Mayor Tim Burchett has elevated Matt Myers, former deputy director of procurement, to the post vacated by Hugh Holt. Burchett will not fill Myers’ previous position.

Holt resigned under fire on Oct. 28, 2016, and Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones hired him with a $500 increase in pay on Oct. 31. Jones put Holt in charge of purchasing for the Sheriff’s Office, a task previously handled by the county’s procurement department.

Myers’ new salary will be $105,724.58, said Chris Caldwell, senior director of finance. That’s a raise of about $10,000 over his pay as deputy director.

So Burchett has taken two jobs – Holt at roughly $137,000 and Myers at roughly $95,000 – and compressed them into one job paying $105,000.

Jones, on the other hand, has created a job (purchasing director) that didn’t exist and hired Holt without advertising for $137,500 more or less.

Burchett has presented seven budgets without a property tax increase. Jones is running to replace him. Any wagers on taxes under “Mayor Jones?”

Baloney boys: Kicking off a political campaign with a baloney cutting at Howard Phillips’ auction house is a modern Knox County GOP tradition. Last Thursday, Tom “Spanky” Spangler was the honoree at such an event. It was long-planned and well-attended.

Spangler, who served as chief deputy under two different sheriffs, is running for the top job. Known as a “cop’s cop,” Spangler enjoys a reputation for honesty and fair dealing and has the open support of many uniformed officers – particularly those who are retired and beyond the reach of political retaliation.

Spangler had a good turnout for his event, but local media were occupied closer to town, where his opponent, Lee Tramel, grabbed the spotlight with a high profile and interestingly timed raid on a West Baxter Avenue tire store well within the city limits. Say what?

Jayne Burritt said there are no plans to replace or upholster the seats in the main assembly room at the City County Building. Instead, the Public Building Authority, which Burritt heads, is looking at new windows or replacing the seals in the existing windows at the aging facility, along with elevator upgrades and other structural improvements. “We are looking at sustainability and safety items first,” she said.

That’s too bad because those ragged, saggy seats look awful on TV.

And speaking of TV, we asked Burritt why it’s so hard to hear public meetings on community television (CTV). She checked with David Vogel who said he’s unaware of any sound issues in the main assembly room. He said anyone with complaints should call the station during the live broadcast so they can check it immediately.

We wuz robbed! We excitedly checked 24/7 Wall Street’s list of best to worst run states, expecting to see Tennessee in the top five or 10.

Yikes! Tennessee wasn’t even in the top half, ranked 32 of 50.

The report said: “Tennessee’s tax revenue is only $1,789 per capita, nearly the lowest of any state in the country. Despite a limited revenue stream, the state has minimal debt and receives top credit ratings from both Moody’s and S&P. Tennessee’s debt of only $917 per capita is the lowest of any state. The state is also one of only a few to have a nearly fully funded pension system.”

Tennessee is well run. The numbers speak for themselves. We deserved a higher ranking.

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Written by Sandra Clark
editor/CEO Powell sclark426@aol.com 865-661-8777