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Knox County, Tennessee

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying N
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Public records Y
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Local taxes Y
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Transparency grading process
Knox County is one of 95 counties in Tennessee. The 2010 census reported the population at 432,226, making it the third largest county in the state. The county is at the geographical center of the Great Valley of East Tennessee, and the Tennessee River origin is within the county. It is one of nine U.S. counties named for American Revolutionary War general and first U.S. Secretary of War, Henry Knox.[1]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Tennessee county websites

The good

  • Budget
    • The current budget is published.[2]
    • Budgets are archived for at least three years.
  • Meetings
    • The calendar of meetings is posted.[3]
    • Meeting agendas are avaiilable.[4]
    • Minutes are posted and archived for at least three years.[5]
  • Elected officials
    • Names of elected officials, individual email address, individual phone numbers, and a physical address is available[6]
  • Administration
    • Names of administrative officials, individual email address, individual phone numbers, and a physical address is available[7]
  • Permits and Zoning
    • Permit applications are available for download[8]
  • Zoning ordinances are posted.[9]
  • Audits
    • The current audit is published.[10]
    • Audits are archived to 2006.
  • Contracts
    • Open bids are posted.[11] , ** Approved contracts over $10,000 are posted.[12]
  • Public Records
    • A public records contact is available[13]
    • Public records policies are available in a central location[14]
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are available[15]
    • Local tax rates are published[16]

The bad

  • Lobbying
    • Information on taxpayer funded lobbying, including list of employed lobbyists, memberships to lobbying organizations, and associated fees were not posted.

Elected Officials & Salaries

Name Title Salary
Tim Burchett Mayor $156,793
Sam McKenzie District 1 Commissioner $20,430
Amy Broyles District 2 Commissioner $20,430
Tony Norman District 3 Commissioner $20,430
Jeff Ownby District 4 Commissioner $19,835
Richard Briggs District 5 Commissioner $20,430
Brad Anders Vice Chair, District 6 $20,430
R. Larry Smith District 7 Commissioner $20,430
Dave Wright District 8 Commissioner $20,430
Michael Brown District 9 Commissioner Unavailable
Mike Hammond Chair, At-Large 10 $20,430
Ed Shouse At-Large 11 $20,430

Salary database includes the three percent raises institutes in January 2012.[17]

Administrative Officials & Salaries

Name Title Salary
Phil Ballard Property Assessor $122,941
Foster Arnett County Clerk $106,906
Sherry Witt Register of Deeds $106,906
John Duncan Trustee $106,905
J.J. Jones Sheriff $135,236
Randy Nichols Attorney General Unavailable
Joe Jarret Law Director $156,791
Cathy Quist Clerk of Circuit Courts $117,596
Joy McCroskey Clerk of Criminal Courts $117,596
Mark Stephens Public Defender Unavailable
Michael Grider Communications Manager $55,188
Grant Rosenberg Head of Community Development $75,310
John Troyer Head of Finance $147,708
Doug Bataille Head of Parks and Recreation $113,020


For FY2012 the operating fund is $683,939,981 in the adopted budget.


The city of Knoxville, the Knox County seat, received $78,565,235.36 of federal stimulus money in 56 grants and 12 contracts.[18]

Local taxes

Local taxes for FY 2012 adopted generated $118,442,183, made up of county property taxes, county local option taxes and wheel taxes. The largest source of revenue is property taxes, that generated $106,369,683.[19]

In the News

  • In March 2012, Tennessee received a “C” in the State Integrity Investigation, a report that analyzes state governments’ accountability and risk for corruption. Even with the average grade, TN ranks #8 in the nation and is cited for establishing an ethics commission six years ago, although that commission has not yet issued a single ethics penalty and complaints are not made available to the public.[20]

External links