Last week’s story about legislation introduced by state Rep. Rick Staples implied a problem with drinking water in public schools since Staples wants to require school systems to test it. His bill (HB0631) was scheduled to be heard by the House Education & Administrative Planning subcommittee on Tuesday, March 28.
Meanwhile, we checked with state and local agencies to clarify the current status of school water, especially in schools built before June 19, 1986, when the federal lead ban took effect.
Harry Brooks’ Opportunity Scholarship Pilot Program was drafted to provide private school scholarships to students in public school districts that have at least 30 schools performing in the state’s bottom 5 percent.
Former Election Commissioner Andrew Roberto, 40, who lives on Hayslope Drive in the new Westmoreland, is an attorney and is also running for the District 2 (Duane Grieve) seat on Knoxville City Council. He is a single parent who shares custody of his two daughters, Kylie and Hannah, with their mother.
He is the only candidate in this district who currently has a website at www.electroberto.com. The website does not yet specify his stands on issues. He wants to “give back” to the community. He wants to spend time listening to voters. He attends Cokesbury United Methodist Church. While a Democrat, he favors nonpartisan elections for city office.
Sherry Witt is a well-liked, respected county officeholder who will find herself out of work in late 2018. So the register of deeds for 10 years is seeking to become Knox County clerk. “There’s an opening in the clerk’s office and I’m applying,” she says.
Term limits will kick in next year for Mayor Tim Burchett, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones, Witt and Clerk Foster Arnett. In addition, Cathy Quist Shanks has said she will not run for re-election as clerk of Circuit and Sessions courts.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
Gary Koontz, along with wife Vicki, is a one-stop real estate shop. He buys, builds and sells; he partnered in development of Fountainhead on Tazewell Pike, Kinley’s Kanyon in Corryton and Urban Park in West Knox.
And he shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he rarely leaves town, so you can imagine the stretch of his return visit to Vietnam after fighting there as a Marine some 50 years ago.
Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones will be a credible candidate for county mayor, if he runs, and will keep Commissioner Bob Thomas and perhaps Glenn Jacobs, if he enters the race, busy. However, Jones will need to overcome the impression that he is only a sheriff.
Three previous sheriffs tried to transition to executive or legislative office in Knox County and failed. They were Archie Weaver for city mayor in 1965, Bernard Waggoner for state senator in 1974 and Tim Hutchison for county mayor in 2010. Democrats do not yet have a credible candidate, and the GOP primary in May 2018 will decide who the next county mayor will be.