Embattled Mayor Ragsdale has a tough 24 hours
Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale has had a very rough 24 hours. On the Sunday talk shows the County Mayor was the subject of much speculation concerning whether he could finish the remaining three years of his term. On “Inside Tennessee” panelist and prominent local attorney Don Bosch said Ragsdale’s term would be remembered as “The Lobster that ate Knoxville.” If you have not heard the lobster story more about it here and here.
The biggest surprise was when the head of the Tennessee Conservative Union, Lloyd Daugherty, called for Mayor Ragsdale to resign on Gene Patterson’s show “Tennessee This Week.” Frank Cagle, columnist for the Metro Pulse said the Mayor would not step down voluntarily but might not have a choice if the on going audits turned up more fraudulent charges on county credit cards. Those words would be prophetic in less than 12 hours.
In today’s Halls Shopper News Sandra Clark rates the Ragsdale administration and gives a grade of F in the department of “Making Government better every day.” Sandra Clark writes, “Starting with Tyler Harber flashing his badge at the Copper Cellar and ending with disclosures of P-Card spending yet to come … Ragsdale’s management is a casebook study of what not to do. He made bad hires and supervised them poorly. He handed out purchase cards with little oversight. He divided the world into two groups – friends and enemies. Now the town is laughing about lobster lunches, Princess cruises and the liquor fund. In our land of Oz, Ragsdale is not a wizard, just a little fellow behind a curtain with an expensive suit and two press agents.”
Just when it seemed it could not be a worse 24 hour period Sandra Clark breaks a new story that the County Mayor himself used a county credit card for a medical procedure co-pay. For a colonoscopy of all things. This caused the Mayor’s Communications Director Dwight Van de Vate to have to send an emergency memo on a Sunday night to County Commission members explaining the “mistake”. How does anyone use a Knox County credit card for a medical co-pay? What other mistakes are there?
People want to know when we will get to the bottom of this. As the audits turn up new information on almost a daily basis the office of the County Mayor has become a rudderless ship. Who will be the next to call for the County Mayor to stand down?