Both the Tennessee Supreme Court decision in January and the judge's ruling in the recent News Sentinel lawsuit reached the same conclusion: Knox County Commission is required by Tennessee's laws and Constitution to appoint replacements for the term-limited officeholders kicked out of office due to term limits.
The judge's ruling in the KNS lawsuit was a month and a half ago, yet Knox County Commission still has not appointed the replacement officers as they are required to do. Six weeks after Chancellor Fansler's ruling, Knox County is still short eight County Commissioners, a sheriff, and three other elected officers. The people of Knox County are waiting for County Commission to fulfill its mandated duties.
So, will someone please explain to me how it is conceivably a good idea to do this?
Knox County voters will have direct input into appointments to 12 vacant county offices after County Commission voted tonight to wait until after the Feb. 5 primaries to fill the seats.
The effort to delay the appointments was spearheaded by Commissioner Mike Hammond, who proposed holding public forums starting on Feb. 6 for candidates to make their cases, with actual appointments on Feb. 20.
Commission is planning to wait until the day after the County primary to appoint the temporary officeholders they should have appointed back in January.
Does that mean they're going to appoint those receiving the most votes in the primaries, thus giving the appointees an incumbent advantage, or will they appoint the second-place finisher in the primary?
How can one possibly construe either alternative as a good idea?
This honestly has me scratching my head, wondering just exactly what they're thinking. Instead of holding district-by-district community meetings, accepting resumes and nominations from anyone, and appointing the best temporary caretakers, Commission seems to be determined instead to anoint those with the richest real estate developers backing them.
And one more thing: how does it serve the public to wait a full 13 months after the original Supreme Court ruling for County Commission to fulfill its mandated duties? Just who are they serving here?
These are not rhetorical questions; I'd like some answers, or at least well-founded speculation.
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