Citizens for Better Government

 

Blount County Tennessee

 

Some Commissioners Attack Free Speech

 

The county political machine seems to feel that December is the best time to push through their anti-taxpayer measures. You will recall that last December they gave us the infamous racetrack deal. This December: they removed the four lot limit which was enacted to mitigate school overcrowding; and, they gave the Sheriff another $250,000 to build yet another racetrack!

But some of our Commissioners saved the "best" for last. At the Intergovernmental Committee they passed a resolution to prohibit public comment on non-agenda items at Commission meetings. (This item was not even listed on the IG Committee agenda). Since they control the Commission agenda, this is tantamount to eliminating most public input and criticism at Commission meetings. This anti-free speech effort was led by Holden Lail and supported by Commissioners Burchfield, Farmer, Hargis, Lewis, Proffitt and Walker.

The speakers at the Commission meetings appear on a videotape which is broadcast throughout the county. The county political machine has been stung by the criticism offered by these speakers.

At the meeting of the full Commission on December 21, in front of room overflowing with outraged citizens, the Commission decided to set up a special Committee to look further at this matter. Hopefully, this is the bureaucratic kiss of death for this ill considered proposal.

 

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