Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Perception is reality in Knox County?

The Knox County Ethics Committee is going to add more members of "the public" to the body, an increase from 4 to 6, giving "the public" a majority.

"The problem has been the perception of nepotism and cronyism," Chairman Ron Stewart said. "This will help show that we're trying to do something about (the public) concerns. If you don't trust government, you have a great deal of problems. Trust has been eroded. We're looking at getting more people involved. This will help rebuild that trust in Knox County Government."

But what does this have to do with the actual ethics problems in County government that include the following: "troubles with County Commission violating the state Open Meetings Act and the county Mayor Mike Ragsdale's office misusing of purchasing cards, awarding auto allowances, keeping an off-the-books hospitality fund and giving community grants to groups affiliated with a top staffer?"

The problem is not the perception of those who are on ethics committee, even if that is A problem. The problem is non-compliance. How about following the rules? That might build real trust.

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