Someone Page Robert Bratton, the KTA Board Needs Help on Parliamentary Procedure

Someone page Robert Bratton! Bratton was first elected to the Knox County Commission in 1990, in 2002 he was elected to the Knox County School Board and served until 2010. Bratton was the procedurial guru for both bodies often calling a point of order during meetings and challenging the chair. He very possibly has Roberts Rule of Order committed to memory.

On Thursday October 23, 2014 at 3 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building the KTA (Knoxville Transit Authority) meet. Rene Hoyas is the current Chair of the board. During her Chairman report, she discussed Uber. She decribed uber as a gypsy taxi service and said that Uber is “controversial”. She said that Uber is operating in Knoxville and is operating illegally. She said that she has a call into the Chief of Police (David Rausch) to encourage him to do something. There was a reference to uber being a potential dangerous encounter because the KTA Board governs taxi services, they have no jurisdiction on Uber. It would be up to City Council to pass something and then Knoxville Police Department to enforce any rules or violations of city ordinance or law regarding Uber. Hubert Smith, a member of the KTA board announced during the discussion that he had seen Charles Swanson, the city’s law director and asked what had they been doing about Uber. According to Smith, Swanson said slow. Board Member Mark Hair said that because the board does not have jurisdiction on this issue. He would oppose the board taking any position. Former Knoxville Mayor and Member of City Council Dan Brown also serves on the KTA board. He said that since it is up to Council to do something, then the board should leave it up to Council to do something. After the chair had a brief, off microphone discussion with the man to her left. She announces that because they have no jurisdiction then she will not make a recommendation but would entertain any motion.

Board member Smith had asked during the setting of the agenda  to recognize Luke Johnson a recently retired 36 year employee of the public transportation company. As Johnson was recognized, he spoke for a few minutes explaining how he enjoyed working for KAT and his love for Knoxville as he closed he challenged everyone to let’s “all work together and love each other.”

Then there was much discussion about Route 10 which apparently has been discussed the month before, it is the route serving the Sequoyah area of West Knoxville. However, the recommendation is not what had been previously discussed. Chair Hoyos  declared that the board would not accept any public comment, Board Member Smith challenged her saying there are persons present that were not present at last months meeting. Smith made the motion “challenging the chair”, Hoyos again confers with the man to her left. He announces that it is not necessary to have public comment, that there will be additional public input sought in coming months when the latest proposal will be presented. Here is why Robert Bratton must be paged.

When a member “challenges the chair” a second must be asked for, the challenge is not debatable and must proceed to a vote on the challenge of the chair. The man to Hoyos left is a private attorney that represents the KTA Board and why he was unaware of the procedural requirements of the “challenge of the chair” is confusing at best. However, any action or vote that was held without properly dealing with the “challenge of the chair” is now suspect and open to a myriad of possibilities.

I do not know when this board selects it Chair, if it is yearly. But, Mr. Smith would serve the board exceptionally well as Chairman. He has an immense knowledge of the KAT operation, it’s people and provides far more than a cursory view of public transportation in the Knoxville area.

Go here and click on Mixed Local Government video play list and it is the KTA_Oct2314 video, the meeting is only 60.46 minutes. That is only 46 seconds over an hour.

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