Combine elections, no; consider metro, yes
Hamilton County, Tenn., consists of several municipalities, of which Chattanooga is the largest. A municipality has been granted home rule through a state charter under and governed by the state constitution. Unless otherwise stated in the municipal charter, elected positions are to be nonpartisan. Because there is no party representation, there is no need for primary elections.
Hamilton County government does not have a home rule charter and answers to the state. Therefore there is a partisan election process. So, Hamilton County must have primary elections.
To merge county and municipal elections and conduct both partisan and non-partisan processes simultaneously would be dysfunctional and create voter confusion. While one might think there would be cost savings, the frustration for voters and additional expense to administer such an election would not be worth the small financial savings that might be realized.
Instead, I would love to see a research panel developed by the county and municipalities to examine the feasibility of metro government. Money saved by reducing duplicate departments across the county could better fund education, public health, essential nonprofit services and the jail. Now, that is a game changer.
Metro government would require sacrifices and compromise. This form of government is worthy of our strong consideration.
Seek root causes on TVA outage
Apparently, TVA has decided it needs a "blue-ribbon panel" to tell us what failures occurred that resulted in the Christmas outage.
Following this logic, if we should have a train wreck, the engineer can't tell us what happened without a blue-ribbon panel?
The first step in problem-solving is finding root causes. This is best done by the personnel who are closest to the problem and are most familiar with the systems.
It would appear they are trying to run out the clock with a smokescreen to avoid taking any responsibility.
I hope the TFP will hold TVA's feet to the fire and demand that it at least provide a blow-by-blow account of what happened leading up to, and during, the power shortage.
Show understanding for bowl opt-outs
A recent ranter commended college football players for playing in bowl games. Implicitly, the ranter was criticizing those players who opted out of the bowl games, presumably for disloyalty to their teams.
First and foremost, these teams are businesses, in which the only employees not getting paid are the players. True, they receive scholarships and opportunities to get noticed by NFL scouts, but few end up in the NFL. Meanwhile, their coaches make hundreds of thousands, even millions, off the labors of their players.
Interesting how many fans expect players on college football teams they follow -- many of these players being African Americans -- to not only play for free but also to risk career-ending injuries in showcase games that will bring these players little or no benefit. Of what is that a reminder?