Ragsdale's real motivationKnox County Law Director John Owings' plan for the legitimate filling of the 12 vacant county offices (eight County Commissioners, the Sheriff, the Trustee, the Clerk, and the Register of Deeds) that were filled unlawfully on January 31 in violation of the Open Meetings Act has Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale up in arms. The reason for this is because Owings wants to follow the law:
“I urge the commission to make the appointments using an open and transparent process, with a great deal of public input,” Ragsdale said. “Furthermore, it’s important that no one be sworn in early before all appointments are made. To ensure a level playing field for all potential appointees, I encourage the elected 11 to make all selections.”
Ragsdale's request may not seem unreasonable except for the fact that since the new appointees are being appointed to fill vacancies in elective offices, the law allows them to be sworn in immediately upon their appointment. There is nothing that Ragsdale (or anyone else) can do to change this, and he knows that. His real motivation is entirely political and has nothing to do with any feigned concern for the integrity of the democratic process.
Ragsdale is far more concerned that he will end up with a County Commission that will not give in to his every whim and desire. After all, if the Commission is filled with people sympathetic to Ragsdale, he can spend the public money on lobster at Regas and trips for his staff with total abandon. He will be free to have his staffers hack into your e-mail if you happen to be a political opponent of his so that he can dig up dirt on you and attempt to ruin your political career. No one will oversee Ragsdale or act to check his power if the Commission is filled with those who sympathize with him.
Do not believe for one second that Mike Ragsdale is concerned with the public image of Knox County Government-he is concerned with installing a body that will uplift the public image of Mike Ragsdale as the Messiah of Knox County.
Labels: Local politics