It was unusual, folks said, because city leaders tend to stay out of county and school politics. Folks also wondered if his boss, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, was behind it. Rogero, though, is smarter than that. She's not going to take a side - when she doesn't have to - on something that divisive. Especially when she's got her own election to contend with in a few years.
In addition, sources tell me that Knox County Mayor Tim "Cheapskate" Burchett was none too happy because it affects how he has to fund a budget. He also doesn't exactly see eye-to-eye with Jim, either.
So, Rogero cleared it up today over at the hippie's site (right smack here) where the commentators were talking about another political race, this one for the sheriff's seat.
Here's what she wrote:
Hey folks, I want to clarify that I have not taken a position on the school superintendent / board / teachers issues. Had I known ahead of time, I would have advised Chief Rausch not to speak at the board meeting. We have since had that discussion and he now realizes that he inadvertently stepped into a situation in which I and my administration will remain neutral. He intended only to show appreciation for the cooperative relationship that KPD has with the school system and superintendent.
As Knoxville mayor, I work closely and effectively with the superintendent and school board. I also have a close and effective working relationship with State Representative Gloria Johnson and have been a supporter of our teachers for a very long time. As city mayor, I have plenty of my own responsibilities and respectfully defer to the teachers, superintendent, and school board to determine what’s best for our students and school teachers.