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Thread: You might be a Knox Countian if...

  1. #2011
    Senior Member binR Bishop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bbeanster View Post
    Duh.

    MPC has always been developer-driven. One thing that citizens appearing there for the first time notice is the deference shown to developers and their representatives (e.g. Arthur Seymour Jr, John King). And the selection process by which Donaldson (the BFF of the departing director, Dave Hill) was hired was hardly transparent, ditto the process by which Donaldson hired Hill back. Art "I never met a development I didn't like" Clancy needs to hush.
    Art Clancy made the motion to deny use-on-review-approval for the new parking lot the owners want to put in where the Pryor-Brown is.

    Ok, I'm breaking my rule to not comment on these things, so Bean you can jump on me all you want (and tell me to hush as well). But I agree with Clancy here:

    ”If somebody who has a gripe complains to the mayor and the mayor puts pressure on the MPC executive director, that defeats the whole purpose of this being an independent position,” Clancy said.


    I've always thought one of the main values of MPC was that it was an independent body. And yes, sometimes Commissioners get political pressure, but political pressure when you're an appointed, non-paid Commissioner is not the same as political pressure when you're an elected, salaried public official. And being staff was even different from that. Now staff will work for the Mayors.

    And here's what I want to know - why was this law changed and at whose instigation? Who sponsored the bill? Cause I try to pay attention to bills like this in Nashville, and this one got clean by me, as it apparently did a lot of other people. Maybe I just missed it, in which case shame on me. But maybe there's a back story that the public should hear?

    Heading out to school now and crawling back into my hole.
    Last edited by binR Bishop; 08-21-2014 at 12:20 PM.
    If you are pissed at a dog for keeping you awake with its barking, it's not because you disagree with what it's saying. -- Rikki

  2. #2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bbeanster View Post
    Duh.
    MPC has always been developer-driven. One thing that citizens appearing there for the first time notice is the deference shown to developers and their representatives (e.g. Arthur Seymour Jr, John King). And the selection process by which Donaldson (the BFF of the departing director, Dave Hill) was hired was hardly transparent, ditto the process by which Donaldson hired Hill back. Art "I never met a development I didn't like" Clancy needs to hush.
    Dog Clancy as a developer-leg-humper all you want; I'll be entertained. But is there a basis to argue that morphing the post into a political appointment beholden to the mayors will make it less politicized?

    I don't recall the process by which Donaldson was hired, but there doesn't appear to have been any process or transparency at all with Donaldson's hiring of Hall. He seems to have just created a vacancy for his good buddy, which act also appears to have been the final straw that broke his employment camel's back.
    Sun sets, night falls, sun shines, day calls, work fine, rest deep, rejoice, prayers keep

  3. #2013

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    Ramsey has the highest-paid chief of staff of all lieutenant governors

    “There’s not a day goes by, even out of session, that I don’t call [Lance Frizzell] for some kind of advice,” Ramsey said. “He is the (chief operating officer) of a big company, about 150 employees. I live 300 miles away and he runs the day-to-day operations, whether a secretary needs a copier machine or something breaks or tears up with the facility, he’s the one that makes those decisions when I’m not there in consultation with me of course on most of those.”

    Why does TN need Ramsey then?

    Oh, right, because of his red-to-his-root thing and other scintillating initiatives.
    Sun sets, night falls, sun shines, day calls, work fine, rest deep, rejoice, prayers keep

  4. #2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnM View Post
    Ramsey has the highest-paid chief of staff of all lieutenant governors

    “There’s not a day goes by, even out of session, that I don’t call [Lance Frizzell] for some kind of advice,” Ramsey said. “He is the (chief operating officer) of a big company, about 150 employees. I live 300 miles away and he runs the day-to-day operations, whether a secretary needs a copier machine or something breaks or tears up with the facility, he’s the one that makes those decisions when I’m not there in consultation with me of course on most of those.”

    Why does TN need Ramsey then?


