Knox County Commission passes Recall Amendment on First Reading
A little history was made last night as the Knox County Commission passed on first reading the Recall Amendment. What makes this unusual is that Charter Amendments are done either by County Commission or by a Charter Review Committee.
But this amendment to the County Charter was actually started by a group of Knox County citizens. The idea began in the comment section of the Knoxville News Sentinel. The comments section had only been in the Internet version of the News Sentinel for a few months. While not exactly a blog, people began to use it as a blog having long discussions about matters concerning local government.
Commenter Brian Paone wrote one day he would start a website for the Recall Amendment. He did, and soon an entire group of people including the founders of the Wheel Tax petition were on board. Starting in early October Paone’s group was seen everywhere on local television, the News Sentinel, blogs, and on radio. Commissioners Lumpy Lambert and Mark Harmon co-sponsored a resolution to hear the Recall Amendment in County Commission. County Mayor Mike Ragsdale signed the petition as did Tennessee State Senator Tim Burchett and Representative Bill Dunn.
When approved on second reading the Recall Amendment to the Knox County Charter will be placed on the August 2008 ballot and the people will have a vote. Score one for the citizens. Maybe the Internet will be a valuable tool in keeping local government in check?