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Commissioner wants to increase number of seats

7:44 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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Two years after reducing the number of commission seats from 19 to 11, Commissioner Dave Wright wants to add some of them back.

He's proposing 15 commissioners for 15 districts, but he says he's open to other suggestions.

They plan to discuss the idea at next Monday's full commission meeting.

Wright says the public is under-served with only 11 county representatives.

 "If we had full-time work to begin with, cutting the number of people in half did not cut the work in half," says Wright. "The work still lays out there, and now there's work not getting done."

In some instances, Wright says there aren't enough commissioners to fill committee appointments.

This is the county's first 11-member commission, elected in 2010.

January 31, 2007 brought the now notorious "Black Wednesday" commission fiasco.

Commissioners appointed 12 replacements to county offices vacated by term limits, and the move was later determined to have violated Sunshine Laws.

A lawsuit overturned the appointments, and indirectly resulted in a smaller Knox County Commission.

But Wright says that decision was more a reaction to the people serving. He feels the need remains for more representation.

If commission did make a move to expand the body, it would also need to be approved by voters.

Knox County Law Director Bud Armstrong says that wouldn't come before 2014.

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