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Knox Voter
April VoterApril 2012
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LWVKKC Board of Directors 
Officers

President:
Jamey Dobbs

1st Vice-president:
Rynn Dupes 

2nd Vice-president:
Barbara Nicodemus

Secretary:
Lisa Bogaty

Treasurer:
Stephanie Matheny 

Directors

Mary English

Rikki Hall

Ellen LoCurto-Martinez

Casey Self
Tammy Sommers 
CALENDAR of Meetings and Events

 

May 5-6:

LWV TN Spring Council 

May 5:

League Night Out 

May 22:

LWVKKC

Annual Dinner 

 

June 8-12:

National Conference in

Washington, DC   

   

Join a League Committee!

Voter Services 

Contact Jamey Dobbs at jameydobbs@yahoo.com

 

Communications Committee

Contact Casey Self at kirsten.self@gmail.com.

    

Observer Corps

Contact Barbara Nicodemus at barbaranicodemus@gmail.com.

 

Citizen's Academy

Contact Rynn Dupes at cadupes@gmail.com.

 

Naturalization

Contact Lisa Mixon at lhopemixon@yahoo.com.

 

Land Use and Environment

Contact Rikki Hall at sourpersimmon@gmail.com.

 

Education

Contact Tammy Sommers at tsommers@naiknoxville.com.

   

Voter Participation Study

Contact Kelly Pemberton at kellypem@gmail.com.

 

Childcare Study

Contact Jamey Dobbs at jameydobbs@yahoo.com

 

Special Events

Contact Ellen LoCurto-Martinez at egrayce@aol.com   

What's Your League Story?
 
The League is building the
 LWV Storybank.  Go to the online form (www.lwv.org/Storybank) 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.

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Did You Know?

Each Voter mailed to a member costs $1.34 + labor.  You can stretch your membership dollar by receiving the Voter by email. 

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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Presidents Letter

 
Of all the great things happening in our League lately, we can take special pride in our successful Citizen Academy.The League has created something really important and transformational with this course; I just can't stop thinking it...and smiling! Those three Saturdays vividly demonstrated to me that civics is a living powerful subject that is even more powerful and fascinating the more you know and practice it. And our participants agree!

 

While we planned a great course on paper, what emerged was even better: part political science lesson, part game show, part organizing school, and at the end, a role play of county commission with the mood of a wedding rehearsal. The interaction was a key to success, along with attracting a wonderfully diverse group of 24 people who want to be more effective and engaged. And because of the League, they will be more effective citizens for years into the future.  Cheers to them and to us all!  Now, just keep reading below for everything you'll need to prepare for our Annual Meeting.
 
 ---Jamey Dobbs, President  

 

Annual Dinner News 

 

Mayor Madeline Rogero will be Speaking on her First 100 Days in Office
Tuesday, May 22***Note Date Change
East Tennessee History Center Auditorium

Schedule
5:30 pm  Social Time
6:00 pm  Dinner
7:30 pm  Member Meeting (guests excused)

 

We are happy to report that Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero will be our keynote speaker for our May 22 Annual Dinner, to recount her First 100 Days in office and lay out the way forward for the City. This dinner is always the highlight of the year and we encourage you to invite your friends and colleagues to hear the Mayor. Our dinner location this year is the East Tennessee History Center where we will enjoy a sumptuous full course meal, preceded by social time with wine and other beverages.

 

After dinner, we'll excuse our guests for our annual priority-setting meeting, election of officers and approval of the budget for 2012-13. The list of priorities and board recommendations can be found in this month's Voter. Tickets are $30, and we ask that you RSVP by Sunday May 14. Please RSVP to our new Special Events Chair Ellen LoCurto-Martinez at egrayce@aol.com or 865-687-2564 and let's make this the biggest turnout ever! When you RSVP, please let us know if you will need transportation, a vegetarian meal, or child care. 

First Citizen's Academy Hits the Mark!       

 

We're pleased to report that our first Citizen's Academy was a huge success. We graduated 20 local community leaders last Saturday, April 14. To top it off, our graduates and our program will be recognized by County Commission next month.

 

Our program was a three-session course on how to be an effective citizen and how to make change in our community. It included a presentation from CTAS representative Ron Fults, a presentation from County Law Director Joe Jarrett, an advocacy workshop led by community-organizing veteran Bill Murrah, two panels made up of community activists and former elected and appointed officials, and a hands-on simulation of County Commission that took place inside the City-County Main Assembly. 

 

This type of program exemplifies what the League of Women Voters is all about. We are proud of this effort to make the citizens of Knox County more informed, effective, and enthusiastic.  And we are pleased that participants will be recognized for their effort at this Monday's County Commission meeting, at the invitation of LWVKKC member and Commissioner Amy Broyles. 

