do we get the sun to

How do we get the sun to shine on what happened today in Knox County? Although they have denied for 2 weeks having violated the Sunshine Law(s), commissioners - particularly Chairman Moore- were brazen enough today to actually throw it in our face. We all know now that none of the "applications" mattered; Chairman Moore had his picks from the beginning and has been dealing with the others to make it happen. He proved this by not only nominating Chuck Bolus (unheard of up until this point), but by taking a recess so he could be sworn in - only to get the vote he needed for Trammel. Yes, Bolus "passed" the first vote, but the second roll call he voted "Trammel". Moore needs to be investigated and, quite frankly, removed from his position. Not only is he an embarrassment, he is a criminal mind.

Number9's picture

No can do...

Moore needs to be investigated and, quite frankly, removed from his position. Not only is he an embarrassment, he is a criminal mind.

There is NO recall provision for County Commission. Only City Council has a recall provision. The deed is done.

Number9's picture

Update, Herb files lawsuit

And you are shocked. Who saw this coming?

Hours after Knox County Commission appointed replacements for 12 term-limited officeholders, Knoxville lawyer Herbert S. Moncier filed a lawsuit on behalf of four plaintiffs seeking to nullify the appointments.

A complaint filed in Knox County Chancery Court alleges commissioners violated the state’s Open Meetings Act, otherwise known as the Sunshine Law.

Specifically, Moncier argues that commissioners took recesses to discuss pending votes out of the public’s earshot in the back hall off the City County Building’s Main Assembly Room.

Well, it wasn't dull.

Leslie's picture

I guess it's not a

I guess it's not a coincidence that pulling up the Sunshine law on Lexis is a bit slow....

CBT's picture

I'm generally not opposed to

I'm generally not opposed to people suing one another (it's how I make a living), but regardless of how you feel about the appointments, there needs to be an END to all the dang lawsuits. If you think the appointments cast Knox County in a bad light, the lawsuits and constant litigation are just icing on the cake.

rocketsquirrel's picture

lawsuits

Chad, in principal I agree that the lawsuits cast the county in a bad light. But our government was stolen AGAIN today.

The end comes when the politicians stop with the dirty tricks and we start electing public servants.

How about that for a change?

CBT's picture

Bee DeSelm (sound familiar

Bee DeSelm (sound familiar in Herb's lawsuits?) is one of the plaintiffs. You think Bee never discussed any vote with another Commissioner. Get real.

Leslie's picture

So, you think if Bee were

So, you think if Bee were still sitting on Commission today, she would have sat quietly through the "let's make up the rules as we play" mentalities at work here?

rocketsquirrel's picture

shut it down

rather than suing the pukes, perhaps it is time to (briefly) shut down Knox County Government to get these pukes attention. The reasons are different, but the legislative process in Knox County Government is no longer legitimate. And the videos prove it.

(updated) You want to capture voter's attention? Send all non-essential personnel home. Close the schools for a couple of days. (It won't kill us. We can make the days up--heck, the kids are getting out in May anyway. When I was a kid, we went to school from Aug 18 to June 20.)

It's time for Knox Countians to have a serious, conversation about our form of governance.

November 14, 1995: Partial Text:

President Bill Clinton: Good afternoon. Today, as of noon, almost half of the federal government employees are idle. The government is partially shutting down because Congress has failed to pass the straightforward legislation necessary to keep the government running without imposing sharp hikes in Medicare premiums and deep cuts in education and the environment.

Patricia's picture

Power in numbers

Thousands of us need to show up downtown, pick the next Monday they are meeting and go, I am willing to take one day off from work..anyone else with me? Can we get the word out and get this thing going? Let them know they are working for us and we are not taking their crap anymore.

lotta's picture

Sue the pukes

I spent the day watching endless recesses and comissioners picking and choosing which "processes" they wanted to follow depending on what was at stake. I saw the real business being conducted in the hall way during intermissions - it was sickening.

They had a chance to appoint some very qualified people to represent us and they chose to play high school games. I want to believe this spectacle was enough to piss people off but I suspect they'll stay home in droves. What a sad day for the voters.

Leslie's picture

Icing?

If you think the appointments cast Knox County in a bad light, the lawsuits and constant litigation are just icing on the cake.

With all due respect, the crime (and embarassment) would be in not calling this what it is. Fraud. Violation of Sunshine Law.... etc. Sorry, but when the actual procedures of a meeting are altered to meet the need of a certain vote, what else do you call it?

The discussion about "anyone could be sworn it at any time..." that we saw in the clip was not made clear at the front end. During the discussion as to whether or not Billy Tindell should/could be sworn in immediately, the statement was made that the judge had already left.

shortstuff's picture

Planning for the REAL Election!

For those of you that felt raped today....I would suggest that planning for opposition of incumbents begin ASAP. Each district should meet and form committees that listen to potential candidates and select one that each district can get behind and support in the next election. Then start working your butts off to get those votes. Volunteer to go door to door, arrange for speaking engagements with local Rotary and other professional clubs, make phone calls, send out mailings. Things like this don't happen if we don't let it. We voted in term limits in 1994......then kept electing the same people...we have ourselves to blame!
GET OUT AND GET THOSE VOTES!!!

Scott Emge's picture

Icing on the cake Mr. Tindell?

I'm generally not opposed to people suing one another (it's how I make a living), but regardless of how you feel about the appointments, there needs to be an END to all the dang lawsuits. If you think the appointments cast Knox County in a bad light, the lawsuits and constant litigation are just icing on the cake.

