Scuttle butt around Knoxville just added another potential candidate for Knox County Mayor. There is a strong rumor Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “JJ” Jones will turn in his handcuffs and golf shoes in favor of a suit and tie to run for Mayor.
Jones could face Knox County Commissioner Brad Anders, a City of Knoxville police officer, in the Republican primary. County Commissioner At-Large Bob Thomas is already an announced candidate and there will likely be others seeking the GOP nod before the 2018 primary. Jones has been vocal in his demand for a big pay raise for Sheriff’s deputies and if elected, might wander away from the rigid fiscal conservatism of Mayor Tim Burchett, which has been wildly popular with the public. That could likely be an issue in the Republican primary.
The rumors are flying around like golf balls on a sunny Monday.
I try and cover a lot of territory for my readers and I journeyed to the Center City Republican Clique, I mean, Club. Ostensibly, this event was to celebrate the inauguration of President Donald Trump with a chili cook-off and old fashioned cake auction to benefit the club’s treasury. There were only a handful of elected officials present, including one state legislator. Some of the candidates already running for next year’s election were there, along with 7 cakes to be auctioned. I didn’t come empty handed, either, as I brought a cake freshly baked from Litton’s. It was beautiful and sold for $55 to Kevin Allen, husband of our District Attorney, Charm Allen.
Being a Friday night, I didn’t stay for the entire event nor was the crowd my particular cup of tea. I did enjoy the kindness of Kevin Allen and was glad we took a picture together, but I suspect the Young Republicans will be doing bigger events over the next four years. Still, I’ll give the Center City Club an ‘A’ for
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Going around town isn’t always easy and I feel like school rezoning meetings have taken over my life. I ventured to Holston Middle School to listen in and I would imagine there might have been 100 people in attendance. The meetings are beginning to run together in my mind. In fact, there are a number of people who are at every meeting and oddly, those are the same people quoted in virtually every news story covered by local media. What puzzles me is that it seems every rezoning meeting, and the meeting at Holston Middle School was the fifth of six meetings, is a show place for folks who don’t live in the immediate community. Supposedly, these meetings are to get the thoughts of the people living in the individual communities. Whether the meeting was at Hardin Valley (far northwest Knox County), Farragut (far west), South-Doyle (south Knox County) or Holston, the open microphone was always occupied by the same people traveling from meeting to meeting.
Folks say they want their children to attend the school closest to them and the emphasis is on community schools, which I think is probably a very good thing. People say they don’t want their children bused to other schools. Some folks with their hair on fire cry their children are in danger of being sent to some school far distant from home. Yet in every instance Superintendent Buzz Thomas or other high-ranking school officials have told parents there is NO rezoning map drawn as of yet. Pen has yet to be put to paper, but that seems to have been all but ignored in the hysteria on the part of some who cannot cite any real information for concern. Ironically, many of the parents seem to have gotten into their heads their children might be bused off to the new Gibbs Middle School. What is particularly ironic about that is the kids in Gibbs have had the second longest bus ride in Knox County (the longest is for children in South Knox) for more than two decades. Sad to say, the irony is lost on a great many folks.
Vol Market 3 on Market had a great turn out for an event sponsored by Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. Burchett’s guest of honor was State Senator Mark Norris, a possible candidate for governor next year. Norris is a thoughtful legislator and has served as Chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. Currently, Senator Norris is the Senate Majority Leader. The Shelby Countian was one of the louder voices in the legislature the last time the governor discussed raising the gasoline tax; Norris was strongly against an increase in the gas tax.
A host of politicos were moving through the crowd of about 75 people including Law Director Bud Armstrong, County Commission Chairman Dave Wright, Commissioner Charlie Busler, School Board Chair Patty Bounds, Senator Becky Duncan Massey, First District Commissioner Evelyn Gill and Sheriff-wannabe Lee Trammel. Burchett singled out Evelyn Gill for a compliment, saying she is one Commissioner that has her district in mind, knowing her people and what they want.
Norris seemed pleased by the reception he got from Knox Countians and stayed tuned for updates on this blog.
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