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Knox Voter
March VoterMarch 2012
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LWVKKC Board of Directors 

Jamey Dobbs

1st Vice-president:
Rynn Dupes 

2nd Vice-president:
Barbara Nicodemus

Lisa Bogaty

Stephanie Matheny 


Mary English

Rikki Hall

Kelly Pemberton 
Casey Self
Tammy Sommers 
CALENDAR of Meetings and Events

March 13-19:

Sunshine Week

March 22:

League Study Meeting-


March 24

Citizen's Academy Day 1

March 31

Citizen's Academy Day 2 


April 10-16:

National Volunteer Week 

April 14:

Citizen's Academy Day 3

April 22:

Earth Day 


May 17:

Annual Meeting 


June 4:

Happy Hour

June 8-12:

National Conference in

Washington, DC  

Join a League Committee!

Voter Services 

Contact Kelly Pemberton at


Communications Committee

Contact Casey Self at


Observer Corps

Contact Barbara Nicodemus at


Citizen's Academy

Contact Rynn Dupes at



Contact Lisa Mixon at


Land Use and Environment

Contact Rikki Hall at



Contact Tammy Sommers at


Voter Participation Study

Contact Kelly Pemberton at


Childcare Study

Contact Jamey Dobbs at   

What's Your League Story?
The League is building the
 LWV Storybank.  Go to the online form ( and share why you joined or what you've learned or why you love the League. 

They will send your story to us at the Knoxville/Knox County League.
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Want to make a donation to the League that is totally tax-deductible?   


We use the Ed Fund to help  inform and educate our members and the public.  


 Make your checks out to LWVTN Ed Fund.

Quick Links
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If you agree to receive the Voter by email, contact any board member.  But if that would stop your Voter perusal, don't do it!

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A New Day for Citizenship:
Citizen's Academy Kicks Off March 24

It's time to celebrate!  For six years, a League Citizen's Academy has been in development and just waiting for the right team to carry it off.  I'm so thrilled that in less than two weeks now, the first Academy is kicking off-- with a terrific lineup of speakers and great content!
Let me share the back story. One day in 2006, it suddenly dawned on me that our elected and appointed officials are trained for their roles only AFTER their election or appointment. Wouldn't it make sense to help interested citizens train for these roles in advance, and to encourage more of them to consider a leadership  role in the future?  Could this gap be limiting our prospects for good government?  Wouldn't voters benefit by knowing if their leaders are prepared and keeping up with the best practices in local government?
That was the start of the Citizen's Academy!  Now, with the hard work of chair Rynn Dupes and committee members, we're reaching out to citizens with a dynamic three-day Academy focused this time on county government.  We're kicking off March 24th with cooperation from Mayor Tim Burchett and County Commission, and workshops with Law Director Joe Jarrett, former officials Carlene Malone, Mark Harmon, and Rachel Craig, and community leader Stephanie Matheny, and others.  We will need volunteers so consider sitting in one or more of the days!  Find the dates and details below.   

---Jamey Dobbs, President

Volunteer and Sponsor Opportunities  

for the Citizens Academy     


The League of Women Voters Citizen's Academy is coming up quickly,  and we need you! This program truly exemplifies what the League  is all about - from citizen education to effective advocacy. We are seeking a few volunteers for all three sessions, mostly short and easy tasks. We are also seeking additional sponsorships for materials and food for our very promising participants.  Let us know if one of these fits your schedule:


 * 2 people to help set up on one or more Saturdays:  

  March 24 (8:30 am-9:30 am), March 31 (8:30 am-9:30 am), and
  April 14 (12:00 pm-1:00 pm)
* 1 greeter/errand runner for each Saturday:
  March 24 (9:00 am-10:30 am) and March 31 (9:00 am-10:30 am)
  and April 14 (2:00 pm-3:30 pm)
* 1 registration table host for each Saturday:
  March 24 (9:00-10:00 am) and March 31 (9:00-10:00) and
  April 14 (1:30pm - 2:30pm)
* 1 Lunch pick-up person for Saturday: March 24 and March 31
* 2 Reception greeters for Saturday: April 14, (5:00 pm - 6:30 pm)

The LWV Board would truly appreciate your help in making this a fabulously successful event. Please contact League President Jamey Dobbs at or 865-548-0818 for more information.

 ---Rynn Dupes, First Vice-President


Land Use Committee Update    


Both the city and county are revising ordinances covering signs, billboards and electronic message centers, and Scenic Knoxville has asked the League to work with them toward effective regulations. There is currently a moratorium on new billboards in Knox County, set to expire at the end of this month. A six-month extension of the moratorium is on the agenda for Commission's March 26 meeting, march billboardalong with a recommendation from MPC to make the ban permanent and adopt regulations on electronic signs modeled after the city's. Meanwhile, the city has set up a task force to review regulations on all types of signs. The task force has reviewed ordinances from Charlotte and Asheville, and its next meeting is at 4pm on March 21 at the KCDC headquarters on Broadway. Scenic Knoxville is concerned about the height and proliferation of signage along commercial corridors and about the distraction billboards, especially electronic billboards, impose on drivers. Scenic Knoxville president Joyce Feld is on the city task force, whose meetings are being observed by
the League. Observer reports from the Sign Ordinance Task Force can be found here

Also of interest is a March 20, 6pm meeting at the TDEC office on Middlebrook Pike. TDEC will present new rules on rock harvesting derived from legislation passed last year. The new rules are intended to curtail rogue operators and assure that water quality laws are respected.
---Rikki Hall, Land Use Co-Chair