    Oh, right, because of his red-to-his-root thing and other scintillating initiatives.
    Ramsey is really quite imperial. I'm put in mind of a column I did about him a couple of years ago. Can't find a link due to the Shopper's screwed up web site, but here's a copy. Oh, and as a bonus, Frank Nicely's thrown in here, too:

    Driving Mr. Ramsey

    Betty Bean
    The tasty roast beef dinner the Union County Republicans served up in the high school for Lincoln Day didn’t lure the driver out of the big, black SUV that sat idling in the parking lot. Presumably, he was maintaining a controlled climate while awaiting the return of the Senate Speaker/Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and his ride-along guest, state Sen. Frank Niceley, whom Ramsey had picked up in Strawberry Plains, making for a 260-mile round trip from Ramsey’s home in Bluff City (in Sullivan County) to Maynardville.
    The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security provides security to both the Senate and the House speakers. Ramsey’s driver, Bill Taliaferro, is paid $38.71 per hour, excluding overtime and retirement benefits; House speaker Beth Harwell’s driver makes $26.65 an hour, also excluding overtime and retirement benefits. Both speakers have 2011 Suburbans, but Nashville resident Harwell’s expenses are considerably less than Ramsey’s – $3,392 in gas and maintenance so far this year to Harwell’s $1,249 – because of his long commute.
    “The Lieutenant Governor and Speaker retain their responsibilities and title throughout the year and each are assigned security (state trooper) for protective services,” said Department of Safety spokesperson Kevin Crawford. The troopers are paid per diem rates for lodging and meals when overnighting away from home.
    Taliaferro figured prominently in a 2007 Memphis Flyer story by Jackson Baker about the changes that accompanied the overthrow of longtime Democratic Speaker John Wilder.
    “The old order was changing, all right -- from Democratic to Republican and from west to east. The phenomenon had been underscored earlier in the week, on the night after Ramsey's election, when Bill Taliaferro, the state trooper who had been Wilder's plainclothes driver for well over a decade, sat down with Ramsey to discuss the matter of continuing in that role.
    As Speaker (Jimmy) Naifeh would note in reporting on the matter to a couple of his House colleagues, that probably meant that Taliaferro would have to shift his own residence eastward to accommodate the new Speaker's needs.”
    Sure enough, an Internet search shows William E. Taliaferro with a Blountville address.
    The most common justification for such practices involves pointing out that it’s nothing new. But Republicans used to rail against Democrats’ profligate spending when they were running the show in Nashville, so more than a touch of irony sets in at the sight of members of the tough talking, budget slashing new majority happily settled into the practices that they once deplored. And the sight of state employees driving state vehicles to tote Mr. Speaker around the state to purely partisan events is almost as disconcerting as realizing that they don’t give a damn what we think.

  5. #2015

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    Dog Clancy as a developer-leg-humper all you want; I'll be entertained. But is there a basis to argue that morphing the post into a political appointment beholden to the mayors will make it less politicized?


    I don't recall the process by which Donaldson was hired, but there doesn't appear to have been any process or transparency at all with Donaldson's hiring of Hall. He seems to have just created a vacancy for his good buddy, which act also appears to have been the final straw that broke his employment camel's back.
    .............................

    I don't specifically remember the circumstances of how Donaldson was hired when Dave Hill moved over to the Haslam administration, either, but it was certainly no secret that he and Donaldson were old friends and colleagues who worked together in Texas.
    If both mayors have an equal say in the hiring process, I would think that would be a pretty good safeguard against shenanigans. YMMV depending on which mayors are in office, but city and county mayors are rarely lockstep buds.

    As for Art Clancy, yep, I employed a bit of hyperbole there. He will infrequently vote against a development or pro-business plan, but that is certainly not his habit nor his reputation. His vote for Troy Whiteside's used car lot which would have broken open the Magnolia Corridor before the ink was dry on the plan comes to mind -- Clancy claimed it was in his neighborhood.

  6. #2016

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bbeanster View Post
    Dog Clancy as a developer-leg-humper all you want; I'll be entertained. But is there a basis to argue that morphing the post into a political appointment beholden to the mayors will make it less politicized?
    ...
    .............................

    I don't specifically remember the circumstances of how Donaldson was hired when Dave Hill moved over to the Haslam administration, either, but it was certainly no secret that he and Donaldson were old friends and colleagues who worked together in Texas.
    If both mayors have an equal say in the hiring process, I would think that would be a pretty good safeguard against shenanigans. YMMV depending on which mayors are in office, but city and county mayors are rarely lockstep buds...
    Maybe the mayors'll balance each other out, but it seems like it just adds another geometric plane to the already Escher-like political architecture of Knoxdom.
    Sun sets, night falls, sun shines, day calls, work fine, rest deep, rejoice, prayers keep

  7. #2017

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    Oh no, no cozy collusiveness with big bidniz in Gov. Billion $ Bilker Haslam's administration.

    Ex-Haslam Finance Chief Mark Emkes To Join CCA's Board

    Sun sets, night falls, sun shines, day calls, work fine, rest deep, rejoice, prayers keep

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