 

It was a big team effort and we owe special thanks to the Lunch Box, the East Tennessee History Center  and Blount Mansion for critical donations.  Let's all support them.  Another big thanks to League members Commissioner Amy Broyles, Metro Planning Commissioner Laura Cole, Susanne Dupes, former Councilwoman Carlene Malone, Stephanie Matheny, Lee Ann Rogers, Casey Self, Cathy Rhodes, Barbara Nicodemus and Randy Kurth, new member Jennie Caissie, Gary McCracken, and especially Jamey Dobbs and Randy Bell, my super-committee. We thank former Commissioner Mark Harmon for sharing experience and Bill Murrah and Matt McWhirter who were essential in helping plan the curriculum.

 

Finally, we want to give special thanks to our current county officials: Chief of Staff Dean Rice for his parting remarks, Commission Chair Mike Hammond for his opening talk and former law director Joe Jarrett for his charter tutorial.  We enjoyed partnering with Knox County and we can't wait to offer this again next year!  

 

 ---Rynn Dupes, Chair of the Citizen Academy Committee

 

Q&A with League member Lisa Starbuck

    

For the next several months, Knox County will be revising its Charter- the document which tells us how to run our government. The League has three members on the Review Committee- Amy Broyles, Renee Hoyos, and Lisa Starbuck. As always, we are so proud of our members who are actively engaged in figuring out how our county is run. Lisa agreed to answer some questions about the review process.

1. How were you chosen to be on the review committee?

Mayor Burchett asked me to be on the review committee and I accepted, even though he called me a "thorn in his side" when he presented my name to County Commission for approval.  I think he was joking...

2. Why is it so important for citizens to be involved and informed?

The Knox County Charter is the governing document that determines how the county operates. Once every eight years, the Charter provides for the opportunity to make changes, which are voted on by the general public. So it is important that people stay informed about any proposed amendments because they can have a big impact on civic life in Knox County.

3. The Charter addresses many areas that are related to specific local/state/national positions/programs of the League such as the election process, redistricting, local representative government, financing local government, education, and landuse. What issues do you think have or will come up that would be most relevant to these positions?

The Charter Review Committee has taken up several issues that directly impact some of the League's programs and positions including the election process, redistricting rules and local government.

For example, some of the changes being discussed have to do with defining unclear language regarding terms limits. Questions such as what constitutes a term; who do term limits apply to; and what happens when someone is appointed to fill a vacancy in an elected office are just some of the issues being raised. There has also been discussion about changing the number of county commissioners, and whether some elected offices such as the Trustee, Register of Deeds, and Law Director should be appointed by the Mayor or County Commission instead of being elected. Another issue that may come up is whether elections for County Commission seats should be non-partisan, like the School Board and City Council elections.

4. What role do you feel LWVKKC can or needs to take in the Charter review process?

One of the concerns is that not enough people are aware of this process and aren't participating. The League can help us raise awareness and encourage public input to ensure that changes that make it to the ballot are relevant to the average citizen.

5. What are the most important amendments do you feel may be placed on the ballot that the public will need to be educated on before voting?

1. Term limit definitions
2. Elected versus appointed constitutional offices
3. Number of County Commissioners
4. The sheriff's department pension plan



 
Introduction to the League of Women Voters:
A Coffee with Friends
Saturday, May 12***Note Date Change
10:00 -11:00 am
Sequoyah Grill, Western Plaza
4429 Kingston PIke  
 
Are you a new member who is curious about what the League of Women Voters does? Have you wanted to know the different ways to be involved with the League? Please join us for a friendly, informal introduction to the League, where you can ask all your questions while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea and a late morning nibble. 

League members Lois Russell
and Doris Martinson will introduce some of our history and how the Knoxville League operates. Feel free to bring a friend or spouse, or just meet a new friend while you're there. Don't miss it! 
 
RSVP to Lois today at 688-3366.
 
 


Nominating Committee Update - April 18, 2012  

LWVKKC 2012-2013 Slate of Candidates (* in bold) 
 
OFFICERS: 
President - Jamey Dobbs ('13)  
First Vice-President - VACANCY    
Second Vice-President - Rynn Dupes ('14)  
Secretary - Lisa Bogaty ('13) 
Treasurer - Stephanie Matheny ('13)   

DIRECTORS:  (ideally half elected each year)  
* Casey Self ('13) - Communications and Webmaster
* Tammy Sommers ('13) - Education 
* Kelly Pemberton ('13) - Voter Service  
* Crista Cucaro - ('13) - Observer Corps 
Rikki Hall ('13) - Co-Chair, Land Use and Environment
* Mary Engish ('14) - Co-chair, Land Use and Environment

2013 NOMINATING COMMITTEE: 
Off Board - Stephanie Welch 
Off Board - Ann Mayhew 
Off Board - Vacancy
On Board - Lisa Bogaty
On Board -Vacancy

Proposed Budget for 2012-2013

  

Below is the budget for the year 2012-13. The budget committee took into consideration last year's budget and potential priorities for next year based on member feedback. Please be prepared to vote on the budget at the annual dinner on May 22nd. If you have any questions, please contact Treasurer Stephanie Matheny at sdmatheny@knology.net or 865-244-5121.  

