Tag Archives: Tim Burchett

Prospects ponder race for county mayor

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Two years out from the 2018 county elections, there’s half a gaggle of candidates thinking about running for mayor.

Don’t look for County Commissioner Bob Thomas to run for re-election to his at-large commission seat in 2018, even though he’ll be finishing his first term. He’ll be too busy running for mayor.

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The good ol’ boys are back

Sandra Clark
Editor

Let’s review local winners and losers on March 1.

Winners have to include former Sheriff Tim Hutchison. He stepped out for Donald Trump when nobody else would. Trump’s Tennessee win puts Hutchison in the spotlight and he will make the most of it.

Tim Burchett called Bud Armstrong his friend three times in a 30-second TV spot. Bud rolled over the well-funded Nathan Rowell on his way to a second term as county law director.

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Trump takes South Carolina, TN votes March 1

Scott Frith
Government/Politics columnist

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.

It’s himself.

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Service adequate, funding flawed says fire chief

Wendy Smith
Government/Politics columnist

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.

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Midway Road revs up; residents fear done deal

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

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:

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McIntyre confirms: Performance pay not an option

Sandra Clark
Editor

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.

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The day after: What did teachers gain?

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

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.

It really wasn’t a nail biter.

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