We’ve confirmed that Knox County officials will hold a press conference today (6/2/23) at 9:45 a.m. in the small assembly room of the City County Building. Presumably to announce a deal on the county budget.
No press release came to Knox TN Today and notice wasn’t posted on the Knox County, Sheriff’s Office or any media websites as of midnight.
Wonder who will come?
The budget will be voted on Monday, June 5, 2023. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has agreed to an 8% raise for deputies; Sheriff Tom Spangler wants a 30% raise. Jacobs says that will cause a property tax increase. Since he is running for governor (in 2026), he won’t support a tax increase. But he also can’t win a Republican Primary statewide with opposition from 95 sheriffs. We hear a few have been phoning him, making this point.
Sheriff Spangler is a lawman’s lawman. He holds the cards in this showdown. So, I’m betting the mayor caves.
Here’s what is certain:
- If Jacobs finds the money to give deputies a raise approaching 30%, every other county employee including teachers will be upset.
- If Jacobs backs off, says he won’t endorse the raise or a tax increase, but won’t fight county commissioners who want to amend his budget, it will be hard to find six votes for a tax increase. Maybe impossible.
- And if Jacobs is standing firm, there is no need for a press conference Friday at 9:45 a.m.
And anyhow, at 9:45 a.m., I’ll be at the ribbon-cutting for Mynatt Funeral Home’s new chapel in Powell. I’ll have to count on Larsen Jay’s tweet to find out what happens.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.