Donald Trump won the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary on Saturday. It was a dominating win. Most pundits agree that Marco Rubio has the best shot to defeat Trump if he consolidates so-called establishment support. My guess is that Trump’s biggest opponent isn’t Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton.
Knox County has a relatively high level of service at a low cost per capita as compared to the rest of the state in regard to fire protection, says Rural/Metro Fire Chief Jerry Harnish. But the current funding system is flawed because single-family homeowners foot more of the bill than businesses do.
Harnish is generally pleased with the number of fire stations in the county, now that a new station in Southwest Knox County is up and running. The need for a station in the Choto area has been a topic of conversation since Mike Ragsdale was mayor and finally came to fruition when former Knox County Commissioners Ed Shouse and Richard Briggs took the issue to Mayor Tim Burchett. Other key factors included the offer of a site from developer John Huber and the commission’s approval of payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for the property.
Last fall, the Development Corporation of Knox County put a bunch of county commissioners on a bus and took them to four of the county’s eight industrial/business parks – WestBridge, Hardin, Eastbridge and the Pellissippi Corporate Center – but one place they didn’t visit, or even talk about, was Midway Road, the site of an almost 20-year battle between Knox County government and East Knox residents bent on preserving the rural character of their community.
So far, the citizens have staved off the business park, but District 8 County Commissioner Dave Wright, who represents the Midway Road area, made a prediction:
In a phone interview last week, Superintendent Jim McIntyre confirmed that performance-based pay incentives will not be offered to teachers in the upcoming school year. The only exception is for teachers and administrators in Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) schools.
McIntyre said Rodney Russell, director of human capital strategy, is chairing a group of teachers to rework the old APEX bonus formula that was funded primarily through grants such as Race to the Top. The bonuses earned in the 2014-15 school year will be paid in November or December, he said, from a $3 million, one-time grant proposed by Mayor Tim Burchett from the county’s fund balance.
Knox County school board members were faced with a stark choice last week: Approve a memorandum of understanding between Mayor Tim Burchett and Superintendent James McIntyre that leaves teachers with half the pay raise they’d been led to expect, or be stuck with Burchett’s original budget offer, which would leave the school system with a $6.5 million shortfall and mean no raise at all.
Tim Burchett is a master politician, but Jim McIntyre proved last week he’s not too shabby.
We saw Burchett and McIntyre fist-bump after announcing an agreement that funds teacher raises and promised bonuses while building new middle schools at Gibbs and Hardin Valley. All without a tax increase.