Friday, January 25, 2013

Mayor part of the road crew today

Knox County offices are closed today, but Mayor Tim Burchett and folks in the Public Works and Engineering Department are putting down salt and brine on the roads.

Yup, that's right. The big man is out there, too.

County Mayor Tim Buchett salting roads with Andrew Bivens

The mayor said he couldn't sleep last night, waking up at 2 a.m. He said what the heck and a few hours later was riding shotgun with a work crew.

It's good for morale, he said, for the top boss to hang with the rest of the folks whose work often goes unnoticed. Plus, he said, it gives him first hand knowledge about what type of equipment and clothing they might need.

“These guys are away from their families right now, working 20 hours and we don't thank them enough,” Burchett said. “When the rest of us are curled up safe in our warm homes, they're out here in this mess and soup.”

The mayor said he's been tweeting away this morning and noted that so far he's seen upside down cars, a salt truck in a ditch and “ambulances and people in a bad way.”

“If you don't need to be out today, then don't go out,” he said.

Asked so far whether he's had any close calls, Buchett said he was giving a radio interview this morning when the truck he was in “got sideways as we were going about eight miles an hour.”

“I told my guy: Dale Earnhardt doesn't have anything on you,” he said chuckling. “It was pretty treacherous. We were right there on a side of a hill with the potential to roll two or three times before we hit.”

In the meantime, Knox County Communications Manager Michael Grider might not have gotten the message that county offices are closed.

“At the office . . . crickets at the City County Building,” he tweeted this moring.

(You can follow the county mayor on Twitter at by clicking right smack here.) 

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