Mr. Tindell,

With all due respect, when laws are blantantly violated (The Tennessee Open Meetings Act), lawsuits are most certainly warranted and it is the duty of concerned citizens to hold our lawmakers responsible. What happened yesterday in the main assembly room was a travesty and and a slap in the face to every single Knox County Voter. We were told by most of our commissioners yesterday that " We don't give a damn about the will of the voters. We are going to appoint our secretaries, drinking buddies, political cronies, and family members and there is not one thing you can do about it. You are stupid and will forget all about this before the next election". If Moncier's lawsuit is icing on the disgusting cake we were served yesterday, I hope Herb spreads it on thick! For your information it is the back room dealing, career politician crooks who control our county government that cast Knox County in a bad light.

CBT's picture

Scott, Steve Hall wins

Scott,

Steve Hall wins overwhelmingly in every election. Apparently, most folks like the way that office is run. Sherry Witt has 20+ years experience working in the Register's office. Witt, Sisk and Jones were all good picks.

The apppointment process wasn't designed to deal with a wholesale replacement of 12 offices. If they took 6 months to have endless meetings, forums, preference elections, etc. (only for everyone to have to run again in '08 per the law), people would complain. If they move too quick, people complain. Nothing was going to make everyone happy.

Commissioners did make some interim appointments to people they knew. In my experience in politics, if your candidate wins no questions are raised. If they lose, the "fix" was in. Unless "insert your candidate" wins, Commissioners obviously didn't listen.

Much was made over Bolus and Trammel. Bolus has a Master's degree in Education, 11 years as a Social Studies teacher and the last 6 years as Assistant Principal at Gresham. With the loss of Larry Stephens and Larry Clark, no other Commissioner brings as much hands-on experience in Knox County schools, arguably the most important issue in the County.

As for Trammel, he's been active in local politics for years. Who else on Commission has as much experience in the Sheriff's office, which I would guess is second only to schools in monetary outlay? Having someone from the Sheriff's Office makes some sense. But, those who don't like Hutchison will never give Trammel a chance. If memory serves, the 4th Dist. looks a lot different than it did 10-15 years ago. There is more "county" territory going West, when before it was mostly a city district. That raises the importance of the Sheriff's Office to that district.

Yesterday, Guthe had the chance to give Scott Davis the win in three or four votes (with Davis having 9, Trammel 8 and Guthe passing, i.e. not voting). Guthe appeared to be mad because his choice, Smelcer, didn't get much support (disregarding the fact that Guthe never mentioned his choice prior to the meeting, was Smelcer even an announced candidate before the meeting?). No one seems to be talking about that.

Every new Commissioner was given the opportunity to be sworn in prior to making all the appointments. In the end, the Second District had only one representative. There were, what, seven or eight straight votes with a 9-9 tie. Bolus was sworn in and broke the tie. If Bolus voted for Davis, my guess is we wouldn't be having this discussion, the Sentinel's headline would be different and the Mayor's speech wouldn't have been accusatory.

In short, it all goes back to who's candidate gets picked. If yours didn't, get out and work to get them elected next year. All these appointments are double-edged swords, giving some benefit, but also some taint. Term limits apply. There will a primary next February. We need to move on and end the lawsuits.

Knoxquerious's picture

At first I thought the

At first I thought the Supreme Court decision was good, but now I actually miss our old commissioners.

bizgrrl's picture

At first I thought the

At first I thought the Supreme Court decision was good, but now I actually miss our old commissioners.

Maybe that's what they were working towards.

KTB's picture

Bolus and Trammel

CBT,

"CBT - Much was made over Bolus and Trammel"
I am just curious to hear your excuse for the appointment of Josh Jordan. He was one of the most qualified candidates if I am not mistaken.

KTB

watcher's picture

Epithet

From KNS article:
Meanwhile, Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert and Tramel confronted Schmid. Tramel accused Schmid of missing too many committee meetings, while Lambert referred to Schmid's head using an anatomical epithet.

Okay, if that doesn't sum it up, don't know what does. Knox County is officially a cartoon!

Rachel's picture

Lambert referred to Schmid's

Lambert referred to Schmid's head using an anatomical epithet.

That was the best line in the entire story. I'm surprised (but pleased) the editors left it in. And yes, I'm showing my age, but it reminds me of the Washington Post quoting John Mitchell saying Katharine Graham was going to get "caught in a wringer." They left out the "her tit" part, but everybody knew what he'd said.

Brownlow's picture

Moncier has finally filed a

Moncier has finally filed a good lawsuit. I note that Mike Whalen is one of the plaintiffs. He is a good lawyer. I doubt that he would join in the suit if he didn't think it had merit. Mr. Tindell is a politician trying to defend the indefensible.

SnM's picture

Chad, "My" candidate didn't

Chad,

"My" candidate didn't get picked because I didn't have a candidate. I simply wanted a fair, open democratic process for the selection of commissioners and other office holders. I suspect I am not the only person in Knox County who felt that way.

Of course, I wanted a fair, open process democratically applied back when term limits were first deemed inapplicable 12 years ago (through a legal gymnastics process that would have scored a 10 at the Olympics).

The process is corrupt. You know it. I know it. The commissioners know it. Everybody knows it. Everybody. (Well, possibly old Fred Harkenberger over Skokie way don't know, but Fred's always been a little off, hasn't he?)

Since it is all about who scratches whose back, and who carries whose shit for whom, why don't we all just wallow in the shit?

Why not? Why can't commission just talk openly about who coerced or persuaded each of them to vote which way, what promises were made, and how much each vote was worth? Why not bring it right out into the light and see who got the most bang for their buck? And who got the best bargain?

I mean, if you suggest that the rest of us just roll over and accept the sleaze, can't you suggest to our government to reciprocate just a little by trotting the sleaze buckets out for us to peruse? Why not tell us how much we need to plonk on the table to buy some influence? Hey, you're probably still allowed up to the table, so why not throw us mutts a bone every once in while?

