Sep 18 2007

Lance Coleman over at BlountToday has an interesting new twist on the upcoming race for Blount County Circuit Judge. (link...)

Maryville attorney Craig Garrett has dropped out of the race to unseat Circuit Court Judge Mike Meares.The person who is considering replacing him on the Republican ticket is recently-elected General Sessions Judge Mike Gallegos.


Interesting. The key to


The key to this chess maneuver would seem to lie in the last paragraph:

Bennett, who is also assistant county mayor and county finance director, said if Gallegos chose to run and won the seat, the county commission would choose Gallegos’ replacement on the General Sessions bench. "That would be the procedure," Bennett said.

It's a two-fer!

All the more reason to step up the campaign for Meares.

Oh My Gosh! Master Plan Revealed

This stuff never stops, folks!!

1. Bennett runs for mayor.

2. Lewis takes Bennett's place as County Finance Director/"Assistant County Mayor".(How DO you get a title like that, by the way, that you get to use in MSM articles and on county letterhead and never run for office? Did YOU vote him in as your Assistant County Mayor?)

3. The county commission is locked in, because a certain factor there does whatever daddy tells them to.

4. The judgeships
are locked in and under total control, because a certain factor on the commission does whatever daddy tells them to.

5. The sheriff's locked in because he is swimming in dollars, has the power to offer favors (would you like a trailer hitch and window tinting with that?) and has who knows what dirt (real or manufactured) on everyone else. We won't mention the intimidation factor, of course. (Oh, I forgot. We're supposed to feel SAFER with Jimbo, right?)

6. South Blount Utility District's locked in, because the county mayor appoints that board and assists them without ANY input from the commission (not that that would matter much, considering #3 above.)Thus, they get into the sewer business and suddenly we can build anywhere we want! Yippee!

7.a.b.c. The Board of Zoning Appeals, Public Building Authority, and Planning Commissions are locked in, because daddy's already stocked them with enough of his children to ensure there are no potential hiccups there.

8. Those developers who do NOT always want what's best for business OR for Blount co. (there are many who do) have a sugardaddy in office who's every move since being elected, EVERY MOVE, has been about removing any HINT of a barrier to full-blast building on every patch of green space, flat space, or for that matter, steep space, left in Blount County.

Life is good! Can't you just see it now? The Party Boys kicking back on the back porch as the sun goes down, listening to the sweet sound of bulldozers in the distance, tossing down a cold one while ticking off the segments of our society that are under their control, and listening for the little bell on their computer that tells them that, yep, another dollar was just placed in their account.

Folks, I'm telling you, you'd better stay awake, wide awake, or the Blount Co. that you know will disappear --is already disappearing--right out from under your feet.

Any hint of justice, fairness, checks and balances, or integrity in your government will disappear- is disappearing- as well.

The Party Boys Rule.

You wondered what our impressive, commanding, I'm-a-marine-U.S. attorney-6th-generation-Cades-Cove-descendent county mayor's VISION was for Blount County? Well, now you see it. That's his "vision", pitiful as it is. Has been all along.

It's not about the People.

It's about the Party.


Is that what you want for Blount County?


And to think that for the past two days I have simply been screaming that the barrier we had to keep the Sports Complex out of Blount County rural lands has been lifted with SBUD getting into the wastewater business.


Call me an Independent.
But I have a question about party politics. IS that not the point to party politics? Get as many people in your party in as many positions as possible! Please don't get politics confused with government.

I think our government is the best in the world. However, I think that the battle over which party is in control is destroying our country. Our government is paralyzed by it. The people who govern us can not make a decision based on what is best for this country; they base their decisions on party lines. The war, immigration, Iraq, you name it, everything is divided by the parties.

I will say this. I think it starts with our children. The relatively "few" have taken so many things out of our schools, I truley fear for their future. The two main things I am speaking about is prayer and punishment.
I understand that prayer is a touchy subject and that there is a supposed separation of Church and State, but our founding fathers would cry if they saw our nation now. A God less nation will find itself eternally sorry. I pray for our country.
For punishment, it used to be that parents were on the side of the teachers. If a child was spanked at school, they got it double when they got home that night. I am not talking beating. I am talking discipline. Too many people confuse the two. There is a consequence of no discipline. Look at our nation and think about it.

God Bless our nation. Please.

Party politics

Party politics begins when your the UN-ELECTED Assistant County Mayor, County Finance Director, AND County Republican Party CHAIRMAN. Where do you think the best interest of the citizens of this county lie? It's one thing to stand outside the institution of government and organize and manage political power, quite another to be doing from an un-elected position on the inside don't you think?

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on school prayer, it needs to offer something to instill a moment of reflection and reprieve from the merry-go-round. As for punishment, I couldn't agree more.


I skipped right over this on my first post (Question). I guess it should have been named Questions.
The title of Assistant County Mayor and County Finance Director.
I do believe that County Finance Director is appointed by the commission. So, the people we elected to represent us determine who is in that position.
Now for the Assistant County Mayor. This is where I have a question. Isn't it up to the County Mayor to determine who the Assistant? How does this work in other counties? It only seems logical to me that the Mayor pick the Assistant.

Could be wrong, but I would like to know what happens in other counties.

Thanks and God Bless.

Assistant County Mayor and County Finance Director

Assistant County Mayor has always been appointed by the County Mayor. Under the Act of 1957 the finance director is appointed by the County Mayor and approved by the County Commission.

Can you

Can you quote where in TCA there is even the title of Assistant or Vice Mayor?

Wait a second!

I thought the title the Commission agreed to in the case of Beverley Woodruff was "Assistant TO the County Mayor." Somewhere, the "TO" dropped off.

