Our town, Knoxville, Tennessee, has been rocked by the corrupt practices of our local government. Our local newspaper, the News-Sentinel, has at last lived up to its name by bringing a law suit against the Knox County commissioners, who made backroom deals with regard to replacement commissioners. According to the Sentinel’s law suit, these commissioners broke the sunshine law by ensuring that their own people, and in some cases, their own family members, were awarded the vacant seats. We even ended up having a convicted drug dealer representing some people in our county. How corrupt is that?
For some people, this was major news. They didn’t think that our local government was capable of this kind of wheeling and dealing. For me, it was old news. You may remember that I was a regular guest of the morning radio show “The Voice” hosted by Lloyd Daugherty and Kelvin Moxley. We had been talking about this level of corruption in local government eighteen months before the newspaper decided to take up the cudgel and try to oust the backroom boys. We raised these issues on a regular basis and became a thorn in the authority’s side. We stopped airing the program because some mysterious buyers purchased the station and turned it into a sports radio channel. It seems to me that we were making waves, so some groups were happy when we were no longer on the air.
Now these issues have come to the surface and the whole town is reeling from it. Our trust in our local commissioners has hit an all time low and it will probably take one or two elections to properly oust the backroom shenanigans and replace it with open government. Perhaps, in due course, our county commissioners will gain the respect of the people, and use their power not to cover up shady dealings, but to live as servants of the people they represent.
And I also hope that "The Voice" will get back on the air sometime soon. This town needs to hear what Lloyd and Kelvin have to say on a regular basis. This town needs "The Voice."