By Steve Hunley

The people of Knoxville and Knox County ought to be thankful for the service of State Representative Martin Daniel.  All too often the doings of our representatives in Nashville escape our attention because local media fails to report it.  The actions of our legislative delegation in the State Capitol oftentimes has a direct impact upon the people here.  Too few people, especially inside the City of Knoxville, recognize the actions of the city council in voting to eliminate the notice provision regarding property rights.  The average person’s greatest investment outside of his or her children is usually one’s home.  That is a primary reason homeowners’ associations proliferate both the city and county and city councilmen and county commissioners should always pay close attention to the concerns expressed by those organizations comprised by homeowners.

The action of the City Council was inexplicable in a representative government and downright un-American.  Martin Daniel immediately stood up for homeowners and citizens by warning the council-people if they did not restore proper notice to the public with regard to property rights, he would redress the problem with legislation in Nashville.  Daniel’s actions speak volumes inasmuch as it is a pure expression of representative government and a lawmaker keeping the interests of taxpayers first and foremost in mind.  Local governments are, unfortunately thoroughly capable of authoritarian excess and occasionally those excesses have to be overturned by the state.  The fact Martin Daniel was bold enough to send the City Council a warning is indicative of his commitment to the people he represents, as well as the people of Knoxville.

Knoxville city administration has been pushing the Recode changes at a fast and furious pace and the city council has been all too compliant in responding to her demands.  Madeline Rogero will cease to be mayor of Knoxville by the end of this year and new members of the city council will be elected this year.  One candidate for mayor, Eddie Mannis, has announced his opposition to the Recode proposal in its current form, which Knoxville’s longest serving mayor, Victor Ashe, has referred to as a massive rezoning ordinance.  More than 70,000 pieces of property inside the city limits are affected by the Recode proposal.  The City Council obliged the Rogero administration when it voted to remove the requirement for notice to property owners when a massive rezoning ordinance is being considered by the City of Knoxville.  That passed the City Council twice and unanimously.

Eddie Mannis is the only candidate running for mayor of Knoxville who opposes the Recode ordinance; Indya Kincannon and Marshall Stair both support it and Stair is one of the council members who has voted twice to remove the notice requirement.  Thank goodness for Martin Daniel who is willing to fight for the property rights of the people of Knoxville.  Daniel has always been an effective and useful member of the Tennessee General Assembly, but the people of Knoxville and Knox County owe this outstanding representative a debt of gratitude for refusing to be cowed by a city administration determined to have its way at the expense of the rights of its own citizens.  It is difficult for me to imagine anything more un-American than the actions of the city administration and council, but Martin Daniel’s own actions are a perfect illustration of an elected official living up to his responsibility to the citizens who voted for him.