When I was leaving Knox County Commission and Tim Burchett was starting as Knox County Mayor, we had a nice meeting in a local diner. We talked about county government, and he was the same person that many Knoxville residents remember–funny, polite, and pleasant. I’m sad and disappointed to report that Tim Burchett just isn’t that guy anymore. Four years in Washington have hardened him into an angry partisan, tweeting gripes rather than seeking solutions. Our area really needs a congressman who seeks and finds solutions.
TVA is rewarding itself with huge executive salaries while not being transparent about what it does, and not doing nearly enough about its toxic coal ash spill. Oak Ridge National Labs could be a huge part of our renewable energy future, but we need a congressman who’ll fight for that future. Great Smoky Mountains National Park could use a congressman who works with the administration (instead of calling it names) to reduce the maintenance backlog and thus enhance visitation.
These aren’t, or shouldn’t be partisan matters. When I was on the county commission, I got Democrats and Republicans alike to support a new county vehicles policy, including reducing our use of take-home vehicles. I worked with a conservative Republican to draw attention to a flawed Medicaid provider and worked with another conservative Republican to sponsor the policy on how we conduct recall elections.
Our community is filled with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who daily do non-partisan things to help each other. We will not be divided by the nasty partisanship that has infected Tim Burchett. We can and will do better.
I’m standing up to that challenge, but will need your help to make it happen.