Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Some applicants question ethics panel

The county's ethics committee met this morning to go ahead and rubber stamp the reappointment of two sitting members.

And this hasn't gone over too well with a couple of folks.

You see, 25 people applied for the two open spots (five didn't bother showing up to today's meeting) and, quite frankly, it appeared that no one – other than the committee members – really had a shot.

I'm not saying that's the case, but, you know . . . appearances and all that.

One person called it “a farce” and another person said “the whole thing was disgusting.” A third walked out of the room, mumbling that “it was a monumental waste of time.”

And several have now dubbed it the “unethical committee.” (Yes, I know. Not real original.)

Soooooo . . . . what happened?

Glad you asked.

The committee has three open spots – two that it gets to fill and one that the Knox County Commission has to fill in the upcoming weeks.

The 20 people – including board chairwoman Elaine Davis and board member Mae Killebrew-Mosley – each were given two minutes to state why they should get the pick. (Board members said they reviewed the applications/resumes before the meeting.)

During the first round of nominations, the board picked Davis and Killebrew-Mosley. Now keep in mind that only the board – no one from the public – can make nominations.

Davis in a 5-1 vote was picked. And yes, she voted for herself. (Killebrew-Mosley also voted for herself.)

In the second round only Killebrew-Mosely received a nomination.

As one person told me: “They didn't even make it look good.” Heh.

Just before the meeting closed, Davis said: “I'm incredibly amazed and appreciative of the number of people and the quality of people who have shown up today.” She suggested that the committee increase its size. (They've been talking about making like this for almost two years.)

In the meantime, officials said they'd turn the remaining applications (and there are some good ones in the batch by the way) over to the county commission to look through. The person who had the post that's set to expire is not applying for it.


Steve said...

The solution of a larger body is unrealistic. Knox County residents don't like the idea of any governmental body expanding its size, and I don't think it would be a good idea either.

The solution is (1) limit members to two terms and (2) don't allow members to vote on their reappointment. I have asked the Commission to take up he issue of modifying the Committee rules to make these changes.

And for the nay-sayers, I don't care who gets the open posts, I just know today was wrong, and the rules have to change if the Committee is to every have any level of respect.

Brian Hornback said...

Respect? That died the day that Norman and Smith were elected Chair and Vice Chair with the assistance and nomination in Smith's case of a guy that got diversion letters from Norman and Smith.

Steve said...

Ah, well, I was talking about Ethics Committee, not Commission. With problems in the Ethics Committee, how could you hold Commission accountable to what you feel was improper?