The fist-bump meter is at an all time high this morning, as county Mayor Tim Burchett's takeover of the school system is now complete. (The board approved his Carter Elementary proposal in case you've been under a rock.)
So, what's Act II?
I'm up for the property assessor's office.
The administration is going to need the intel in there when other areas of the county come knocking on the door, asking him to sell more property to buy them a new school.
“Wright” or wrong, though, the mayor and Emperor Dean Rice really worked hard for this one. So, in the sense that they got what they wanted and made good on their promise to East Knox County residents – congratulations go out to them.
And I do mean that.
Still, I can't help but think that the mayor is now standing between a dog and a fire hydrant.
This is not the first time a Mayor has paid for the building or renovation of a school before. It was done for Hardin Valley Academy, Powell Middle School and Fulton High School just to name a few. And really all schools are built or paid for by the tax payers in this County, so there is no Mayors money, County Commission money or School Board money. Great post Mike.
This is not a comment in relationship to this blog, but why will KNS not cover the Beck Center when the President of the Beck Center threw a meet and greet for Finbarr Saunders at the Beck Center along with Commissioner Sam Mckenzie and his wife and former Commission Chairman Tank Strickland and his wife and Avon Rollins wife which is the head of the local NAACP. Beck Center is a 501c3 and can not hold political events, they can and should lose their tax exempt status. Tell Scott Barker he needs to cover this. He want thou because he does not want to hurt a Democrate and there campaign. Finbarr and Sam and Tank should have known better than to let Beck do this.
As the editorial page editor, I don't cover news stories, nor do I have the authority to direct reporters in news coverage. That said, I have seen a copy of the invitation to the event and looked at Saunder's campaign finance disclosure. Here are my thoughts on it:
As a 501c3, Beck can't take a position on a race, but I don't think there's an issue if they rent out space (provided, of course, they rent it out to any candidate willing to pay). According to Saunders' disclosure, available at the election commission website, he paid Beck $200 for the space.
The head of a 501c3 can't supoort a candidate in his official capacity, but that doesn't mean he can't give his personal money or pledge personal support. Rollins was one of the event sponsors, but the invitation doesn't include his title. There's no indication from the invite that he was participating as anything other than a private citizen.
Finally, the RSVP phone number is for Saunders' home phone. That's an indication that Saunders, not the Beck Center, was coordinating the event.
I haven't talked to anyone who was involved in or attended the fundraiser. I wasn't reporting the story - just satisfying my curiousity once I saw the invitation. At this point, I don't think it's a story, but if other facts come to light my opinion could change. Of course, my opinion on whehter it's a news story is irrelevant - I'm not a news editor. If you think a reporter should look into it, call the news desk at 342-6309 or send a note to email@example.com.
Thank you Scott for responding to my concerns and for looking into on your own. I still don't think the Beck Center would let another candidate rent the place out to a Republican, they have not rented it to any candidates in the past at least not being shown on their tax returns anyway. Just my opinion I appriciate you listening. Mike thanks for allowing the conversation to happen on your blog.
I don't know Beck's history regarding renting space and I don't know that they had a decent space to rent out prior to the recent renovations. If another candidate (regardless of party) asks to rent out space there and is turned down, that would be an issue I'm sure the news desk would investigate.
Thanks anonymous and Scott. I'll forward the discussion to the news desk. I haven't been following the issue, since it's more city related.
Thanks Mike and Scott for your reponses and allowing me to speak my opinion.
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