 

INCOME

 

Dues                                                   $ 6,650

Individual Donations                           $ 1,500

Corporate Donations                          $ 1,000

Annual Dinner                                     $ 1,800

Fund Raising Event                            $ 3,000

Interest CDS                                          $ 360

Ed Fund (all 501c3 donations)           2,000

 

Total Income                                    $ 16,310

 

EXPENSES

 

LWVUS PMP                                      $ 4,697

LWVTN PMP                                      $ 2,727

Annual Dinner                                    $ 1,800
Fund Raising Event                           $ 2,000

Conferences/Travel                              $ 706

Civic Education                                     $ 300

Special Events                                      $ 500

Communications                                   $ 430

Yearbook                                               $ 500

General Supplies/Printing/Postage       $ 800

Outreach Materials                                $ 350

Advocacy                                               $ 300

Voter Services                                    $ 1,200

  

Expenses                                        $ 16,310

  

  


League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County

Proposed Studies (will be voted on at annual meeting)


Study of Community Health

Proposed Action in 2012-13  

(will be voted on at annual meeting)


Civility in Elections Pledge Drive
Education
Civility in Public Discourse
Election Commissioner Selection

Continuing Action in 2012-2013 

Citizens Education on Knox County Charter
Voter Services
Voter ID Impact Assessment Project
Observer Corps
Lakeshore Mental Health Institute Land Use
Child Care

Click here for the full descriptions of the priorities, or contact Casey Self at kirsten.self@gmail.com to be mailed a copy.


Child Care Study Recommends Changes

The League has completed the first half of a study of child care in Knox County and will have two amendments to recommend to the 1993 position to be voted upon at the Annual Meeting. As a former co-founder of a home child child care association, I chaired the effort to assess the child care system in Knox County and uncover new issues and unmet needs.
 
After conducting numerous interviews and hosting a public meeting to listen to a panel of child care professionals, I have compiled a report of findings. The study will continue into the next year to complete a full review of the subject, but the two additions based on the input shared by the child care community are:
  • A system of training and support for child care providers and families is necessary to ensuring quality care of children. Adequate resources for training and support of child care professionals should be allocated and maintained.
  • Support increased visibility and knowledge of child care issues among citizens and government leaders.  Encourage regular communication and sharing of data on the status of the child care system among our local and state elected officials, child care professionals, community organizations, parents, and the public.
Click here for study results.

- Jamey Dobbs, President



 Update on Voter Participation Study

 

Voter Services Chair Kelly Pemberton has requested that this study be extended to two years in order to more adequately assess the impact of the voter ID bill (which went into effect on January 1, 2012) on voter participation. A two-year study would also allow for data to be collected from the 2012 presidential collection. Therefore, the impact of the voter ID bill on voter participation could be studied for each election: city, county, state, and national. If you are interested in joining this study committee, please contact Jamey Dobbs at jameydobbs@yahoo.com or 865-548-0818.   

 


 

 

Save the Date  

for our National Conference

 

June 8-12

 

Washington, DC

 


Observer Corps Corner           

 

We are pleased to announce that Crista Cuccaro is stepping up to co-chair the Observer Corps with present chair Barbara Nicodemus. Crista is a UTK Law Student with a strong interest in local governmental policy as well as environmental issues. She has recently completed our first Citizen's Academy. Barbara is very excited about serving with Crista as co-chair of the Observer Corps which has become a vital component to our League's Mission.

 

"Crista will bring her positive attitude and needed fresh energy to the Corps," she said.  

 

Observer Corps is moving into its fourth year of active participation- watching and reporting on the actions of our public decision makers.  Presently we are actively observing City Council, County Commission, Election Commission, Knox County Charter Review Committee and City Sign Ordinance Task Force. Check out our reports on our website. http://www.lwvknoxville.org/2012.html

 

If you are interested in joining our team or have questions about the Observer Corps please contact: Barbara Nicodemus at barbaranicodemus@gmail.com or Crista Cuccaro at cmcuccaro@gmail.com  

 


 Tennessee League Spring Council Meeting      

Saturday - Sunday, MAY 5th - 6th

 

Club-Hotel Nashville Inn and Suites

2435 Atrium Way - Nashville, TN   

 

League members from around the state will meet to learn about major issues from experts and all members are encouraged to be there.  It's a great lineup this spring!  House Speaker Beth Harwell will be speaking on women's participation in politics and TDEC Commissioner Robert Martineau speaking on TDEC's progress on fracking standards, both on Saturday.  The half day schedule each day allows members to attend for one or both days as their schedule allows .  Saturdays schedule runs from 1:00-5:00 CST and on Sunday from 9:00-12:00 pm.   

If you are interested in attending, please contact  

Jamey Dobbs at jameydobbs@yahoo.com or 865-548-0818.