The 41st consecutive Ed & Bob Night Out evoked a feeling of celebration and change with a tinge of sadness.
Knox County’s at-large commissioners, Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas, who are leaving office at the end of August, have held meet-and-greets in different neighborhoods throughout the county since shortly after taking office in September 2014. At their final South Knox Night Out, half the team was missing.
“Ed was feeling under the weather,” Thomas explained.
There was a good supply of Thomas supporters at the event June 20 at Love That BBQ, 1901 Maryville Pike. Commissioners Carson Dailey and Evelyn Gill, along with their respective spouses, Tammy Dailey and Michael Gill, came out to cheer – and to enjoy the delicious barbecue. Thomas had three family members joining him, including wife Kim Simmons Thomas.
SoKno stalwarts also showed up for the occasion. There wasn’t much political talk – everyone was busy thanking Thomas for his service.
Despite his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for Knox County mayor this spring, Thomas expects to stay busy.
“I’m on a lot of boards, and I expected they would want me to step down,” said Thomas. “I told them, ‘I won’t have any power anymore.’ They said, ‘That’s not why we wanted you.’
“That made me feel good.”
SoKno’s own commissioner, Dailey, held his monthly Ask a Commissioner gathering Tuesday at G&D Deli, 612 Tipton Station Road. A crowd turned up despite a fierce thunderstorm that was scattering branches across nearby roads.
Dailey gave an update on Monday’s eight-hour County Commission meeting. The Twin Creek Road closure at Gov. John Sevier Highway was voted down on the promise that off-road dumping would be monitored and cleaned up by a nearby church. He and attendees seemed skeptical that that would prove feasible.