And if you can't do that, then your suggestion to not resort to lawsuits is probably not going to work. Because some people (not many, obviously, given the voting around here, but some) are incredibly frustated with the stench emanating from local government. Some people don't want to wallow in the shit. And a few of them will probably resort to lawsuits to try to get the local government to, you know, abide by the law.

Some people, geez. Some people just don't know what's good for them, do they? Some people should just shut up and do what they're told, shouldn't they? Some people, sheesh. Some people.

But me, I'll wallow in the shit. Because what has been, will be.

rikki's picture

dogs love stink

Chad,

Your initial objection to this lawsuit was hollow. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the thing you were objecting to. Now you've added a lot more words, yet remarkably little substance. I'm a bit embarassed for you, except I think you take pride in distracting people and talking around issues.

Your notion that only losers complain is stupid because it's true. I imagine if you lived next door to an abusive husband, the wife's screaming and crying would be what bothers you.

The substantive objections to yesterday's events are these: first, it was obvious the commission was hiding a great deal from the public. They didn't need to take recesses. They could have turned on their microphones and told everyone why they were voting for a nominee and tried to persuade others to join them. They are forbidden by law from holding secret meetings, yet off they went to the coat room over and over again. This is offensive no matter the outcome, and plenty of people here gripe about this practice in many contexts when they no strong stake in the outcome. If you don't want to hear it, have the courage to argue against the sunshine laws rather than taking cheap shots at those who want them respected.

The other substantive issue is they way Tindell was removed. We all know that had he remained seated, his choice of a replacement would have been honored by his junior commissioners. The issue of ordering the appointments was brought up on the day the Supreme Court decision was announced, and there should have been no surprises about the process. Commissioners attempted to set ground rules, but they were blown off. There was no reason why Tindell had to be placed in the position of holding two offices, which he technically was not in until sworn in as clerk, and the fact that putting him in that bind worked out so swimmingly for Scoobie strongly suggests it was not merely an idiotic lack of foresight, but deliberate subterfuge.

Anyone can see this stinks. I can smell it all the way out here in Blount County. Why are you rolling around in it?

Simply Ridiculous's picture

Chad - with all due respect

Chad - with all due respect I must disagree on several points.

First, though you state the appointment process "wasn't designed to deal with a wholesale replacement of 12 offices", it appears from yesterday's fiasco there was no process designed at all. What it turned out to be was not what the people heard from Chairman Scott Moore or others as giving representatives from each district a chance. If that were the case at least 4 of the commissioners wouldn't have been sworn in yesterday.

Second, regarding "much was made over Bolus and Trammel...", I think a lot should be made of that. Though Bolus has an education, he was also Scott Moore's 2006 campaign Treasurer and Moore nominated him yesterday. This is another "family member" that people haven't picked up on yet. Also, it was clear that in this district there were other qualified candidates that expressed interest and they weren't considered at all - while Bolus never even made himself known until the end. This was nothing more than a power play on Scott Moore's part in hopes of gaining one more vote - and Bolus will be nothing more than a puppet on a string for Moore. Though it might have been legal, there was absolutely nothing ethical about how his appointment and subsequent swearing in were handled.

Regarding Lee Trammel: come on. Everyone knows that Scott Davis was the more qualified, fair candidate. More importantly, he planned only to "serve" during the interim. Trammel has no formal education and his experience with the Sheriff's office is nothing like what you tout in your comments. He has never worked in the jail, on patrol, etc. and just after his re-hire a couple of years ago attended the training academy. So, though there may be no other current Sheriff's Dept employee on the commission, my opinion is that there are some as experienced in this area as Trammel. And though it may be true that he has been involved in politics for years, who cares? The term limit issue is about bringing people in to "serve" and not about career politicians. And one more thing - in my mind there is nothing ethical about a county employee being able to vote on his own budget or other issues related to his career - but after yesterday it is clear that commission has no code of ethics.

Regarding Guthe and the vote for this (Trammel) seat, nobody seems to be questioning why Diane Jordan changed her vote either? Maybe someone should ask her.

Although you say every commissioner was given the opportunity to be sworn in, AGAIN the process for appointments was never clearly defined. This "you can if you want to" mentality doesn't cut it. I'm sure it was confusing for appointees since there was already a "ceremony" for this scheduled for later in the afternoon. You know as well as I do that this was nothing more than a ploy to get Bolus (since the Cate effort failed) in order to get Trammel.

I agree that what's done is done and we have no hope except for the upcoming elections in '08 and '10. But our County Commission has made a laughing stock of Knox County. Though I don't know him, I appreciate the efforts of John Schmid in trying to do the right thing. That is, after all, what public service is about.

jbr's picture

Steve Hall wins

Steve Hall wins overwhelmingly...

Steve Hall may be ok. Frankly I dont know. But I think being an incumbent
at that level of a local election is an almost insurmountable. You have name
recognition that an opponent will find virtually impossible to match. `So unless
the incumbent does a noticeably poor job they are probably going to be re-elected.
The resources required to market an opponent are just unreasonable for that position.

If you want new blood in there, term limits are a possible solution. No
reflection on anyone personally.

The sort of incestuous method by which the positons were filled
will prevent new ideas and persepctives and strengths from
being introduced into the mechanism. The weaknesses will stay the weaknesses.As far as someone being mad 'their choice' did not get selected, I think its more that their choice has not in the past and may never be selected. Imagine not having your thoughts or views reflected in your governance. It seems
a noticeable part of the population is in that position currently. If this
is a government for all people then it seems they should make the decisionsas frequently as reasonably possible.

I dont know where the '6 months' figure came from but I doubt it would take anywhere near that long.

CBT's picture

If you don't like who

If you don't like who Commission picked, how they picked them or think someone is more qualified, beat 'em next year. Some folks apparently thought term limits would immediately bring all these new, progressive people into office. Well, we don't live in fairyland. Government changes slowly.

