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Ear to the Ground

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'Football' Deferred

Those anxiously awaiting a professionally conducted performance and efficiency audit of all Knox County offices can suck it up for another year, at least.

The County Commission's committee to consider efficiency panel recommendations met with the Commission's independent efficiency panel chairman, radio mogul Mike Hammond, last week and decided to recommend to the full commission that County Executive Tommy Schumpert be authorized to issue requests for proposals from specialized auditing firms interested in performing the work.

The audit report, however, would be specifically deferred until after next August's county elections. That was Hammond's recommendation so that any issues raised not become "political footballs" in the elections for executive, commission and, particularly, the constitutional offices, such as high sheriff.

Commissioner David Collins, chairman of the Commission's committee, says the Texas company that did the school system audit will not be retained, as was Schumpert's suggestion, unless it submits the winning proposal. He said he hopes that the audit will not cost the $850,000-$900,000 that was the preliminary estimate.

Love and Politics

The weather cooperated Saturday for the outdoor wedding of Madeline Rogero and Gene Monaco. They tied the knot at the old Riverdale Elementary School, now owned by Connie and Wayne Whitehead. Rogero wore lace, Monaco a tuxedo. Susan Campbell did the flowers and Anne Woodle presented a reading. The couple will be gone for the next couple of weeks on a trip to Spain, and upon their return, Rogero will probably be making some decisions regarding her upcoming campaign for county executive. She is considered the front-running candidate for the Democratic Party nomination.

Meanwhile, her probable general election opponent Mike Ragsdale has been seen lunching recently with Mike Edwards, Tom Varlan, Bill Haslam and Bud Gilbert (one at a time, of course). And what do those guys all have in common? They're all thinking about running for mayor.

Rassling with the Issues

Fourth District front-runner Rob Frost turned down an advertising offer from wrestling promoter Terry Landell, who is using his van as a sort of movable billboard and has it parked near the entrance to the Chilhowee Park, for fair-goers to see. Landell wanted $1,300 to put a "Frost for City Council" sign on the Who's Your Daddymobile. Frost declined the offer, even when Landell cut the price. But he did, however, think of something he'd be willing to pay Landell to do for him: "I'm thinking about offering him $50 to put Don Ault (one of Frost's opponents) in a sleeper hold."

Is That Near the Culdy Sack?

South Knoxville residents of the 1st District got a heartfelt letter from City Council candidate Greg Pinkston last week, asking for "your vote and your support." The missive was your standard issue package of promises that "I will be your hard to ensure your tax dollars are spent wisely and prudently..." and so forth. But some recipients on one of the district's most historic streets couldn't help noticing that the mailing stood out in one significant way: its spelling. Several of the letters were sent to homes on "Island Home Bulivard."

September 13, 2001 * Vol. 11, No. 37
© 2001 Metro Pulse