Federal magistrate judge Clifford Shirley is not seeking a third term when his term ends in February 2018. This triggers a search for a new magistrate, which ultimately is decided by the federal judges for the eastern district of Tennessee with Tom Varlan as the Chief Judge. It also includes active senior judges.
Under federal law, a magistrate judge merit selection panel has been established to review applicants and submit five names to the judges who will make a final decision. The search committee is chaired by highly respected and hard-working Knoxville attorney Mark Mamantov. It also includes two non-lawyers as required by law.
City Council has approved after five years of waiting $1.2 million for the First Creek greenway construction. This was a greenway promised by Mayor Rogero in her first budget message in 2011 and then quickly forgotten.
The past greenway coordinator had few achievements in her five years in Knoxville. Fortunately, she has left the city and moved to a related position in Chattanooga.
Nashville is about to become Tennessee’s largest city, surpassing Memphis. Right now Memphis is only 1,200 residents larger than Nashville and at the current growth rates, Nashville will move ahead of Memphis within a year.
■ Why is county commissioner Bob Thomas starting his campaign for county mayor two years before the primary?
Mayor Burchett is not quite half way through his second and final term. Seems like some campaigns are year around.
The East Tennessee Development District, along with the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency, celebrates 50 years at an awards banquet at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris on July 14. This agency has assisted many disadvantaged persons in the mid-east Tennessee area.
■ Former U.S. Sen. Bill Brock, who lives in Annapolis, Md., is a former Republican National Committee chair, but he will not attend the Republican National Convention for the first time in over three decades.
Has Mayor Rogero forgotten the Metropolitan Planning Commission? Or does she care?
It is now 10 months since three city vacancies occurred on MPC (starting July 1, 2015). Those are the city seats held by former Knoxville Vice Mayor Jack Sharp, Michael Kane and MPC vice chair Bart Carey.
West Hills residents should not and probably will not accept delay on getting their sidewalk built for Sheffield Drive from Wesley Road to Vanosdale. With Vice Mayor Duane Grieve as well as two potential mayoral candidates, George Wallace and Marshall Stair, supporting the effort, they can achieve results.
If necessary they can amend the city budget. It is a significant safety issue. While Mayor Madeline Rogero did not attend the walk in West Hills, she is smart enough to know this issue could have traction and may agree to adding it to her budget on her own.
Former state Rep. Gloria Johnson is seeking her seat back from Eddie Smith, chair of the Knox legislative delegation who defeated her in 2014.
Johnson will need to run a much more focused and aggressive campaign this year to defeat Smith than she did last time around when she openly toyed with chairing the Democratic State Committee while serving in the Legislature as she sought a second term. She seemed more interested in being chair than being state representative.
The Jan. 6 meeting Mayor Rogero had with Knox lawmakers in her office over breakfast was finally opened to the public after Rogero’s spokesperson, Jesse Mayshark, said the day before the meeting that it was closed. The decision to open was made literally the day before the meeting.
His comments triggered unrest among the Knox lawmakers who had not asked for a closed meeting and advised Rogero that they preferred the meeting be open. The reasons given by Mayshark for closing the meeting seemed strange as relating “to this bill, that bill.”
The funeral service at Overcoming Believers Church for Zaevion Dobson on Dec. 26 was one of the saddest and most moving I have attended.
He was killed while saving the lives of two young girls in Lonsdale. Local officials were represented by Mayor Rogero who spoke, as well as Police Chief Rausch, former Mayor Daniel Brown, former Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis, Council member Finbarr Saunders, former Council member Larry Cox and School Superintendent Jim McIntyre, along with former school board chair Sam Anderson and state Rep. Joe Armstrong.
City Council 10 days ago removed Nick Pavlis as vice mayor and replaced him with Duane Grieve by a narrow 5-4 vote. This column predicted two weeks ago that Grieve could win by a 5-4 vote. What happened? Why?