Tuesday, September 20, 2005

East Tennessee in the News

The workers in East TN and elsewhere are waiting for FEMA to respond so they can get to work on making mobile homes for the devastated Gulf Coast according to this news report. An increase production line at the White Pine facility will likely be adding workers ASAP.

James Bryant, of Rutledge, Tenn., was a very sick man, with a hereditary bleeding disorder similar to hemophilia, hepatitis C from blood transfusions, heart problems, diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver, according to the Tennessean report. When his medications were cut back due to TennCare, says his angry wife, he fell ill and then died just after being released from the hospital. This case is deeply disturbing and many folks fear it won't be the only incident.

The Hamblen Co. School Board, begging for more money, has voted to increase their Superintendent's salary to $98,310, plus expenses and benefits. His two Assistant Superintendents' salaries and perks are also on the rise (positions the current Superintendent created). The totals for their offices alone are staggering. And they also expect the city and the county to issue even more money for a segregated "international school" which will require shuffling students back and forth from their normal schools twice a day. The costs of adding yet another facility is enormous as well, though the board also claims they cannot fund enough teaching jobs now at existing facilities. Expect them to blame the city and county officials for funding problems the school board itself creates. The county's budget currently is consumed by the school system, with over 85% of their total operating budget going to one agency - schools. But MORE is the only word in their vocabulary. And they will wail and complain that this community FAILS to support education. The plan will be promoted with the typical media bias. Maybe the school board needs MORE residents to focus on their poor management abilities and quit playing the Blame Game. With the Superintendent now a board member on the Chamber of Commerce, the deck is stacked against the taxpayers. The state Dept. of Economic and Community Development shows the median income in the county is hovering at $24,000. The community is left with far more questions than solutions and some true leadership is desperately needed.


  1. Scorpio Rising7:51 AM

    What the taxpayers need is a county commission with backbone....which seems surgically impossible to implant in jellyfish.
    The whimpering and complaining from the school board should be greeted with CUT YOUR SALARIES, Central OFfice!!!!!! Let teachers teach, give them the supplies, a safe environment, and quit hassling those who have the courage to point out the emperor has zilch in clothing!

  2. I think the more important thing for taxpayers to do is hold the School Board accountable -- the county commission is in worse shape than a New Orleans levee and the HBOE is a category 5 disaster. When will voters see this??