Lobster for Lunch in Knox County

KNS has the story about our mayor’s executive administrative assistant, a commissioner, and an unknown third party feasting on $37.98 each lobster tails, then grabbing a couple more to go, for pre-tip bill of $198.56, Luckily for the taxpayers (I guess), they basically stiffed the waiter, only tipping him $29 (14.6%).

Frugality and class! So the total bill was $227.56–FOR LUNCH.

Good thing we had a 100% increase in our wheel tax a couple of years ago (hope you are enjoying the new library).

“Clearly, while we consider business meals legitimate expenses, we certainly feel that expense was excessive,” Norwood said.

See, that’s the problem. County government is not a business. Businesses sell products and services to customers on the free market. In business, customers have a choice to buy from someone else or not to buy at all. The business then has a choice on how it spends this money and is accountable to shareholders.

“While we can’t tell our guests what to order,” Norwood said, “we discourage people from ordering unusually expensive meals.”


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3 Replies to “Lobster for Lunch in Knox County”

  1. OK, you had to know a post was coming from me…

    First, the wheel tax went from $6 to $36 which is a bit more than 100%…

    The stories on Lady D and her high maintenance round the city/county building are of epic proportions.

    That new library is diguised as a high school out in Hardin Valley that pretty much none of the Farragut folks want to send their kids to. Even after the “I’ll build you a school if you vote for my wheel tax” deal was struck with them.

    But, fortunately for us, now that my good friend John Werner has jumped on the grenade, we can all go back to work to creating great schools, taking care of our seniors and making government better every day…

    Anybody want to go to lunch?

  2. Marty, you are correct on the wheel tax–I was lumping the wheel tax and vehicle registration together…it used to be $30 for both, now it’s $60.

    That’s the first I’ve heard of using a promise of a new school to push the increase. I thought it happened by the far less dubious method of threatening us with a property tax increase if the wheel tax didn’t pass.

    Anybody want to go to lunch?

    I would love to, but my business can’t afford it right now. I would, however, appreciate it if you’d pick up a couple of lobster tails for me if you go out. 😛

  3. re: wheel tax / property tax increase
    That’s because you live in the city. You see, each segment of the county had to have a specific reason to vote for the wheel tax increase. It’s all about the votes…

    On the bright side, the entire wheel tax episode gave us the one and only Lumpy Lambert and hereby made listening to local politicians fun again.

    Hey, nothing says Friday like a power lunch at Regas – particularly if the Friday is the one right before the Monday County Commission meeting. Raise your hand if you think that story was about buying lobster (or, rather, buying votes). The identity of the 3rd person wil eventually come out but it won’t matter since the 1st district commissioners are pretty much bulletproof…

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