Child Care in Knox County: A Public Dialogue


Thursday, March 22 at 7:00 pm
Cansler YMCA, 616 Jessamine Street, 37917
(near O'Connor Senior Center and downtown)
* Child care provided by request to

The League of Women Voters commissioned a study of child care to update our position from 1993, and we are finding some serious issues, both for parents and for the profession, emerging from interviews with a diverse array of people, from providers to parents to regulators.
Twenty years ago, I was the co-founding director and later board member of the Knoxville Home Child Care Association, an organization that represented the concerns of professional home child care providers and advocated for quality child care.  Through those years, many supports were developing to expand the quality and quantity of child care for both homes and centers.  Training was expanding, a resource and referral for parents came into being, and a new system of quality standards was
put in place.
 march daycare
Since that time though, it's clear that wages have remained egregiously low, new regulations for infants calling for lower child-teacher ratios have ensured better care but stunted availability, support organizations have dwindled away, and possible cuts to training appear to threaten quality.  As part of our study, and to educate our members and contribute to our community, the League is hosting a public roundtable dialogue about child care in Knox County featuring parents, providers, trainers and regulators.  Members will be asked to listen to the discussion and form their opinions about the need for revision to our public policy position.  Meanwhile, we will be contributing to a neglected discussion of child care policy in Knox County, inviting the participation of those most directly involved.  I hope you can join us Thursday, March 22. Child care will be provided by advance request only to or call Jamey at 548-0818.

 ---Jamey Dobbs, President 


Looking for Board Members   


If you're looking for a way to get more involved with the League, there just might be an open Board position with your name on it. Right now, we're trying to fill three open seats: State Action Chair, Development Chair, and Special Events Coordinator.

If you're interested in keeping our local League in tune with the state League, State Action Chair might be the perfect position for you! You would be helping to keep our Board up to date with the goings-on of LWVTN and helping us to work together.


If you have a knack for fundraising, we'd love for you to come aboard as our Development Chair. All organizations like the League need money to function effectively, and we need help from that oh-so-special person who knows how to drum up the financial support we need to keep us firing on all cylinders.


Last, but not least, we need someone who knows how to put on the wonderful events that help us enrich relationships with current members and bring new ones into the organization. We need someone for happy hours, holiday parties, and more.


If you or someone you know would be a good fit for one of these positions, contact President Jamey Dobbs at


---Rynn Dupes, First Vice-President   


Robert Wilson Honored by Knoxville -  

    Knox County Food Policy Council       


Last weekend, the Knox County Health Department hosted a two-day event to promote healthy living titled "Eat Play Live." At the kick-off breakfast, LWVKKC member Robert Wilson was honored as the driving force behind the formation of the Food Policy Council.


From Eat Play Live:
"He was a pioneer in the 1970's for his work on food-related issues in local government. In 1977, under Mr. Wilson's direction, students from the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Planning completed a comprehensive study of the local food system. The resulting report, Food Distribution and Consumption in Knoxville, was the impetus for the formation of the nation's first Food Policy Council. Knoxville' Food Policy Council continues to serve as an international model for understanding and addressing community food and nutrition-related issues."

Mr. Wilson and his wife Annette Anderson are very active, longtime LWVKKC members- wonderful assets for our League. Congratulations to Mr. Wilson and thank you for all your hard work in addressing this very important issue in our area.   


---Casey Self, Communications Chair  


Save the Date for

Our AnnuMarch calendaral Dinner


Please set aside May 17 and join us for our  

Annual Dinner!



Mary Headrick and Kim Lauth Resign from Board     

 Our Chapter is sad to see two of our leaders leave the Board, but we wish them luck in their promising future endeavors. State Action Chair Mary Headrick Kim and Mary for March Voterhas decided to run for U.S. Representative for District 3. Mary served as Secretary and Treasurer last year and took on the role of on the State Action Chair this year, as she is heavily involved in legislative action with LWVTN. At-large Board member Kim Lauth was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians, a position with which comes a whole new set of responsibilities. We are so lucky to have had them on the Board and are so proud to have them as LWVKKC members!


The Observer Corps Corner        


We're happy to introduce a new section of the Voter: The Observer Corps Corner! In this section we will highlight some important issues our Observer Corps has been following over the last month. This past month, observers have been paying particular attention to the meetings regarding the Knox County Charter Review Committee. The committee is reviewing the Knox County Charter and may make recommendations for changes in the form of amendments to the charter.  Amendments made by the Charter Review Committee will go directly to the Election Commission to be place on the November ballot for public vote. Please see the Observer Corps section of our website for more information.


LWVTN Issue Committees


The League of Women Voters of Tennessee has identified nine issues to work on this legislative session. Each issue has a point person who is sending out updates to those who indicated they were interested on the LWVTN interest survey.
If you would like to receive updates, please email the appropriate point person.
Elections: Kathy Edwards and Lynn Williams (
Education: Debby Gould (
Open Government: Marian Ott and Pat Meadows (
Appropriations and Responsible Budget: Carole Westlake and Sita Diehl (
Health Care: Pat Post and Sue Bredensteiner (
Environment: Judy Raines (
Judicial Selection: Karen Stevenson and Diane Dilanni (contact Action Chair Barbara Devaney,
Immigration: Lynda Burman (
Revenue: Karen Weeks (

Contact Info
League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County
P.O. Box 31825
Knoxville, TN 37930-1825