Do Tennessee County Governments Work?
In today's Examiner column
, I ask the uncomfortable question that most State-level political leaders would rather avoid, and all
county officials don't want to discuss, thank you: Are our county governments really effective
County Commission is often viewed as being unable to deliberate, and many of its members seem to residents to be blissfully unaware of many of the issues about which they are called upon to make decisions. The county mayor would like to reduce the size of the commission, ostensibly so that he can then have a legislative body which will be more likely to agree with his own plans for the county and its future-a kind of reverse "packing" of the legislative branch of county government with yes-men for the executive.
In neighboring Knox County, the public was convinced to amend the county charter to reduce the size of the Knox County Commission from 19 members to 11 after nearly four years of conflict and chaos in Knox County Government over a term limits amendment to the county charter adopted in 1994 but ignored on the advice of the State Attorney General, who at the time said that the relevant charter amendment was unconstitutional. The Tennessee Supreme Court didn't hear the case until 2006, at which time the Justices declared that the amendment was valid and constitutional.
Labels: Local politics, Tennessee politics