There is an unholy mess in government in Knox County since their charter was never properly filed (for reasons of "I dunno") and just about everything enacted since then is in question as well. Voters everywhere can learn a tremendous lesson in the current state of disaster, chiefly that citizens must never assume it's all okay and that the principles of inertia are too often the dominant form of governing today.
Here's an excellent definition that applies:
"1. Physics. The tendency of a body to resist acceleration; the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.
2. Resistance or disinclination to motion, action, or change: the inertia of an entrenched bureaucracy.
Too often government locally and nationally lumbers along under inertia, aka Business As Usual. Those who dare to question or examine the actions or inactions are vilified as the Anti-Whatever. Here in Hamblen County, we at least enjoy the ability to watch via re-broadcast on Charter Communications Channels the county commission meetings, though there are efforts by some to end that. More than 10 years after creating a government and education channel, the Morristown City Government continues to refuse air a single second of their monthly 4 pm meetings.
A lesson from Knox: even having the camera eye and the mainstream media on government, whopping failures exist.
First rate examinations of the issues can be found at KnoxViews, and No Silence Here notes that bloggers have taken command, swooping down like Al Haig did all those years ago since it's all up for grabs now.
via Rikki at KnoxViews:
"The will of Knox County's citizens has been persistently subverted by negligence and disregard, and [Chancellor] Weaver's ruling is just one more slap in the face. It is now too late to salvage this year's elections. Already defective in execution, they will now be defective in outcome. Office holders complicit in subverting the public interest will be awarded with continued power for as long as they can drag out the appeals process, and our elections, already tainted by big money, ballot manipulation and the two-party straightjacket, will degrade further toward becoming complete charades.
Eighteen years of governing called into question by this ruling. That's just pathetic.
Again, such things occur locally and otherwise. Morristown is notorious for issuing voter referendums under the "non-binding resolution" form of government, which allows them to proceed with whatever they wish despite any public vote to the contrary.
At the state level, increases in lifetime pensions for officials are granted in off-hours voting, with the allowance of some votes to be cast in the name of representatives who aren't even in the room, much less in Nashville.
The bottom line seems to be: We the people just means We the few who live in perpetual inertia.