Thursday, September 15, 2005

Recommended Reading

Several items in the news -- though not to be found in your local media - have my attention as we head into the weekend. First, Hamblen County Commissioner Linda Noe has info about the 'minute clinics' which are handling patients quickly, about 15 minutes of wating time and charges averaging $69 at middle-Tennessee CVS pharmacies.
Another of her fact-checking efforts locally are mentioned further below, which saved Hamblen County taxpayers $1.2 million. Commissoner Noe writes:

I just read an interesting article in the Tennessean about health clinics that are operating out of CVS pharmacies in the Nashville area. They are designed to provide fast healthcare service at a low price.

These CVS pharmacy clinics are called "Minute Clinics" with nurse practitioners available to treat and even prescribe medications for minor illnesses. Among the illnesses they can treat are strep, mono, ear infections, and bladder infections."

In a later post this week she noted, that YEARS AFTER the full Commission requested documentation regarding an annual inventory of county vehicles, she finds more delays. Although most department heads have quickly supplied the info at her request, she writes:

Based on the track record of the County Mayor's Office and over three years of vicious personal attacks in response to financial and audit questions, I had no reason to expect at any time that either Finance Director Nicole Epps or David Purkey would help me get the [county vehicle] mileage information. Co-operation and a positive response when questions are asked would be appreciated instead of belated efforts to look co-operative after-the-fact.

But there is good news on the accountability front:

In my September 13 post, I mentioned that most elected officials and department heads are responsive and willing to share information about county (taxpayer) property."

In fact, Commissioner Noe refers to a quick response to her questions two months ago by County Tax Assessor Keith Ely which helped lead to a discovery of a rather large error by the state which "reduced the new property tax rate for Hamblen County taxpayers by 11 cents. That 11 cents meant a total savings to county taxpayers of nearly $1.2 million dollars, and it was all taken care of in one day."

Her weblog is recommended reading, especially for Hamblen County taxpayers.

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