Gibbs area residents have battled for 20-plus years for a new middle school in the community. During that time a brand-new elementary school was built at Gibbs and Holston Middle School, where Gibbs-area kids are zoned, was remodeled.
Gibbs residents showed up across Knox County to lobby for a middle school when Superintendent Jim McIntyre held public meetings. No other community has pushed so hard for so long. It’s safe to say, folks who don’t live in Gibbs are puzzled.
Was the school board giving Mayor Tim Burchett the finger when it voted to build a new Gibbs Middle School and let somebody else figure out how to pay for it? The issue appears to be riding an emotional wave, and smart money says the votes are there on County Commission, which leaves Burchett squarely on the hot seat.
But no, the board wasn’t messing with Burchett by voting to build the school without having a clue how to pay for it. Most of those who voted yes support him and weren’t yet in office in 2010 when he decided to step in and build a new Carter Elementary School against the initial wishes of the board and Superintendent Jim McIntyre, for whom Burchett famously had no love (and still doesn’t).
When Buzz Buswell was serving as Knox County’s Veterans Services officer, he didn’t think he could enjoy a job more. When his role was expanded to serving seniors, he realized he was wrong.
Buswell had been a county employee for six years when he asked Mike Ragsdale to “leave a note” for incoming Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett recommending him for the Veterans Services Officer post if it became available. When it did, in 2012, Buswell thought he’d “died and gone to heaven.” It gave him the opportunity to help those who’d served, he says.
Mayors Madeline Rogero and Tim Burchett have named their six-member committee to do a search for the new MPC director who will follow Mark Donaldson, who has resigned effective Jan. 4, 2015.
The members will include city Deputy Mayor Bill Lyons and county chief of staff Dean Rice along with two MPC commissioners, Bart Carey and Herb Anders. Also serving are former county commissioner Wanda Moody and Stephanie Welch, vice president of operations for community schools at the Great Schools Partnership.
My first call after last Tuesday’s election was: “Why didn’t the Shopper endorse Jamie Rowe?”
Rowe is a Fountain City activist who ran in a special election for the school board seat formerly held by Indya Kincannon. Also running were PTA mom Tracie Sanger, who won, and retired principal Charlotte Dorsey, who didn’t.