OK, so five folks applied to the one open position on the ethics committee that the county commission gets to pick. (The commission also has to appoint one of its own and the mayor gets to pick someone.)
Soooo, today, the commission interviewed the candidates today. Or three of them, anyway. Because two didn't bother to show up. (I don't get it. Seriously.)
Anyhoo, the final vote is Nov. 21. It’s pretty apparent who some commissioners were leaning toward. Hell, one commissioner practically coached a candidate – or rather, told that person the answer they wanted to hear.
The two candidates who didn’t show? Ashlee Brown and Chad Fontanarosa. Nice.
Here’s a few notes I jotted down from the ones who did manage to make it for a roughly three minute interview.
Cindy Clabough: Said the position “seemed a perfect fit,” and that she has “a passion for the fair and ethical treatment of all people.” Clabough said she could make the board “a more viable, reliable and more productive branch of our government.” She has no connections to county employees and is currently retired. “I want to serve my government – I never have before – and this is a small way to give back.” Commissioner R. Larry Smith asked where she was from. She said Knox County. When asked where she went to school, she said West High School. Smith: “Atta girl.”
Steve Drevik: Said he works with 80 different state agencies and they all have “ethics rules that I've had to navigate.” Said he would bring a “very pragmatic approach” to the committee. Said he has a brother-in-law who works in the county property assessor’s office “but we don’t have that much contact.” (All candidates were asked whether they had relatives who work for the county.) He also said he heard someone in the media call the ethics board a “paper tiger” (that was me – heh) but he disagrees. Uh, yeah, whatever.
Chuck Williams: Said he “dedicated the last few years of my life doing what I can for the city and county, no matter what the situation.” Said he feels that there is a “night and day” difference to how the ethics committee and county commission are now run. He has no ties to county employees. He told commissioners that they know his “integrity level.” He added: “I’m not going to be swayed or cut deals with anyone – I’m going to follow the letter of the law.”
I’ve got a feeling that whoever the commission picks, it won’t be by a unanimous decision. (Unless – at the end – the board does one of those symbolic things where everyone has a big love fest after going back and forth and picks one person. If what I just said makes sense.)