Well then can you show me

Well then can you show me where in those minutes of the CC meetings that is? The offical documents I find for that period has Dr.Robert Ramsey, Acting Mayor.


"In case of nuts gunning for" Mayor Cunningham...

This article, which I quoted in the title, explains a lot of the technicalities relative to the "Assistant Mayor" position ((link...)).

Wonder what happened to Lesli Bales-Sherrod? After Rick Laney, she was the closest thing the Daily Times ever had to an actual reporter.

I will keep looking for a link showing that Bennett was meant to be an "assistant to," but I will confess that I heard that what they approved was for Bennett to be the "Assistant to the County Mayor" and not the "Assistant Mayor" from my county commissioner, not from the minutes. I'll give my commissioner the benefit of the doubt and assume he knew what he was voting for.

Bank photo ops

Ah, that explains all the photos of Bennett at all these new bank openings....

Assistant County Mayor

The assistant county mayor was created back in 1998-1999 under Bill Crisp. It is NOT a TCA created position, only a county created position with assigned duties by the County Mayor(now), then the County Executive.

The assistant to was dropped while under the Act of 1981, but reappeared when Blount County went back under the Act of 1957.

Not Party Politics as you know it.

This is not party politics as you know it. If it were you would see all the old timers of the Blount GOP stepping up and being behind this wholesale sell out of the county.

YOU do not see this happening. A select few are controling this mess. You can see that with the straight line voting at commission meeting where not just dems say no but some of the those republicans who are not behind this mess. Those few show they are listening to the voters and residents and not just the developers. It is just that simple. Call up the old timers and ask what they think of the state of affairs here at home.

When does the party end?

It used to be one party tried to cut taxes while the other tried to build with taxes. Now neither do either.

Follow this link to an interview with Margret Thatcher 35 years ago. Whether you are Dem or Rep, woman or man, young or old - it's worth a read (link...)

Turd Blossom

This article, which I quoted in the title, explains a lot of the technicalities relative to the "Assistant Mayor" position (Link...).

Local, if you got any explanation out that mountain of Bovine Scatology (BS for you layman's), I give much credit. For me, I was left longing on the following:

said Ron Woody of County Technical Assistance Service.

As this article was written this time last year, I may be lost on what Ron Woody's position was in Blount County at the time. A casual glance of the article might lead the reader to believe Mr. Woody was some how affiliated with Blount. If he is not, then again, why do we need to look outside the county for an explanation of our government rules for those in our government? From a search the only thing I can find about Mr. Woody is that he is an government consultant. (link...)

"What we're talking about is Jerry saying, 'In case you can't get a hold of me, Dave Bennett can talk on my behalf,'" he said. "There's definitely nothing illegal about giving somebody a title."

There certainly is something illegal about extending your power to someone who does not have the legal right to execute it.

At the time it was explained that he could no longer serve as assistant county mayor because the finance director would be hired by the Financial Management Committee, not by the county mayor.

So what has changed since then?

But Woody said Friday that even though Bennett is hired by the Financial Management Committee, he still is an employee of Blount County government, not of the Financial Management Committee.

So who does he answer to?

Woody concluded that Bennett could serve as assistant county mayor although filling in for the county mayor in certain situations would present a conflict.

Not might, maybe, kinda, or sometimes - WOULD!

"He is so knowledgeable, so gifted and so dedicated, and he has had to endure a lot of cheap personal shots from people who are jealous of him," Cunningham said of Bennett. "I will defend his character, his reputation and his integrity with every breath I have. Jealousy and envy are the two most wasted emotions in the world.

Quoted from a man who still stands by his "Tommy". Large expendentitures, fake degrees, nepotism that leads to $50,000 judgments against the county - I must be jealous of Tom Hatcher too.

Bennett will not be paid extra for serving as assistant county mayor, Cunningham said.

Except for a car - or does that go along with one of the other titles.

Cunningham said Friday he has designated his three emergency interim successors, but he would not tell who they are "for security reasons."

Does anyone out there know if not disclosing those names is legal?

Not weighing in on the new

Not weighing in on the new topic of titles, etc. (don't know much about it), but just to clarify FA's question about CTAS, counties across the state rely on them to help interpret state laws and other technical matters. There's nothing unusual or sinister about that, and they are a good resource for better government.

From their website:

CTAS was created by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1973 at the urging of county officials and their organization, the Tennessee County Services Association (TCSA). County officials who wanted an agency to provide prompt, accurate technical assistance on a daily basis to Tennessee's 95 counties.

The authorizing legislation (T.C.A. § 49-9-402) which established CTAS as a part of The University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service (IPS) directs CTAS to ..."provide studies and research in county government, publications, educational conferences and attendance thereto, and to furnish technical, consultative and field services to counties of the state in problems relating to fiscal administration, accounting, tax assessment and collection, law enforcement, and public works, and in any and all matters relating to county government".

Here's their website:


There's another version for municipal governments called MTAS:


Good Wood

Nothing against Mr. Woody. In fact if any place needs interpretation of what it can and can't do - it's Blount County.

My point of citing him was this; Woody concluded that Bennett could serve as assistant county mayor although filling in for the county mayor in certain situations would present a conflict.

I think it's sad Mr. Woody had to spend any time explaining that.

The obvious

He doesn't mind, it's called job security.

Not Understanding

I am not understanding your comment: "I think it's sad Mr. Woody had to spend any time explaining that." It is my understanding that he was asked a question and answered it. That is his job. He answers questions from people who work in government. I don't think it is sad to do your job. Do you?


Sorry, that was more of a broad, sarcastic reply, not directed at you, but to the fact that this CTAS is left providing answers to some questions that are really irrelevant to general government activities. Like someone's title.

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