Coppinger plans receptions

Coppinger plans receptions

January 16th, 2011 by Cliff Hightower and Dan Whisenhunt in Politics Local

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he and spokesman Mike Dunne are planning community meetings in each of the commission's nine districts to talk with voters.

"It's an opportunity to get out and see the people in the community," Coppinger said.

Coppinger promised to keep the media in the loop about when and where the meetings will take place.

Wamp honored

Hamilton County commissioners on Thursday honored the work of former congressman Zach Wamp in what was at times an emotional presentation.

Wamp's father, Don Wamp, a well-known architect, died a week ago after a fall at his office on Broad Street. The younger Wamp gave up his congressional seat after 16 years to run for Tennessee governor but lost in the GOP primary to Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.

Commissioners remembered Wamp and his father.

Commissioner Fred Skillern noted that Don Wamp had designed some county schools. He said they always came in under budget and were a great value for the county's students.

"Don Wamp has saved Hamilton County taxpayers $1,000 every day on the schools he designed," Skillern said.

Commissioner Warren Mackey said he and Zach Wamp started working together decades ago.

"I knew Zach Wamp was going to go someplace," Mackey said. "I love you. I love you. You did a good job."

Wamp thanked commissioners, saying, "Hamilton County government was the closest to my dad."

Wamp became involved in the selection of a replacement for Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey, backing Ramsey's special assistant Mike Carter. Commissioner Jim Coppinger ultimately won the job after commissioners deadlocked several times between the two men.

"This was a difficult process," Wamp said. "I love Jim Coppinger and I'm proud he's my mayor. No matter where you stood, we are all proud Hamilton Countians."

JFK rescheduled

The JFK Club has rescheduled its monthly meeting from last week to Monday because of the winter storm.

Councilman Peter Murphy, chairman of the council's Legal and Legislative Committee, will speak about opportunities to volunteer and make a difference as a club and a community.

The meeting will be at noon at the Blue Orleans Restaurant at the corner of Main and Market streets. Cost for dinner is $11.

Anyone interested should RSVP to

Dan Whisenhunt can be reached at 423-757-6481 or dwhisenhunt@timesfree Cliff Hightower can be reached at 423-757-6480 or chightower@times