Sunday, September 15, 2013

Looking ahead to commission meeting

Remember that whole Seven Islands thing that some folks wanted to keep secret so Gov. Big Bill (yeah, I called him “Big Bill,” Betty, so get over it) could make the grand announcement? Well, right smack here to download the resolution that the Knox County Commission will discuss during Monday’s work session.

It says the state “has expressed an interest in establishing a state park” there to “further benefit the health and welfare of the” area.

It also notes that the state “plans to make a significant financial investment in the Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge to improve its facilities and to make the property even more of a benefit to the health and welfare of the public.”

Anyhoo, what else do we have for Monday’s meeting (which I don’t expect to last all that long)?

Well, looks like Commissioner Mike Hammond has a couple of items toward the end for discussion. 

He wants to talk about why Johnny Haun hasn’t paid any coin “toward his embezzlement of money.” As you might recall, Haun turned himself over to authorities back in April 2012. He’s accused of lifting a bunch of folding paper from the Trustee’s Office a looong time ago. Hammond brings this up periodically, but not sure a whole lot will happen until Haun pleads out, which he is expected to do.

His attorney has told me over the years that he does plan to pay back the county. 

Additionally, Hammond wants to talk about the possible realignment of commission districts. There’s been some talk about increasing the 11-member board or even decreasing it, so that there are no at-large seats.

I doubt this will get far right now. During the last realignment (what, like a year ago?), the commission got everything (nine districts) matched up with its counterparts in the school system. Of course, there has been some talk about maybe increasing the school board from nine to 11 members, so who knows? 

The commission also is expected to rubberstamp a recommendation by the Audit Committee to start the hiring process for a new internal auditor. In the meantime, Tracy Wright, who works in the office, will take over until someone new is brought on board.

I wrote a story the other day about the recommendations. Find that bad boy, right smack here.

(By the way, looks like the commission also will appoint former school board member Cindy Buttry to the Knox County Board of Zoning Appeals. Congrats to her.)

Ah, what else is there? Oh yeah, the commission also will talk about whether to approve a resolution expressing its support of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, which allows more individual states the authority to streamline sales tax laws and collect the taxes directly from online retailers.

They would send this to U.S. Congressman Jimmy Duncan Jr. 

I got a newsletter from the good Congressman the other day. In it, he noted that he’s not exactly sure where he stands on this one. (Sure he’s not.)

Download that resolution, right smack here.

I’m out.

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