If you want Commission (or government in general) to change, don't rely on a poltical appointment process and don't rely on lawsuits. Win at the ballot box. But, maybe that's the lesson here. If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em.

rocketsquirrel's picture

"win at the ballot box"

CBT says we should all just "win at the ballot box..."

Many tried in 2006, but due to 12 ineligible candidates, or more accurately, fraudulent candidates, the deck was once again stacked against "new, progressive people." And after yesterday's farce, are we to expect any different behavior from these cronyists in 2008? They'll just keep moving down the food chain in their family trees.

And we'll be told:

1. it's our fault. (voter apathy.)
2. get over it, move on. (nothing to see here, business as usual.)
3. why can't we just get along? (don't sue, because it speaks to the elephant in the room.)

to mix some metaphors--until the playing field is leveled, the deck will still be stacked.

SnM's picture

"If you can't beat 'em, sue

"If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em."

Really, Chad, that's too transparent. These folks didn't win at the ballot box. They resorted to tortured legal opinion to avoid leaving office a dozen years ago. Then they sued to stay in office when they were told term limits apply. Then they got themselves on the latest ballot illegally. Then they jockeyed and horse-dealt and offered favor and took favor to get their replacements appointed. They have been plain nasty.

So the message is, "If your government behaves illegally, one recourse you have to redress your grievances is to bring suit."

Your message, on the other hand, is "bend over."

CBT's picture

The interim appointments

The interim appointments were not elected. I sorta figured that out. But, if you don't like the appointments, beat them if they run. If you don't like the people who appointed them or how they did it, run someone against them and beat them. You can sit around and complain or actually do something about it.

My message is not bend over, it's take on these people you don't like at the ballot box and not in the courtroom. We've all spent enough time and money in lawsuits over the last few years.

SnM's picture

Chad, you don't seem to

Chad, you don't seem to understand; these folks were "taken on and beaten" at the ballot box. They defied the voters of Knox County wrt term limits. Bringing suit is a reasonable response to that high-handed, arrogant illegality.

CBT's picture

"Chad, you don't seem to

"Chad, you don't seem to understand; these folks were "taken on and beaten" at the ballot box."

Really, did someone miscount all those votes in past elections? Did Tim Hutchison actually get beat? Mike Padgett too?

Until Shelby County Commissioners got the issue to the Supreme Court, we operated under the idea that term limits didn't apply (per the state attorney general). Now, the Supreme Court says differrent. So be it. Let's play by the new rules. If term limits will change government, it starts next year.

An interesting note, a friend mentioned to me today, that he understood the term limits provision passed in '94 started with the next term, which would have been in '98. Two terms from there and you get to...2006. I don't know if he's right or not. If so, we're only two years removed from when term limits should have taken effect.

I'm not outraged. If you are, the solution is not suing over these appointments, it's getting enough voters to put new people in office. Go on and file lawsuits, picket the courthouse and complain on every blog from here to Farragut. But, beware, come next year you may be looking at a very familiar government. Because the folks who got appointed and who did the apppointing, they're not sitting around. The smart ones are already campaigning.

R. Neal's picture

CBT: "The smart ones are

CBT: "The smart ones are already campaigning."

Whatever else you think about what CBT is saying, you ought to pay attention to that.

Patricia's picture

CBT

CBT says" An interesting note, a friend mentioned to me today, that he understood the term limits provision passed in '94 started with the next term, which would have been in '98. Two terms from there and you get to...2006. I don't know if he's right or not. If so, we're only two years removed from when term limits should have taken effect."

Did this friend actually look at the term limit referendum?
Well I did, I got a copy of it, it states "term limits take effect as of January 1, 1995."
As far as lawsuits go enlighten me since I am just a lowly taxpayer and a voter.
There should be no lawsuits , regardless if the law was broken?
Of course you know so much more than I, you are an attorney.

CBT's picture

I'm only preaching common

I'm only preaching common sense, not as some know-it-all lawyer. There are lots of wrongs which should be redressed somewhere other than a court of law.

I believe the understanding is that if term limits take effect in January 1995, the two terms start running with the next election. That is, those holding office as of the effective date aren't kicked out if they've served two terms at that time. Everyone, sitting officeholders included, would then have two terms looking forward, that then being the current state of the law. I don't think it would be applied retroactively. It doesn't really matter much now, but is interesting in that if it's true, government will only be a couple of years late on implementation.

rikki's picture

Chad is right, screw the courts

Chad, you are correct about 2006 being the first year term limits should have been in force. There was a court ruling on that while Beeler was still law director.

You are also correct that appointing replacements was the proper course of action. Sorry to hear DA Nichols was told about the outcome of a commission vote in advance and got burned. I was told the outcome of the Midway Rd rezoning and amendment vote would be 16-3 weeks before it was held. The information was accurate. It seems everyone from the DA to the dumbasses knows county commission is a power brokerage masquerading as a legislative body, so I guess you are right to ignore the blatant void of transparency and openness and scoff at sunshine laws as the joke they clearly are.

You are also right that there should be no need to turn to the courts for redress of civil grievances. Any assembly of 19 distinguished and elected community members ought to have a majority decent enough to exercise public power fairly. A responsible legislature would not allow its chairman or any member to play tricks with the timing of votes and swearings in to accomplish petty, private goals, and there would be no cause for outrage to begin with. In the event that confidence and trust in representatives disappears, the proper recourse for citizens is petitioning for the dissolution of the commission and call for a special election to replace them.

lotta's picture

It is clear that

deals were made for the benefit of the commissioners without any consideration of what's best for the voters. Jordan had to swing a vote to get her son in. Why else would intelligent people pass over more qualified applicants? Guthe blocked a vote because he wanted his guy in and was overruled by his playmates. In truth, the commissioners were so intent on beating each other at the game that they lost their way. That's what people are reacting to - leaders have lost their way and they are blinded by their greed.

