The crony of my crony is my pal

Sandra ClarkFeature, Gossip and Lies

Fans of Glenn Jacobs say his lack of history in Knox County government is a good thing. He lacks the ties and obligations of those who have been around for a while. But others say he’s not been around here long enough to have developed his own set of cronies to hire for top jobs.


Take Bryan Hair, Jacobs’ campaign manager and now his chief-of-staff. Hair’s a crony. But then Jacobs has hired Brad Hair, Bryan’s brother, as his top assistant – reporting directly to the mayor since to do otherwise, reporting to the chief-of-staff, would violate the county’s weak nepotism policy. And Paul White, our new senior director of Parks & Recreation, is a former colleague of Bryan Hair at Tennessee State Bank.

Lacking his own local cronies, Jacobs seems to be hiring Bryan’s. This should be interesting.

And Jacobs will wrestle as Kane in Australia. The county charter says the mayor shall be “full-time,” but that’s not further defined. Guess the framers of the charter never anticipated that Knox County would elect a big-time professional wrestler as mayor. This could be interesting.

Meanwhile, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, a planner by trade, is watching her vision to “Recode Knoxville” swirl softly down the drain. Neighborhood groups from Sequoyah to Lincoln Park, from West Hills to North Hills, and from Park City to Fountain City are speaking against the plan to rezone every parcel of city land.

Nick Della Volpe, an attorney by trade and a former city council member, has been attending meetings and reporting for Knox TN Today. Nick is doing fine work, commenting on a topic so complex.

In case you’re wondering …

  • Brett Kavanaugh won’t survive this mangled confirmation process. Look for him to withdraw before Thursday’s hearing.
  • Marsha Blackburn is bringing President Trump to Johnson City for a Make America Great Again rally and a fund-raiser. She had Vice President Pence in Knoxville last week. Marsha should win the race over former Gov. Phil Bredesen. Sadly, her advantage is also her biggest drag – Donald Trump. This race is close; it may come down to Bredesen’s ability to turn out the vote in Shelby County. Phil needs to pour some barbecue sauce on that oatmeal in Memphis.
  • Knox County school board will hold a two-day workshop Thursday and Friday (9/27-28) at the Dogwood Center at the Knoxville Botanical Gardens, 2817 Boyds Bridge Pike. Meetings will start at 8:30 a.m. both days. Kudos to the board for staying in Knox County. (Previous boards often spent two days at a retreat in Townsend.)

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