A political conundrum has surfaced two years ahead of the 2018 elections.
Knox County Commissioner Ed Brantley confirmed Monday that he’s undecided on whether to seek re-election to Seat 11, one of two at-large seats on the commission. Former commissioner R. Larry Smith has already named a treasurer and is raising money as a candidate for Seat 11.
Commissioners Bob Thomas and Ed Brantley came to Hardin Valley to talk about roads. Instead, they got an earful about a “back-door deal” to swap a portion of the Nicholas Ball Park on Middlebrook Pike for 100 acres of mountain land off Hardin Valley Road.
Ball Camp would lose one of two soccer fields and a portion of a ½-mile walking trail. The county’s land would be consolidated with adjacent property so a Walmart grocery store could be built, residents said.
Among the citizens who showed up for the Powell edition of Ed and Bob Show (i.e. the traveling constituent meeting road show put on by county commissioners-at-large Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas) was Chuck Ward, the “Fix it, Flip it or Skip it” radio show guy. Brantley introduced Ward to the crowd as a “probable” county commission candidate from District 9 next year.
By the time the Shopper-News caught up with Ward, a busy guy who’s always on his way to somewhere else, he’d downgraded his candidate status from probable to just the other side of possible. He’s just got too many irons in the fire, he said, which was why he was being interviewed by telephone on his way to a real estate agent’s office to pick up a gift he’d been told would be waiting for him at the front desk. When he walked in, he remarked that the place seemed deserted, yoo-hooed and got a terse response from some guy in the back.
Who needs paid entertainment when you cover the county government beat?
The fun started at County Commission’s workshop last Monday, when Jeff Ownby, apparently trying to reclaim moral high ground he lost when censured, went after Knox County Schools and Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre, who of late is a too-easy target.
Former City Council member Chris Woodhull has moved to the Chattanooga area, where he lives in Lookout Mountain, Ga., although he maintains his domicile here in Knoxville.
Over coffee recently, Woodhull, 54, told this writer that he continues to host “Improvisations” on Friday nights for WUOT; he started doing it before he left council in December 2011. “I grew up with jazz,” he says. He comes to Knoxville weekly to tape the show on the UT campus.