Spin it any way you like, blame whomever you please....nobody can fix this problem without a major power base. The solution is beyond the reach of the average citizen.

blueindistrict2's picture

Am I the only one....

Am I the only democrat angry with Mark Harmon? It seems to me that when he realized he didn't have the votes for Broyles (after the first round, when she got only 2 or 3), he should have switched support to Wimmer. This might have swung momentum to Wimmer, gotten him the 10, and at least preserved the seat for a democrat. He knew Broyles had no chance, why not do what is best for the district at that point and get Wimmer in? He is so damned self absorbed that he screwed the rest of us.

lotta's picture

I get the impression that Harmon tried

to do the right thing. He made a decision to support Broyles and he stuck to his guns. Personally, I think Wimmer was the best choice but I can't fault Harmon for staying the course.

JaHu's picture

I think Wimmer was the best

I think Wimmer was the best choice but I can't fault Harmon for staying the course.

Staying the course

Hmmm, wish you could have chosen better words. Isn't it odd how those words are now associated with failure.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

lotta's picture

Hmmmm.

not sure what you mean - just trying to point out despite my personal choices, I respect Harmon, I think his agenda is out in the open, and I consider him one of the more respectable players.

JaHu's picture

Sorry

not sure what you mean - just trying to point out despite my personal choices, I respect Harmon

Sorry, my comment was a poor attempt at humor and wasn't meant to be detrimental to you or Harmon. I like Harmon too! I like his openness and informative approach to government.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

dembluedog's picture

If you are going to be angry

If you are going to be angry with Democrats, why not pick Diane Jordan, Tank Williams, and Mark Cawood? They all voted for Bolus. At least Mark voted for a real Democrat - and a good one. Even if he had voted for Wimmer, it wouldn't have made any difference.

blueindistrict2's picture

You are right about that....

I am angry with them as well. In Jordan and Cawood's cases they voted for Bolus from the beginning and I have to assume it guaranteed their kin's easy passage on Commission. Disgusting. As for Tank, frankly, I am not surprised. He adds absolutely NOTHING to Commission.
And for Harmon, the cynic in me believes he is so focused on getting Broyles that seat in 2008, that he prefers that Bolus, or anyone for that matter, getting the appointment over Wimmer. He wouldn't want Wimmer to have whatever tiny advantage "incumbency" would have brought and sacrificed the best wishes of our district for his own over-zealous self righteousness.

D Mac's picture

This from todays KNS sets it

This from todays KNS sets it straight to me. It was never Mark Harmon's vote, it was whether Wimmer or Bolus would vote for Tramel (as I have said in an earlier post).

"Failed Knox County Commission nominee Jonathan Wimmer contends that he refused a trade - his vote in exchange for an appointment - from Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert during a backroom recess at the now-infamous meeting Wednesday to appoint 12 new county officeholders."

But if Jordan and Strickland acted like dems, perhaps the offer would never had been made to Wimmer. I am sure that Mark Harmon can count and if these two had gone for Wimmer, or if his vote would have given the needed 10 in any direction, he would have gone with Wimmer. But the boys of the commission have locked him out, he was not playing their game and they wanted him to lose.

I am in the second district and was at Dr. Harmon's forum and feel that he was really trying to do what his district wanted. That is what he has been saying along. Watching all of that wrangling on Wednesday, I wonder how hard it must be to sit up there and stay loyal to your district (or who you feel is the best candidate) or when to settle for what you can get (from a bunch of lying and cheating bastards).

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Jordan/Strickland unfaithful to Dems?

DMac: "But if Jordan and Strickland acted like dems, perhaps the offer would never had been made to Wimmer. I am sure that Mark Harmon can count and if these two had gone for Wimmer, or if his vote would have given the needed 10 in any direction, he would have gone with Wimmer."

I'm not sure this criticism of Jordan/Strickland is warranted, since it assumes that they never intended to vote for Wimmer *and* that they knew how Wimmer would vote on the Tramel question. Did they and did they? I dunno...

In any event, I'm thinking that Jordan had already asked for the rollcall to be flipped by this point, such that District 1 voted last. Since Randy's recap says Wimmer got 5 votes, I'm thinking Jordan/Strickland (and even Harmon) together couldn't possilby have given Wimmer the ten--and given the backwards rollcall, they knew it. Since they couldn't impact the result, I can't fault Jordan/Strickland for going with the majority or Harmon for standing firm, either one. Am I recalling correctly?

bill young's picture

2 & 4

The charter is clear;when Billy won the appointment;his seat was vacant.It could have been argued that Billy was a defacto commissioner per the court & therefore the charter did not apply to him or moved the clerk vote untill after the 2nd.When the 4th was moved to the first vote,all hell broke loose.Tank voted for E.Davis,until she was removed from the ballot;M.Harman switched to S.Davis.yada,yada,yada,9-9.The 4th was moved to last & the 2nd became the battleground;play it right,you can win the 2nd & the 4th.Billy out;Wimmer lost a vote.The first vote was 6-6-3-3.Right then,if Amy would have gone with Wimmer,M.Harman could have said"The chair has said that commissioners know their districts best.I got to know the district pretty well last year & Billy knows this district better than the back of his hand....Wimmer"

blueindistrict2's picture

Unfair...

I think it is unfair to call Wimmer Billy's pawn. What exactly is that based on? Wimmer ran against him in the primary as well. Based on your logic Billy would hate him as well. The reality is that Tindell picked Wimmer because he knew Amy was unpalatable to Commission. She is overly pushy, and her pep rally at the forum was AT BEST unprofessional.

