Friday, March 24, 2006

Ah, Roane County

I moved my family to Roane county in 1988. Yep, folks, I'm a "come-here".

This puts me at a disadvantage when I try to get along with folks because I don't have the Tribal knowlege of who done what to who back in the eigth grade, and who's daddy went to jail for what, and all the other small town historical events that create communities. People hold grudges for a very long time, and the sillier the affront, the deeper and longer clutched the grudge.

My family and I have attempted something completely new to this area. You see, there are five little towns and a part of another in Roane county and we pride ourselves on having connections with every single one of them. This means, in small town Tennessee, that we are outsiders whereever we go. I call myself "multicultural"..."They" call me "Not fromaround here".

When folks ask where we live, I tell them I live in a suburb of Glen-Alice, Tennessee, which is one of those perfect places inthe world. Glen-Alice, is on every Tennessee road map there is. Check for yourself. This is perfect because Glen-Alice, Tennessee isn't here...it doesn't exist. Washed away in the big flood in 1929...Got a monument with 28 names on it, but we ain't got no town. Like I said...

Perfect!

Since we don't have a town, we aren't burdened with the problem of electing a mayor or any of the other official positions. we have to make do with the County wide "positions"

(now that i look at the word "position", isn't that sort of a funny way to describe elected office? works though doesn't it?)

Two big "positions" are up for grabs this time around.

The sheriff is an incumbant but has been wounded by a reasonable amount of bungling and a tell all book that mentions his name a fair number of times. He seems to be honest as any of the other candidates and has the skills of a fair middle manager who has become the victim of the Peter Principle. he completely misread the county jail issue which will hang albatrossian around his neck. he could retain his job as much by electoral calculation than anything else. Most all of the other citizens of our fair county are running for his job and he may win by the simple fact of getting two votes to everyone else's one.

Perhaps it is time for a primary and runoff system to be installed in Roane County. The Sheriff oughta have gotten at least half the votes cast in the election, otherwise most all of the citizens have to be watched and arrested upon the commission of any perceived infraction instead of merely 49%.

The incumbant County Mayor is not running for reelection and this has everyone in an uproar. So far we have three people who have turned in petitions to run and all three have spoken to me for support.

Damn!

Support usually means money when it comes to elections, but i am trying to be as slippery as I can. All three candidates are good friends of mine. I know them well. Which ever one gets elected, well, I'll do my dangdest to help make them the best County executive possible. but until the election, how do you tell a good friend that you just can't support him? Now do that twice and you see how small town politics gets all messy and screws up some good drinking relationships.

Oh well, I was looking for someplace to live when I found Roane County, so I guess I can move if I wind up on the wrong side of everything. But dambit! I like it here. Roane County is absolutely beautiful. And the people here are a hoot! Three times a week the paper comes out and we get to see who shot whom and we know whether they needed shooting or not. (Not that there's anything right with that...) When the authorities arrest somebody impotent, we wave and they nod back as they are handcuffed and taken away. In three or four years, they'll be back, spend a few Sundays crying in church for all they're worth, and a new scandal will rise up and be annointed, as our elected officials vie for the top spot in the "stupidest ever" contest.

But it's Spring in an election year...

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!



Peace,

Steve

(This post also appears at my other blog site at KnowViews. I'm being lazy today.)

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