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.
Mayor Madeline Rogero called for $2.7 million for sidewalks and crosswalks across the city, when she presented her budget last week, including $750,000 for sidewalks within school Parental Responsibility Zones and another $750,000 for new sidewalk construction.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will present his budget Monday, May 9. We’ll see then what he proposes.
What happens to state Rep. Joe Armstrong as he seeks a 15th term in the Legislature this August and November? It is an awkward issue for many who like Armstrong. He is under federal indictment for income tax evasion and it goes to trial on Aug. 2, just two days before the state primary.
Of course it could be postponed again or settled. But if not, to be in court on election day is not a good situation for a public official running for office. One wonders if the judge hearing the case will want it to be heard while voters are deciding Armstrong’s future. If he is acquitted, then his problems are resolved.
We live in one of the most scenic areas in the country. With the Great Smoky Mountains, the Cumberland Plateau and countless rivers and streams in between, our region is perhaps best known for its ridges, waterways and (of course) Dolly Parton. Yet, too often our local governments have made shortsighted decisions that fail to take advantage of our area’s natural beauty. In fact, more often than not, we’ve taken it for granted.
My favorite example of shortsighted planning is the waterfront of downtown Knoxville.