Paul Witt's picture

Am I the only democrat angry

Am I the only democrat angry with Mark Harmon? It seems to me that when he realized he didn't have the votes for Broyles (after the first round, when she got only 2 or 3), he should have switched support to Wimmer. This might have swung momentum to Wimmer, gotten him the 10, and at least preserved the seat for a democrat. He knew Broyles had no chance, why not do what is best for the district at that point and get Wimmer in? He is so damned self absorbed that he screwed the rest of us.

Mark was the only Commissioner to vote his conscience and his party on every single vote. He didn't get involved in any backroom deals either. That's hardly something to be angry about.

Bbeanster's picture

Democrats screwed Wimmer.

Democrats screwed Wimmer. Jordan and Strickland voted for Porter in the early rounds, then flipped to Bolus for the end game. Cawood voted for Bolus all the way through. Harmon and Republican Schmid voted for Broyles, too. Either ballard or Mills voted for Broyles one time around, then flipped to Bolus, as well. Wimmer had seven votes -- all Republicans.

bill young's picture

Lost ONE VOTE

Wimmer is not a pawn of Billy but Billy said he would vote Wimmer.So,Billy couldn't vote.Therefore,Wimmer lost ONE VOTE.Sorry if I wasn't clear.

iworkforaliving's picture

Unfair?

I think it is unfair to call Wimmer Billy's pawn. What exactly is that based on? Wimmer ran against him in the primary as well. Based on your logic Billy would hate him as well. The reality is that Tindell picked Wimmer because he knew Amy was unpalatable to Commission. She is overly pushy, and her pep rally at the forum was AT BEST unprofessional.

Wimmer was never a threat to Tindell – he lost big time in the Primary and then sat out the General (and after all his hootin’ & hollerin’ about term limits, didn’t lift a finger to help Broyles, or even Harmon in their campaigns).

Broyles almost beat Tindell in the Primary, and pulled a lot of votes in the General. It embarrassed the old guy.

From what I understand, Broyles was well received by all the Commissioners she met with. It will be interesting to see if any of them will be wanting to work with Wimmer now.

As far as the “pep rally,” it looks to me that you’re just sore because your chioce doesn’t have nearly that kind of support.

StaceyDs Cat's picture

Welcome aboard,

Welcome aboard, iworkforaliving. Nice to see you after being signed on after 20 minutes (all these new folks signing on and immediately attacking pretty much reinforce what bbeanster wrote here a week or so ago that Broyles people must beat back opposition).

The pep rally was planned. Broyles knew from Harmon at least a week out (some folks say two weeks out) that a straw poll was to be conducted. Everyone else learned the day before or the same day. Care to explain the voting problem with the poll?

Harmon is still very quite on all of this.

For being "well received," she got two votes. Talk to R. Larry Smith who said she was being "force fed" to commissioners by Harmon.

iworkforaliving's picture

My, My

You are a silly little kitty, aren't you? And an ill-mannered one to boot.

As a matter of fact, I did talk to R. Larry Smith. He had nothing but good things to say about Broyles.

I think Harmon and Broyles are both honorable people. If you are going to accuse them of collusion, you better have the proof to back it up.

Bbeanster's picture

Can't there be peace in the valley?

Among all you cats and dogs and no-name posters?
This is much bigger than a bunch of Democrats fighting over crumbs.

And, btw, that ANYBODY would rely on R. Larry Smith for a truthful answer to ANYTHING is, well, to rotflmao.

dembluedog's picture

That still would only have

That still would only have given him 9 votes - and the Commission had already decided to put Bolus in, regardless. Besides, I don't think Harmon would be willing to lie to save a seat.

StaceyDs Cat's picture

I saw the drive by mugging

I saw the drive by mugging Harmon did on Cortney Piper at Harmon's rah-rah session for Broyles (excuse me, I mean public forum) on Monday.

Telling Piper when she gets there she has one less minute to give her speech than previously told and then rudely cut off with a public "you're done, NOW" is beyond the pale. Interesting how Broyles' pitch ended nicely in the time allowed.

Then count the votes at his poll done there. As has been pointed out in other listservs, over 100% more votes were cast than people were there. How's that for a BS alert? Piper never stood a chance.

Then I watch the replay of Wednesday's farce on CTV last night and see that Harmon cuts off Billy Tindell right after he gives his address and mentions Whimmer (DMac, you said elsewhere in this forum it was a speech, so the justification of cutting Tindell off, but did you see Harmon's nomination?).

But then I watch the Scott Davis speech about himself and his service, but Davis goes on and on and on about his qualifications at least half a minute before he says he's withdrawing, but does Mark Harmon ever offer a peep about it being out of order? Heck no.

This will keep good candidates like Piper and others away.

Harmon is no better than Lumpy and Company. But at least Harmon has picked up a new friend in Brian Hornback at Hornback's blog:

"My sources indicate that Harmon was warned by a fellow Democrat Commissioner that if you keep fighting within the party on the Commission then the Republicans will kick our butt.

Sorry. But Thanks."

And dembluedog, not to start a dog/cat fight, but thanks for hopping aboard this forum in the past couple of hours for Harmon. Harmon's posted here before, he can defend himself if he wanted to.

dembluedog's picture

Interesting that when Harmon

Interesting that when Harmon posted to all the listserves about the change of location he also stated that each candidate would be allowed to speak for three minutes. It’s a shame Piper didn’t do her homework. And he did allow her to go slightly over her allotted time, as the LWV official timekeeper was waving the "STOP" sign right in front of Piper for quite a while before Harmon stepped in. She is bright and has a great future ahead of her, but her youth and inexperience were showing.

D Mac's picture

Widdle puddytat! got your dander up?

