Knox County Commission: More bickering than working?

Knoxville (WVLT) -- It happens almost every time the Knox County Commission gets together, at least recently.

Seemingly endless meetings with plenty of bickering.

It happened again Monday night, as the commission met for seven hours.

Volunteer TV's Rob Pratt has more on the latest round of fighting and what it means to you.

Monday night's meeting gave us some answers about some lingering issues.

Commissioners ruled in favor of the dog ordinance.

They voted against a first reading on a motion that would have prohibited county employees from serving on commission.

And they allowed Mayor Mike Ragsdale to keep his car allowance.
But bigger questions remain.

Is this county commission getting any real work done amid the bickering?

And will this bitterness ever end?

The business of the County Commission is to represent the people, but many are not one bit happy about the way the commission is doing business.

Knox County Don Collins say, "I don't think the commission is doing their job at all. I think there's a lot of corruption in our county government now and I'd like to see everyone of them voted out."

Knox County Amy Roth says, "I think it's the entire process. The citizens don't trust the entire process."

Only eleven of 19 commissioners remain after a jury held that the commission violated the law, taking part in what amounted to back-room deals to appoint replacements for term-limited commissioners a year ago.

The way remaining commissioners have behaved since has done nothing to regain the public's trust."

Commissioner Mark Harmon says, "I wish I could say the bickering was over and would never flare up, but it always can flare up. The good news is we actually did get some public policy done. Some things I agreed with, some things I didn't but we actually did get some important votes cast."

Commissioner Greg Lambert, who's been one of the most outspoken and controversial commissioners, admits it's gotten nasty lately.

But he says even now, the differences are really more ideological than personal.

Commissioner Lambert says, "You have a more liberal faction with some of the commissioners, you have the hardcore rural conservatives, folks like myself and then you have a more moderate West Knoxville type moderate republican."

At its February meeting, the county commission plans to fill the vacant seats until permanent commissioners are elected by the voters in August.

Now, if you want to be considered, you can send a resume to the county commission.

Click on the story below for more information on how you can apply.


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