Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mike Arms makes his return

Was just scanning though the minutes to the Feb. 24 East Tennessee Development District meeting.

Someone around here has to.

Because it's not like anyone from the Deathstar (city or county side) attends these things.

(By the way, the ETDD is an association of local governments that provide the area with planning and development services and serves as a forum for the members to talk about problems associated with economic development and growth, according to its website.)

Anyway, close to the end of the 10-page report, I came across a familiar name: former Knox County Chief of Staff Mike Arms (above).

Remember him?

Arms and former Mayor Mike Ragsdale are working as consultants, doing something with education. (It's early in the morning. I can't remember.)

But, Arms gave a presentation to the board about the Association of Tennessee Valley Governments “and the top 10 reasons why you should join the ATVG.”

So, Arms is now an advocate for the advocates.

I guess.

Here's the Top 10 reasons if you're interested (and my side comments because I'm a smart ass):
  • Your active, paid membership will increase the group's effectiveness in giving voice to the collective interests and concerns of local government and their constituents throughout the Tennessee Valley. (Give us your money!)
  • There is strength in numbers (We want more money!)
  • Issues represented by ATVG include TVA tax equivalent payouts, power rates, agriculture, forestry, economic and tourism and development, recreation, environmental protection, water policy, land use, hazardous waste and solid waste disposal. (We have a lot of ways to say the same thing!)
  • The primary purpose is to serve the interests of local governments and the people they represent. (We put you before the people!)
  • Is committed to creating a climate for cooperation where everyone benefits. (We're gonna make you rich!)
  • Addressed challenges in the seven-state Tennessee Valley region by encouraging partnerships between local governments and the public and private sectors. (We know all the tricks of plundering and pillaging!)
  • The ATVG network puts you in touch with 201 county plus 198 county seat governments (no I didn't make a typo) in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. (We're getting money from all over the place!)
  • When Congress debates issues like appropriated funds for TVA, deregulation in the electric utility industry, privatization, or the sale of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer lakes, dams and hydro facilities, ATVG represents members' interests. (We keep you in business – not the other guy!)
  • Give you a voice, as well, with other government agencies at both state and federal level. (Because, you know, you can't pick up the phone and call your local representative yourself!)
  • Provides local governments with an organized and unified approach to strengthening their relationship with TVA. (Because TVA won't talk to you if you don't join!)
According to the ATVG website the dues for local governments are based on the 1990 census as follows:

Counties: 1.2 cents x 1990 population or $400/minimum and $2,200 maximum.

Towns/Cities: 25 percent of county payment or $300 minimum and $700 maximum.

Update: By the way, Knox County under the Ragsdale administration paid dues - $2,200 each year - to join the ATVG. In fact, the county is a member right now. I imagine that will change when Mayor Tim Burchett puts together his upcoming budget.

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