East TN News
East TN News
Mark Padgett / Photo By John M Disque (2/2011)

Mark Padgett On Private Pension Task Force Meetings

By John M Disque



On February 24, 2011 Mark Padgett (2011 Knoxville mayoral candidate) contacted Chairman Bill Lyons and Mayor Daniel Brown to voice his concerns on making all Pension Task Force meetings open to the public. 

On February 28, 2011 Padgett publically announced that there's been a community outcry but the city of Knoxville has yet to reverse its decision to make some meetings private. "Chairman Lyons and Mayor Brown are dedicated public servants who are committed to fixing the rising costs of pensions, but the time for waiting is over." 

Concerned with public trust and confidence Padgett continues by saying there's 9 million dollars of taxpayer money at stake and that number is going to rise to 30 million by 2019. Exactly how the City of Knoxville is going to deal with this rising cost is a major concern to every tax-paying Knoxville citizen.

Padgett believes the decision to hold private meetings violates Tennessee's "Opening Meetings Act" (TCA 8-44-102 Section A) which states: All meetings of any governing body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times, except as provided by the Constitution of Tennessee. (b) (1) 'Governing body' means: (A) The members of any public body which consists of two (2) or more members, with the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body on policy or administration…. 

On March 3, 2011 Padgett announced that the city had still not reversed their decision, but he goes on to applaud City Council member Brenda Palmer for sponsoring a resolution to make the Pension Task Force meetings open to the public. 

Palmer states, "This is a really sensitive issue, not only for people eligible for pensions, but for taxpayers. I think people are really fed up with things behind closed doors. I don't want there to be a perception of anything inappropriate (going on) behind closed doors." 

Councilman Nick Pavlis also came onboard and is siding with Mark Padgett and Brenda Palmer. 

The City Council is expected to vote on the resolution Tuesday evening, March 8.

Temp-Published March 6, 2011

Published in East TN News November 4, 2011

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