The power struggleI watched with some anticipation the television special on WBIR last night called Term Limit Turmoil, not expecting to get any further answers about the Knox County Term Limits crisis, but merely saw in confirmation the reality that the fight over how these Commissioners will be appointed is a power struggle between those who support Sheriff Tim Hutchison and those who are the lemmings for Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale.
One of the reasons that I am glad that I no longer live in Knox County is that if I did, I would be compelled both by good reason and political sense to take a side in all of this, and it doesn't matter which side you take, neither is fully right. The Sheriff's party, the side which has apparently won over the Commission, is absolutely right to want to appoint the new Commissioners as soon as humanly possible. I believe they rightly understand that Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale is an astute politician, but is a localized dictatorial demagogue, and would use any drawn out process to his political advantage. Like dictators of old, Ragsdale knows how to work the democratic emotions of a crowd. If it is the Commission's desire to put a check on Mike Ragsdale's power, they must act in the manner in which they are about to do and appoint these replacements very quickly indeed.
The flip side of the coin, of course, is the lack of public input on the choice of Commissioners who will govern them. This is a travesty of the system that the General Assembly could act to correct, and could do so in a way that allows the Commission to check the County Mayor anyway. The ideal solution would be for the Commission to appoint temporary replacements at tomorrow's meeting, and then for the General Assembly to authorize a special election-a move that would allow for the people to ratify or reject the Commission's choices.
I was disappointed that I did not see Rob Huddleston on the video vignettes of Commission candidates last night. Rob wasn't the only candidate who didn't have a video, and my guess would be that he had a scheduling conflict.
Labels: Local politics