Overheard at budget hearings

People get punchy late in the day at these things, so here’s some of the odds and ends overheard at today’s (otherwise, pretty routine) budget hearings.

“We’d probably call it the R. Larry Smith Address Fee.” – MPC Director Mark Donaldson, who was referring to the County Commission member’s suggestion at a public hearing to raise fees for MPC to raise its own money – which has had its county contribution cut about 60 percent in the last four years.

“Where would you throw your beer cans?” – Mayor Madeline Rogero – JOKING – on driving around in the smallish Smart cars versus a larger pickup truck. Coke cans are interchangeable in this situation.

“It’s one of the few places that’s staffed 24/7, 365 days.” – Boyce Evans, the city’s purchasing director, on its impound yard. Compared to peer cities, Knoxville’s fees for towing and its impound fee are low: Knoxville’s city fee is $20 ($65 goes to the  towing company), while other cities like Knoxville average $111, he said. Interestingly, when UT football puts up a winning season, more cars tend to be towed.

“If we can, get to the point where they won’t have to come in the building,” – Deputy Mayor Eddie Mannis, on offering more city services online. Really, it can be a hassle to get inside the City County Building at times – with parking, and the metal detectors and such.

About Gerald

A reporter in Knoxville, TN. Work (mostly) inside and play (mostly) outside. I'm a part of the X or the Y generation. None of us claim the other.
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