He's going to get absolutely zero traction from the rest of the dais, but Knox County Commissioner Dave Wright, the sharpest dresser on the board, wants officials to change the charter “to provide for a 15 member commission elected from 15 districts.”
Yeah. Heh. That one is going to go over lie a lead balloon. (The Zeppelin reunion show from 2007 is out on DVD next week – cheap plug.)
Anyhoo, Wright, who represents East Knox County, feels that voters reduced the board's membership from 19 to 11 in reaction to Black Wednesday. He called the move “the most poorly thought out charter change that went through” (whenever that was passed by voters – I forget what year).
“The people were mad with the occupants – not with the seats themselves,” he said. “We cut the size of the commission in half, but we didn't cut the work in half.”
He's got a point actually. Plus, you got those two at-large seats, which really have to cover some territory. And then you've got more than 11 committees and members are allowed to serve as chair on only one committee. Odd.
Wright doesn't expect the issue, which commissioners are expected to talk about briefly on Monday, to go anywhere.
But, he's “bringing it up again just to make a point.”
(As a side note, I think I've written about this proposal four or five times in the past couple of years and it went nowhere.)
“No one really wants to step up to it because they think the powerful that support how you go about getting elected . . . well they want to maintain control of what commission is doing,” he said. “The charter review committee didn't want the population to look at it, and the commission doesn't want to look at it. They want it to be a 'go away' issue.”
He continued: “I want to put some people on the spot. We need a little bit of frank, open discussion for 10 or 15 minutes, and then we'll go on because nothing can happen for two years – that's the earliest it can be put on the ballot.”
Wright didn't single out any commissioners, but I asked Tony Norman about it, just because he's the board's chairman.
“It came up in the charter review process, but I think it's the sense of the commission that it is too much of a change too soon given the type of redistricting issues we face,” Norman said. “I think it will take awhile.”
To be continued.
In a few years.