"I saw the drive by mugging Harmon did on Cortney Piper at Harmon's rah-rah session for Broyles (excuse me, I mean public forum) on Monday."

Cute. There were 13 commissioners at the forum and anyone of them could have nominated Cortney. But the forum is a moot point now anyway. The real "drive by mugging" was at Wednesdays meeting, for all the second district. Cortney can try again with the rest of the candidates in 2008. Let her put her time in block walking and getting involved in the neighborhood meetings. If the forum scares her away then she surely is not cut out for the pack of wolves on CC.

"...but did you see Harmon's nomination?.."

Are you speaking of his nomination of Broyles? Again, that was a nomination and when Billy got up at the podium, Wimmer had already been nominated. If he were allowed to speak, then anyone should have been allowed to do the same for all candidates. Were there rules stated on how a nomination should be made,i.e., state name only, nothing else?

"Harmon is no better than Lumpy and Company."

Get real!

And all that stuff about Hornback, you take him way to seriously. I find it amusing that you are even quoting him.

StaceyDs Cat's picture

DMac, wow, sounding like

DMac, wow, sounding like Sylvester the cat. Nice. What's been said must strike close to home if you're getting like that.

Of the nominations from commissioners that I recall, Harmon's "the people's choice of my district is " was the only one that pontificated about someone.

Curious that Harmon hasn't weighed in.

And who did India Kinkannon support?

So how do you defend that straw poll?

Quoting Hornback is amusing. Hornback is amusing. Just passing along his appreciation for Harmon. Harmon is breathing life back into David Collins' political career.

Bbeanster's picture

Hey, you crazy kids -- if

Hey, you crazy kids -- if you can take a break from your squabbling, somebody tell me I'm wrong in my contention that Wimmer didn't get a single vote from a democrat. WTF was up with that?

dembluedog's picture

Yes ma'am

Maybe it was because he has never done anything for the local Democratic Party or local Democrats. Or maybe it was because the only people who support him are Republicans and Democrats who suck up to Republicans.

Bbeanster's picture

Good try. More likely that

Good try.
More likely that the four Democrats were all off on their own separate agendas.

ultron's picture

How dare Harmon hold a

How dare Harmon hold a public hearing for candidates! Of all the nerve. He oughta be ashamed of himself!

blueindistrict2's picture

Silly...

You know, being a party hack does not make you qualified to hold public office and not being a party hack doesn't preclude you either. City Council and School Board are non-partisan for a reason, it makes more sense. Commission should go that way as well.

R. Neal's picture

was the only one that

was the only one that pontificated about someone

Not so sure about that. We'd have to go back to the tape for an instant replay, but I seem to recall some nominations consisting of a lot more than just a name.

StaceyDs Cat's picture

I'll trust R. Neal on this,

but I don't know how to edit the post. Appreciate you.

R Neal said: was the only one that pontificated about someone

Not so sure about that. We'd have to go back to the tape for an instant replay, but I seem to recall some nominations consisting of a lot more than just a name.

dembluedog's picture

At the top of your list

At the top of your list should be Billy Tindell. He knew Amy had the district's support, he knew she was the most qualified, but he wouldn't support her because she challenged him last year in the general. The best way to get back at her? Support Wimmer, who lost big to her in the Primary. Wimmer was no more than Billy's pawn, and Billy should bear all the blame for losing that seat. If he could have gotten over his snit-fit and backed Amy, who also had the support of the other District 2 Commissioner and the district, she would have been a shoo-in for that seat. Billy doesn't care about doing what's best for the district; Mark Harmon does. And now Wimmer belongs to Billy.
Billy doesn't forget or forgive - ask Madeline Rogero.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

When the TL clock started

(Forgive a post I made moments earlier saying I didn't know CBT--I'm new here and didn't know Chad's "handle." Hi, Chad.)

Chad: "A friend mentioned to me today that he understood the term limits provision passed in '94 started with the next term, which would have been in '98. Two terms from there and you get to...2006."

Quick aside: Yeah, the court tossed one of Moncier's previous complaints, filed sometime between last year's primary and general, for this reason. Judge said no legislation may be enacted to retroactive effect, so clock did, indeed, start with '98 and TL took effect for '06 election.

bill young's picture

my 2 cents

i was pleased that tank voted for elaine & hated that the democrats lost a seat..if billy could have voted,would that have made a difference 1.wimmer would have had 7 votes & amy drops out,democrats win 2.the davis-tramel deadlock..would not have happened.i live in the first district & i am going to give josh a chance.

rikki's picture

You can sit around and

You can sit around and complain or actually do something about it.

It's obvious you don't have the courage to deal with the substance of people's outrage. Maybe you don't appreciate how utterly disenfranchised people feel. Maybe you don't realize that many of the people complaining, aside from having legitimate complaints you won't address, have been and will continue to "actually do something about it" by helping with campaigns and even running for office. Several of us anticipated the kind of procedural bullshit Scoobie dooed yesterday and called for commission to establish ground rules to prevent such games. That gives us plenty of right to complain, and educating others as to exactly how county government misbehaves is part of "doing something about it."

And really, why should a violation of the Open Meetings Act be remedied at the ballot box?

bizgrrl's picture

Several of us anticipated

Several of us anticipated the kind of procedural bullshit Scoobie dooed yesterday and called for commission to establish ground rules to prevent such games.

Who was he talking to on the cellphone during the proceedings?

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Appointments inconsistent, less-than-transparent

I direct these comments to CBT (I don't know you--Hello). You make some good points, but I see these holes in your arguments:

1)Witt, Sisk and Jones were all good picks? I agree, but what of ignoring Stooksbury in the Clerk's office to find a job for Tindell? 2)It would take 6 months to have endless meetings, forums, and preference elections? Harmon proved otherwise, quickly organizing a district-level forum and a straw poll. 3)Citizens claim a fix when their choice isn't appointed? Commissioners might have fostered understanding if they had offered *any* advance rationales for their picks.

