The four new members of County Commission – Evelyn Gill, Carson Dailey, Hugh Nystrom and Michele Carringer – got a break when they were sworn in Sept. 1. The only thing they had to do after they were sworn in last week was nibble on snacks supplied by Sheriff Jimmy “JJ” Jones. They’ll eat more jailhouse food than anybody but convicts over the next four years.
They’ll have their next taste of Jones’ cuisine at their first real meeting – an organizational session called for 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, for the purpose of selecting leaders and making committee assignments. The politicking that surrounds such events has given them a taste of what’s to come.
Very little blowback and lots of attaboys – that’s what Mayor Tim Burchett says he’s gotten for his recent criticism of the Haslam administration’s refusal to kick in money for a facility to stabilize mentally ill and substance-addicted inmates. He made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows last month denouncing the state for reneging on a commitment to help fund a behavioral health urgent care unit (formerly known as the safety center).
Burchett says he’s confident that the project will move forward, one way or another.