Commissioners Mike Akard and I have both previously tried to make the Budget Committee and the Purchasing Commission two separate, distinct bodies composed of entirely different members, with the exception of the Mayor who serves on both as required by state law. Commissioner Akard tried to achieve this in October of last year and I tried it at the Agenda meeting this month. Both efforts failed, with the recent effort failing by a single vote.
A new day is dawning though. The political machine of Blount County failed to get enough votes (11 are required) to approve the same four people to serve on the Purchasing Commission. It is now up to the community to convince the Mayor to nominate people who will ask questions and demand accountability for taxpayer money.
We have a couple of commissioners who will ask tough questions when they need to be asked. It would be good to get a someone like commissioner Akard, a businessman, on this committee since he knows what to ask and has recently demonstrated that he will ask important questions.
Under state law the Mayor may choose citizens. Such citizens should be people with purchasing experience. If you know anyone with experience as a purchasing agent, who is interested in serving, please contact the Mayor and suggest that he or she be nominated to serve in this role.
The Mayors contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org 273-5700
Good job commissioner Mike Akard in seeing this through!!!