No, officers were appointed arbitrarily and commissioners were chosen absent any constituent input or other rationale offered the public. Even late applicants were entertained (and two appointed), contrary to Commission's own instruction to applicants. Commissioners also treated their peers badly(at least in D2 & D4) by failing to act on Harmon's and Schmidt's/Guthe's recommendations. Most importantly, it doesn't appear to me that the process outlined in our charter was followed, especially with regard to establishing in advance of the meeting the manner in which appointees would be "elected." Quiet simply, we saw Commission making up the rules as they went.

CBT's picture

Tamara, nice to meet you. I

Tamara, nice to meet you. I use my real name. Most people on this blog know who I am. I saw Randy and Betty at the meeting yesterday. I don't hide behind a fake name.

You will note I left Tindell out of my list of good appointments. I like Billy, but seems to me Stooksbury might have been a better choice for the interim slot. By the way, my name is Tindell, can I now get a job in the Clerk's office, Hey Cuzin Billy?

I used 6 months, knowing government generally never does anything within tight guidelines. Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. Maybe it would have taken 3, but everyone would still have to turn around and run in the election next February. That doesn't make a lot of sense.

I believe Commission followed the proper procedure regarding appointments. Having seen others, the manner in which votes were taken was the same.

Bringing it home a bit, when Jimmy Kyle Davis was appointed as Sessions Judge, it took some doing. This is what I've heard, so if it's not fact, take it for what it's worth. Some Commissioners convinced Randy Nichols he had 10 votes to appoint his employee Andy Jackson (JKD, me and Andy Jackson being the candidates who had qualified to run). I should add that I never lobbied Commission or asked for the appointment. I wanted to run.

So, Randy and Mark Stephens get the Mayor to call for a special meeting of Commission, which only the Mayor can do. The meeting is called. On the day of the meeting, Randy tells a friend of mine he knows he has 10 votes for Andy. Efforts to delay and allow the 3 candidates to just run in the election (which was only a couple of months away) fail. The result? Andy got 1 vote, JKD gets the rest (some Commissioners were conveniently absent) and is sworn in later that day. No Commissioner gave any reason. Randy and Andy are stunned at the turn of events. I think it was a set-up. But hey, it was Commission's choice, however they went about it. Andy Jackson eventually won in a fairly close 3-way race, besting me and the appointed JKD.

But, I didn't whine. I never complained. Neither did Andy. I ran, worked very hard, ran a good race and lost. So did Andy. Andy Jackson is a fine judge. Andy and I developed a good relationship over the course of the campaign. In political campaigns, I do things the right way. Many of Andy's supporters have asked me to run again and promised to support me. All this to say, I've got some experience in this area. So, shut up, quit filing lawsuits and work to elect good candidates next year. What is that Randy, 'nuf said?

jbr's picture

Herb files lawsuitSo who is

Herb files lawsuit

So who is paying the defense costs?

Can the lawsuit be filed in a manner that the individually implicated parties have to pay their own defense fees? Being personally accountable would influence behavior.

I agree there are far too many lawsuits. I think the typical person would agree.
Many seem ridiculous. However, combating the manipulation of our mechanism
for democratic governance to the point that it is no longer democratic is without question a cause worth pursuing.

Simply Ridiculous's picture

Proud quotes from the

Proud quotes from the commission Chairman: "Ain't nobody lobbied me," Moore said. "No, heck no. That would be against the law..."

Who the hell is Bolus? Is he a Democrat? And he gets nominated by Scott Moore, after all Moore's sanctimonious talk about how the district Commissioners knew their districts and the folks in them better than anyone else?

R. Neal's picture

Just from some overheard

Just from some overheard conversations and other anecdotal remarks, I don't think some of the commissioners knew much about some of the candidates, even some they voted on.

Simply Ridiculous's picture

P.S. Bolus was Moore's

P.S. Bolus was Moore's Treasurer in the 2006 Commission race. Makes me want to puke.

JaHu's picture

Too early?

Is it too early to start impeachment proceedings on all appointed officials?

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

rocketsquirrel's picture

solution: traffic cameras with microphones in the rear hallway

perhaps if we permanently move those traffic cameras and then add microphones to the rear hallway of the large assembly room we can pipe it directly to youtube and get a clearer picture of Boss Hogg and the back pocket boys.

seriously, I think we need to setup a schedule of "video volunteers" to start web camming the back room activities of our county commission.

ultron's picture

So the message is: Move

So the message is: Move along, nothing to see here.
And: If you didn't vote, you have no right to complain.
Er, wait ...

Simply Ridiculous's picture

Gee, who would've thought

Gee, who would've thought that when Scoobie, Lumbpy and Ivan climbed out of bed this morning (the one they sleep in together) they would decide to try and bury the poop by laying blame on Ragsdale? (KNS this afternoon) They still think we're stupid - even after they shoved it in our face yesterday.

And good grief, though I don't agree with him on everything,Ragsdale had NOTHING to do with this - Moore made sure of that. I think if it were up to him every district would have had, at the least, a Mark Harmon-type forum.

What a bunch of egotistical lying cowards. I guess we'll see this crap fly around for at least the next year.

Jeanne's picture

screwed

I attended a CC meeting a few years ago when some guy walked back and forth across the back of the room dressed up as a giant screw. At the time, I admired his guts - so to speak.

Now I'm with commenter Patricia, ready and willing to picket the next meeting. And in honor of Molly Ivins, I'd like to do my part to "make the ridiculous look ridiculous". So, Lumpy - if you're out there - can I borrow that costume of yours??

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