Knox County political agendas and the sunshine trial
Nonetheless, Ragsdale has certainly demonstrated a "my way or the highway" style of governance, and has been said to threaten to cut people off and attempt to ruin their careers if-God forbid-they should threaten to expose or oppose him. We already know that he thinks that concerned citizens who bring his administration's malfeasance to light for the world to see are "showboats." If Paul Pinkston is to be believed, Jack McElroy and all of the resorces at the disposal of the News-Sentinel are a part of Ragsdale's machine:
“Sir, I’ve read in the newspaper about the Hutchison faction,” Pinkston told attorney Richard Hollow, adding that it doesn’t exist. “I think one side is the people’s side, and I think the other side is M and R. McElroy and Ragsdale have an agenda.”
The problem in Pinkston's case is the strange interpretation he seems to have of the Tennessee Constitution:
Asked if commission rules barred public debate at the Jan. 31 meeting, Pinkston responded, “It sure did, and I believe the (state) constitution says that’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Pinkston is right that the Constitution gives the Commission the right to fill vacancies, even (it would seem) in a unique case such as this (see the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, Article 7, Section 2). I am not an attorney, but I have poured over the State Constitution and have yet to find anything in that document that would specifically prohibit public input at any meeting where such appointments were made. The fact that no public input was allowed in Knoxville on January 31 was likely the one factor that caused the News-Sentinel and the Moncier Nine to believe they had a decent case.
Labels: Local politics