- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—LEAD FOOT LEADS TO LIGHT MOMENT

During last week’s marathon meeting on the new sign ordinance, Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis may have let slip his lead-footed driving habits. Pavlis was arguing for higher signs along freeways, where he said higher speeds can make it more difficult see signs when Mayor Madeline Rogero called him out.

The exchange allowed for some comic relief during an often-tense meeting.

Pavlis: “If you’re going down the interstate at, and you’re going likely 75 miles per hour, if you’re going down a four-lane highway —”

Rogero: “Then you’d be speeding.”

Pavlis: “Well, they give you 5 (mph).”

Rogero: “It’s quite a bit more.”

Pavlis: “I’m just saying probably what’s happening — I don’t know. I’ve never done it myself.”

The crowd, which was much larger than usual given the hot-button issue, laughed heartily.

A TEARFUL GOODBYE

City Council held a tearful goodbye for Cindy Mitchell, its longtime recorder. Mitchell started as an assistant city recorder in 1979, has served six mayors and dozens of council members. Many of those former council members showed up for her sendoff, and former Vice Mayor Jack Sharp spoke on their behalf.

“I am here to thank and honor Ms. Mitchell — I have to call her Ms. Mitchell,” he joked. “You did an outstanding job, Cindy, we really appreciate it.”

Current Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis read a resolution honoring her, and council member Nick Della Volpe suggested amending it to prohibiting her retirement. Mitchell tearfully responded: “I hope you’ll keep in touch. I love you all and thank you.”

WOMICK’S LETTER

In a letter to Tennessee county clerks, state Rep. Rick Womick is urging they refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, rejecting advice Gov. Bill Haslam and state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to the contrary.

“It has come to my attention that most, if not all of you, have been contacted by AG Herbert Slatery and the Haslam Administration, and have been told to uphold the SCOTUS opinion or face a discrimination lawsuit,” wrote Womick, R-Rockvale.

“Such intimidation from this administration is unconstitutional and should not be tolerated. Each of you are publicly elected servants of your county. You swore an oath to uphold the Tennessee State Constitution and to enforce the Tennessee Code Annotated. You did not take an oath to uphold an ‘opinion’ from five justices of the SCOTUS. Therefore, I am asking each of you to ignore the recent SCOTUS opinion redefining marriage, uphold our State Constitution, and issue marriage certificates to one man and one woman only,” the letter says.

Womick said he’s had a “lot of positive feedback, especially from citizens and constituents” and “a few” clerks.

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(c)2015 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.)

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