Tag Archives: Marshall Stair

Roane lawmaker could become lone ET voice on TVA board

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Another name being mentioned for the TVA board of directors is state Sen. Ken Yager from neighboring Roane County, who chairs the legislature’s Fiscal Review Committee. He is a former county mayor and would be an interesting choice given the massive TVA spill several years ago in Roane County. However, if nominated and confirmed he would have to resign his state Senate seat to serve. He cannot do both at the same time.

At present, there is no one from East Tennessee serving on the TVA board for the first time in recent memory.

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Looking toward 2019

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Donald Trump’s election guarantees the next city mayor’s election will be the fall of 2019. The county mayoral election will be in 2018 with the GOP primary in May, which may determine who actually wins in August, especially if the Democrats do not field any candidate.

Tim Burchett is term limited but is already mentioned as a possible candidate for Congress in 2018. But will recently re-elected U.S. Rep. John Duncan seek another term that year, too? Recently, Burchett’s name has surfaced as a candidate for governor as well.

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UT Trustees should rethink pay policy

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

State Rep. Roger Kane, longtime champion of the Lady Vols, says that “restoring the name of the Lady Vols to women’s sports at UT would be a wonderful way to honor the memory of Pat Summitt,” who passed away last week.

Kane, along with many others, believes that Athletic Director Dave Hart would never have touched the Lady Vols name had Pat Summitt been able to articulate her views against it prior to the onset of her illness.

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Tim Wright retires from AAA

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

For the first time in over 70 years, AAA in East Tennessee will be headed by someone not named Wright. Tim Wright, 69, retires on June 30, after 36 years leading AAA. He followed his father, Luke Wright, who started in 1940, left to serve in the Army Air Corps in World War II, and returned in 1945 as general manager.

This year marked the 60th anniversary of the safety patrol trip to Washington for fifth graders. Recent years have seen some 1,900 students, 240 chaperones, 46 police officers, 12 medical folks and 43 motor coaches be part of the weekend trek from Knoxville to Washington, D.C. Wright went on the second trip in 1957 and every one since 1976, including this year’s trip.

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Stair calls corridor zoning ‘broken’

Sandra Clark
Editor

Led by the Broadway Task Force, the city is considering zoning changes along the main corridors to downtown to reflect current lifestyles.

Council member Marshall Stair says the corridors are ugly, and a zoning code designed for suburban living just doesn’t work in urban areas where residents prefer to walk and bike to nearby businesses.

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Expect Pavlis to be vice mayor

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis says he would like to serve a third term as vice mayor when the position is voted on Dec. 19. Pavlis said council members were satisfied with his leadership as vice mayor.

He pointed out that he had to hire new council employees to replace Cindy Mitchell, Melissa Peters and Susan Wilson who all retired within two months of each other.

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It’s Saunders vs. Bonovich for Seat C

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

The recent city elections produced no surprises other than the three opponents to Finbarr Saunders ran almost evenly among them while Saunders took the lion’s share of the vote.

Paul Bonovich, who faces Saunders in the runoff, edged his closest rival, David Williams, by 45 votes for Seat C. Expect Bonovich to wage an active campaign as will Saunders.

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Rogero ‘auditions’ for post with Clinton

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Mayor Rogero became the 5th person in city history yesterday to win a second consecutive four-year term. Others were John Duncan, Randy Tyree, Victor Ashe and Bill Haslam. It remains to be seen if she completes the next four years as mayor as only two of these predecessors actually served the full term. Duncan and Haslam departed early to become a member of Congress and governor respectively.

Rogero is the only one of the five mayors to win a second term unopposed, except for a nominal write-in candidacy by Jack Knoxville. She also won with the fewest number of votes a winning mayor has received in the past 60 years. Voter turnout was less than 10 percent of all registered voters.

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UT controversy won’t end soon

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

The controversy over removing the name Lady Vols from most teams (except women’s basketball) continues. It is not going away anytime soon given the letter state Rep. Roger Kane wrote (co-signed by 44 other lawmakers) and sent to the UT Board of Trustees.

Kane secured the signatures of 45 of the 132 members of the General Assembly without trying. He simply passed the letter around and got a strong reaction. Kane is a solid, conservative lawmaker from northwest Knox County. He defeated longtime political powerhouse Sheriff Tim Hutchinson to win the GOP primary and became known as a political giant-killer. Prior to this, he was virtually unknown.

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Catching up with the Rukeysers

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Two weeks ago having dinner with Joan and our daughter, Martha, at Ichiban Asian Cuisine restaurant on Northshore Drive, I saw longtime friends Bill and Elizabeth Rukeyser dining three tables away (their granddaughter is a server at Ichiban). Elizabeth Rukeyser was commissioner of mental health under Gov. Don Sundquist. The Rukeysers live on Rudder Lane in West Knox County.

Going over to their table, I learned that Elizabeth, 71, was in Nepal almost in the center of the earthquake on April 25 after having completed a nine-day trek with her daughter Lisa Burn in the Annapurna region. And what a story she had to tell. She was perhaps the only Knoxvillian to be in Pokhara when the earthquake occurred.

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