Nov 14 2007

The commission seating is in a semi-circle. The commission chair's section (where he sits with Roy Crawford) is in the middle and at a height head and shoulders above the rest. Presumably to allow him to see all the commissioners when they vote, although there is a handy-dandy computer system that shows when someone hits their little game-showesque button instead of raising their hand. I guess this chairman's structure obstructs a few of the commissioners to the immediate left and right of him from seeing each other. I'm sure this is inconvenient and it evidently use to encourage misbehavior from a few of the more juvenile commissioners that were on the audience's lefthand side during the last term.

However, I'm not sure it is worth it to me, Joe Q. Citizen, to pay $5,950 to cure the inconvenience caused by the original design. It was part of a courthouse redesign spearheaded by then-Chairman Steve Samples not all that long ago.

What do you think? Here's the resolution as it appears in the packet for tomorrow night:

Sponsored by: John Keeble and Steve Samples
WHEREAS, Blount County would like to amend the Courthouse and Jail Maintenance Fund
Budget to appropriate funds for the adjusting of the Chairman’s bench in the Commission
Room; and
WHEREAS, it is deemed to be in the best interest of Blount County to amend the Courthouse
and Jail Maintenance Fund Budget as requested.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Blount County,
Tennessee, assembled in regular session this 15th day of November 2007, that the Courthouse
and Jail Maintenance Fund Budget shall be amended as follows:
112-000000-499998-00000 Fund Balance..................................................... $5,595.00
112-051800-500707-00000 Data Processing Equipment .............................. $5,595.00

Level the playing field

Samples was the one who had it raised? It appears he is now a victim of his own bad design. He and Walker really are at a disadvantage when trying to communicate with their respective other sides.

It does seem kind of costly, but I'm all for having any change that makes government look at the people, not down at the people.

Although, I hope they put a clause in to make the changes permanent. If Samples makes another successful bid for the Chairman's seat, he may want to raise it agin. Sorry for the misspelling, my hands got scared just writing that last part.


Are "commissionerwalker" and "David.Ballard" real Usernames, or creations from folks who ain't them?

viva Evo Morales

Wow. That is such a

Wow. That is such a legitimate question that it calls for a creative solution. Since tonight is the full Commission meeting and since it is recorded for television, I would like to propose the following...

After the second recorded vote, Commissioner Ballard would you please stand up, turn around twice, do the chicken dance for exactly 6 seconds and then sit back down.

After the third recorded vote, Commissioner Walker would you stand up and wave your arms wildly about your head so we can at least see your fingers flailing in the air.

Then we will all know for sure if you two are who you profess to be on here.

Sorry, it is just one of those days at the Lazy K.

Butter or Parkay?

I know one is butter, but I believe the other is as well. Write the author.

Mr. Butter?

Aw, I wanted to see the flailing and the chicken dancing!

Chairman's Bench


This was 1st requested back in 2002 at that time the cost was going to be several thousand dollars more, then in 2006 money was placed in the budget, approximately $8500, and the County could not get anyone to bid on the project.

From what we were told on both of the previous occassions this would be somewhat of a task. Due to it requiring rewiring in around the bench and lowering not only the bench but the floor space located directly behind it.

The height of the chairman's seat has not changed from when it used to be Judge Thomas' court.

And just for the record "this time around" I was the initiator.


Thanks for your post!

Commissioner Walker, Can you tell us a little more about why the change is necessary? And thanks for your post. Always great to hear about things from the commission's perspective.

Commissioner who?

There is a Commissioner Walker? Maybe that is why the bench needs lowered.

I don't think it was ever raised from it's original use by the judges. The initial decision was to leave it alone.

For those of us that are a little hard of hearing (not me?), it really helps to be able to see someone when they are talking.

Necessary ? - Sound and Sight

As many have alluded to, the sound in the room is poor, it is worse in a seat at the commissioners seats. As many learn sound and sight are very important when it comes to communicating effectively. When both are absent it is difficult at best to debate any issue. As for other follow-ups to my post, steel is simple to cut, but concrete is more difficult to remove and from what I have been told there is some of this involved.

Just one point of view....



So, would it be cheaper then to raise the rest of the seats to the level of the Chairman's? A couple of concrete blocks and some duct tape and everyone could be at the same height! That's the ticket!

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. ~Kurt Vonnegut

Good Suggestion

That's what I suggested however they said do to the increase in gasoline and petroleum prices Duct Tape would cost about $200 a roll x 21 commissioners, and we are back to about $5000, OH! but you were talking about duct taping the desk and not the commissioners, that would only take 1 roll.


Lets dance!

More talking, more debating, more answers, more involvement, more discussions, more problem solving. etc. etc.

I don't care if you rip out the bench, seats and hang a disco ball, anything that gets us more of the above is okay with me.

Thank you both for coming here to explain.

sky box

Well now, I had hoped they would just cut that whole section out where the Chair and Mr Crawford sit. Then move them to where the camera guy stands- facing the full commission.

That way the newly created open space would be where citizens would stand to give their two-cents worth of imput.

Ok, how about just fixing the sound system so those of us at the back can actually hear what is being said up front?

And guys, thanks for strolling into the sunshine!

Commissioners Walker/Ballard

I'd sure come to more Commission meetings if you guys would follow the Fairview Angel Renovation plan!

I don't care if you rip out the bench, seats and hang a disco ball, anything that gets us more of the above is okay with me.

Kidding. Well, not really. :D

What I hear you saying is that you feel this change to the bench would facilitate better communication between the members of the commission because you would be able to see eye to eye. Also, that this wasn't part of the earlier renovation, so the county really isn't paying for something twice. I am sorry if I misunderstood on that count. That is just the kind of info we needed to feel good about the expense. It would be very nice to see the functionality of the group improved. Perhaps more commissioners will voice their concerns publically, like Mrs. Reeves does, instead of going behind one another's backs.

I like the Skybox idea! Will

I like the Skybox idea! Will there be catering and bartender service? And a Jumbotron?

and bartender service? now

and bartender service?

now your asking for trouble..

And a Jumbotron?

Sorry R, no visuals allowed.

The bench has been talked

The bench has been talked about every year and to reduce it. Well there is steel in that bench for when the judge used it. It is not something that can be cut with a saw. It will need torches and whole lot more then what your eyes can see. And just for the record the lowering of it will help the inner commissioners sitting next can see and hear each other.

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