Knox County commissioners and board of education members expect to hold their hug-a-thon in late January next year at the RT Lodge. Right now, they’re looking at Jan. 26 (an evening dinner) and then Jan. 27 (all day).
Oddly enough, the commission kept referring to these days as a Friday and Saturday. They’re not. (Try, Thursday and Friday.)
(UPDATE: I was just informed that the dates are Jan. 27 and Jan. 28, although that wasn't what they said yesterday. Heh.)
Commissioners talked about it briefly today during their luncheon today. The idea is hold a retreat and do a “let’s all just get along” kind of thing. Heh.
“We have some significant budget issues coming up, but we don’t want to turn this into something where we just talk about funding the whole time,” commission Chairman Mike Hammond said.
The Cornerstone Foundation in Knoxville will pay for the meeting and act as a facilitator.
The commission didn’t spend a whole heck of a lot of time on the issue. I mean, let’s face it, the members of both bodies like each other on a personal level, but . . . .
In the meantime, Commissioner R. Larry Smith said he wants to talk about vacant schools “where no one’s in them and they’re rotting.” He suggested bringing up the issue at the retreat and wondered whether – once again – the commission should form a task force to look at something (in this case, the abandoned schools).
Commissioner Tony Norman, an educator, however, wondered just what the meetings would accomplish. He’s not necessarily against them, but “the issues are so large – what would we really be dealing with?”
He added: “I’m for improving relationships and we could do that over a meal or some kind of scheduled thing. I just wonder about what can we really get accomplished in a weekend like this. We need a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting about educational issues, but that’s probably going to involve Gov. Haslam and some state level guys. Not just us talking about next year’s budget.
County Mayor Tim Burchett and Superintendent Jim McIntyre will be invited to the meeting.
Oh yeah, at that time Burchett and McIntyre weren’t invited.