Breaking News: Knox County Reopening Task Force to Meet and Decide in Secret

All morning, I have been working with Mike Donila of Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs office to view today’s 3 pm meeting of the Knox County Reopening Task Force Meeting. It was ultimately told to me that the media request of one other media and myself would be up to Dr. Martha Buchanan as the task force is not technically a public meeting.

At 12:45 pm, I received the following message,

“the health department and its task force – not the mayor’s office – has opted to close the meeting to the media. I’ll have to refer you to the Health Department for further questions. Sorry about that – Mike“

I then sent the following email at 12:50 pm to Dr. Buchanan, “Dr. Buchanan, I have been informed that KCHD has determined that my request and one other media request to view the reopening task force meeting at 3 pm has been denied as it has not been classified as a public meeting. Please help me understand his decisions effecting the public’s life should not be a transparent process.

Any comment or explanation you chose to provide will be added to any story I post, or any lack of response will speak volumes as well.”

The following individuals serve on the task force and are opting to serve in secret and make decisions about our lives with no transparency. I will add email and or phone numbers to these task force members shortly.

Dr. Martha Buchanan or 865-215-5300
Senior Director & Public Health Officer Knox County Health Department

Katharine Killen or 865-215-5300
Deputy Senior Director of Strategy Knox County Health Department

Stephanie Welch or 865-215-2029
Chief of Economic & Community Development City of Knoxville

Chris Caldwell or 865-215-2350
Senior Director of Finance & Deputy Chief of Staff Knox County Government

Khrysta Baig or 865-215-3153
Benefits Director Knox County Government

Kathy Brown or 865-974-1104
Associate Professor & MPH Program Director University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Dave Miller
President of East Region First Horizon Bank

Mike Odom 865-637-4550
President and CEO Knoxville Chamber

Ryan Steffy or 865-851-8882
Managing Partner SoKno Taco Restaurant

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