The Spending of We the People’s Money is Out Of Control … Knox County Schools and Knox County Commission in December 2022.

The Knox County Schools custodial service contract for ONLY the 11 Karns, Hardin Valley and Farragut community schools has been withdrawn from this week’s Knox County School Board agenda. I have asked for the communication from the district/Superintendent to the board, Carly Harrington has acknowledged receipt of my request, however no official communication has been shared with me, yet.

On the evening of November 30, 2022 following the posting of this initial story to my website, the Superintendent made the decision to withdraw the item from the December School Board agenda. What he has said to the board is, “we have engaged in high-level conversations with Board Members whose schools have the greater need for support based on our data.” That in my opinion is Board Members Susan Horn and Board Vice Chair Betsy Henderson. The Superintendent has also said efforts have failed, “despite innovative efforts”. What innovative efforts? Potential custodian applicants have no idea where the vacancies are, the district only post one vacancy for untold number of potential custodial jobs, countywide. With the potential candidates having no idea if the vacancy is at Corryton Elementary, Copper Ridge Elementary or the school right next door to where they live.

In response to my question about only one vacancy aka job opportunity on the Knox Schools website for a janitorial position, Ms. Harrington said, “All custodial positions are hired from the applicants of the one post and then assigned to specific location/vacancies.” That in my humble opinion, is why they do not have very many applicants. Who wants to go through the process to be offered a job on the opposite end of the county from where they live. In addition to the reality that the pay is less than handing burgers and fries across the counter from the neighborhood fast food joint.

How about instead of paying more than a million dollars to Duncan and Sons for six months to clean 11 schools. That you invest that money into the current and future custodial personnel you have? Novel idea, I get it.

Clearly, the Knox County School Board and possibly the district office need individuals from the real business world to help the school district operate more efficiently and professionally as a business.

NOW, let’s look at one more item on this week’s school board agenda.

On August 3,2022 the School Board approved item 10E. Motion made by Member Susan Horn, seconded by Vice Chair Evetty Satterfield passing 9-0. The item spends $3,200,000 for 32 acres of land near the Loudon County line for a new Southwest Knox County Elementary School.

Why has Knox County Schools paid $100,000 an acre? Homestead Landing Holdings paid $91,000 for 132 +/- acres (162 050) on Boyd Station Road on July 29, 2021 and purchased 24 acres (162 019) adjoining the new school property for approximately $57,000 acre on 12/29/2020. So, in August 2022, KCS has paid more than $43,000 per acre than the comparable market value.

Board Member Susan Horn said here to the Farragut Press that KCS is buying “there are six (extra) acres we are purchasing. The purpose of those acres is to get a driveway from McFee Road to the school.”

In the agreement passed on August 3, 2022 it is not a “driveway” but a county road that will run along the additional properties that Timothy C Scott and Todd M. Scott are retaining. The Scott brothers bought all of this property for $6,127,500 in December 2020.  (162 024) (162 02401, 162 02402, 162 02403)

The agreement approved in August 2022 have the Scott Brothers retaining 65 acres “Retained Parcel 1” along the easterly border of the KCS property and an additional  parcel of 250 acres along the westerly border of the KCS property “Retained Parcel 2”. So, 32 acres right in the middle of the brothers property.

According to the agreement approved in August 2022, Knox County will construct the road, NOT a DRIVEWAY, which becomes the frontage road to the Scott Brothers property.

Also, according to the agreement, the Scott Brothers get to name the new school. WHAT THE HE##? All of this passed Knox County School Board and Knox County Commission in August 2022.

On Wednesday November 23, 2022 I emailed Carly Harrington, Josh Flory and Knox County Deputy Law Director Gary Dupler asking 1) if this property has closed and 2) for a copy of the contract signed by KCS School Board Chair Kristi Kristy and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. As of this day, December 4, 2022 not even an acknowledgement that they have my request. However, on November 30, 2022 an item is placed on the Wednesday December 7, 2022 School Board Agenda amending the contract. Also, the item was placed on the Knox County Commission Agenda on November 28, 2022, two days before and five days after my “ignored request.”

So item 9B here is the First Amendment to Property Purchase Agreement up for consideration by the Knox County School Board on Wednesday December 7, 2022, the work session Monday December 5, 2022 and then Knox County Commission on December 19, 2022, work session December 12, 2022 Item 17 here on the Education Consent agenda RTL-14077.

Under the Recital it states “Purchaser (Knox County Schools aka Knox County agreed to obtain and deliver to Seller “Scott Brothers” a current survey of the property with legal description derived from such survey to be substituted for Exhibit A to the Purchase Agreement. Purchaser has authorized the preparation of a survey that depicts the parties’ agreement on the final boundaries.”

“the parties agreed to negotiate and approve plans for the roadway described in Section 3(b) of the Purchase Agreement and the buffer described in Section 3(c) of the Purchase Agreement. Purchaser (Knox County Schools and Knox County) has not yet prepared such plans.

A Couple Items I want to Call Out BUT, here is the Amendment. Also screenshot below of the two page amendment.

If Approved, here is what Knox County Schools and Knox County will agree to, Purchaser (we the people aka taxpayers) shall cause to be constructed as a public road, a roadway over the portion of the Property extending from McFee Road along the southerly border of Retained Parcel 1 (Scott Brothers property) and the southerly boundary of the Property to the boundary between the Property and Retained Parcel 2 (Scott Brothers other property) which shall be operated as a public road which shall provide a means of public access from Retained Parcel 2, the property and Retained Parcel 1 to McFee Road.

Purchaser (we the people aka taxpayers) shall pay to Seller (Scott Brothers) the sum of $15,000 per month for the period of the date of closing through the date on which the roadway described in Section 3(b) is complete and dedicated as a public road, provided that if such roadway is not dedicated on or before September 30, 2024, such monthly payments shall increase to $30,000 per month.

Why is Knox County Commission allowing Knox County Schools to authorize and commit to building a public road and on the Education Consent Agenda. Roads are not in the purview of the School Board BUT the Knox County Commission.

By the way, there are School Board and Commissioners that approved this that are no longer School Boarders and Commissioners and there are new School Boarders and Commissioners that will have to approve this new Amendment.

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2 Responses

  1. John says:

    Susan Horn has not been good for the 5th District.

  2. John says:

    You know Glen Jacobs is getting a big kickback. Those repugnuts know how to screw the people an stuff their pockets. On yeah got to buy those elections too.