Knox County Will ReOpen 5/26, Will Comply with Open Meetings Law

Today, Dr. Martha Buchanan announced at the 12:30 pm briefing that Knox County will proceed to reopen on 5/26/2020, slightly before originally planned and slightly after Governor Bill Lee reopens the areas of Tennessee without local health departments.

Screenshot of Dr. Martha Buchanan at the 5/20/2020 Zoom media Briefing

Screenshot of Dr. Martha Buchanan at the 5/20/2020 Zoom media Briefing

I asked about the change of the task force meeting from zoom to in person yesterday, she replied that they did change the meeting to in person as there were a lot of matters to discuss and felt that was best.

I asked about ignoring the advice of Myers Morton of the Knox County Law Department in regards to the task force meetings being subject to the TN Open Meetings Law. She said that yesterday was the first time the law department had advised her of that, the task force had met previously. She stated that moving forward the task force will comply with open meetings law, providing notice and allowing the presence of media.

Additionally, I asked if meeting notes had been maintained of the task force meetings and were they only file at the health department. She again stated previous meetings were not held as open meeting laws.

Later, I received a communication from the KCHD team that is more concise and precise, it says, “ Please see KCHD’s response regarding the task force meeting below. Kelsey Wilson asked that the JIC send you this statement.


The task force meetings to date have not been public meetings. The Law Office brought this to our attention yesterday, Tuesday, May 19. While the task force is not an elected or appointed body and the public health recommendations for Phase Two are ultimately at the discretion of KCHD Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan, the Knox County Law Office has opined that this task force’s meetings should be open. Moving forward we’ll take any necessary steps to ensure compliance.


It’s important to point out that all final recommendations for Phase Two will be made public in a matter of days. We’re grateful for the task force and their service. We’re also grateful to the community members who participated in the listserv and task force surveys and provided important feedback for Phases Two and Three.”

That clears it up. Stay with #TheMegaBullhornofTruth I will take you ringside.


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