Tag Archives: chief

Crissy Haslam Has New Chief of Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam has named a new chief of staff.
Haslam’s office announced that current staffer Rachel Lundeen has been promoted to the top job following the departure of Christi Gibbs.
Gibbs has been hired as the executive director of next year’s National Governors Association meeting in Nashville.
Before joining the first lady’s office, Lundeen worked on Bill Haslam’s gubernatorial campaign and his transition team.
Lundeen said in a release Thursday that she looks forward to working on the first lady’s and governor’s education initiatives and managing the governor’s mansion.
Lundeen holds a law degree and a master’s in public policy.

Haslam Hires IBM Ex as ‘Chief Operating Officer’

As part of a realignment of his top staff, Gov. Bill Haslam named a former IBM executive as “chief operating officer” for state government Tuesday and tasked him with increasing oversight of various departments in state government.
Greg Adams, 58, has spent 37 years with IBM, most recently as a managing director in its financial service factor. His state salary will be $165,000 per year and begin serving July 8, according to a gubernatorial spokesman.
The move comes after Claude Ramsey, deputy to the governor, announced earlier his retirement effective Aug. 31, and Mark Cate was elevated from senior adviser to chief of staff. Ramsey’s salary is $187,452 per year; Cate’s $155,000.
The governor said Adams is “not a replacement” for Ramsey because “he’s going to do a very different job, but that there are “no plans right now” to name a new deputy.
“Now that I’ve been governor for two and a half years, I realize one of the things that is hardest about being governor for me is that I can’t spend the time I would like with each department.”

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Police Chief Resigns After Bulldozer Questions Raised

News release from state comptroller’s office:
Allegedly, it was supposed to be used to clear a field for a police firing range. But documents and other evidence reviewed by the Comptroller’s Division of Investigations suggest that a bulldozer owned by the town of Monterey ended up on the former police chief’s property wasn’t going to be used for that purpose.
The investigators’ findings were part of a report that was publicly released today.
Monterey town officials obtained the bulldozer in early June of last year through the state’s military surplus program. In an agreement with the military surplus office, the police chief said that the bulldozer would only be used for law enforcement purposes and would not be leased to others, sold or otherwise disposed of by the town.
According to interviews with officials who were working for the town at the time, when the town received the bulldozer from military surplus, it was transported directly to the police chief’s property so a blade could be attached. The bulldozer was later moved back to town property after questions arose in a public meeting regarding its location.

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More TN Views & News on Armed Guards in Schools

Congressmen Mostly Quiet, TN Cost Estimated
Nooga.com asked U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, as well as U.S. Reps. Scott DesJarlais and Chuck Fleischman, whether they agreed with the NRA’s call for armed guards in all schools. All have taken campaign contributions from the NRA. (Full story HERE.)
Corker and DesJarlais didn’t respond .Fleischmann’s response didn’t address the question. Alexander did, sort of. Excerpts:
Asked to comment on LaPierre’s remarks Friday, Fleischmann, who boasted his NRA endorsement in television advertisements for his most recent campaign, voiced neither support nor disagreement.
“As a father, the events in Connecticut break my heart,” Fleischmann said in an emailed statement. “Children are our greatest treasure, and we need to ensure their safety, particularly in a school environment. No student should ever have to be afraid of going to school. Brenda and I send our prayers to the victims and their families.”
Fleischmann accepted $2,000 in NRA contributions this year.
…On Friday, Alexander indicated that congressional action would not be able to ensure student safety, as LaPierre suggested. The senator added his hope that school systems at the local level would be reviewing their current safety measures in the wake of the shooting.
“Washington can’t make school safe, but parents, communities and teachers can,” Alexander said in an emailed statement. “In light of the tragedy at Newtown, I would think every local school board would be thinking about whether they need to take additional steps to make their schools safe from guns and other acts of violence.”
Were the gun lobby’s call to gain traction, Congress would be tasked with providing funding for at least one armed guard in each of the nation’s 98,817 public schools–1,803 of which are in Tennessee.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, the annual mean wage for a security guard at elementary and secondary schools is $31,420, making a rough estimate of the cost of equipping schools with armed guards more than $3 billion nationally–and more than $56 million statewide.


Haslam Thoughts on Video
TNReport has a video of Gov. Bill Haslam’s comments on the subject (previous post HERE), wherein he voices misgivings. “I know a whole lot of teachers who wouldn’t want to be armed,” he said – including his daughter, a 2nd grade teacher. But he thinks there should be a discussion of causes of “mass violence” in schools and elsewhere.
Cookeville Police Chief: Two Officers in Every School, Every Day
Each morning this week, Cookeville Police officers have driven through the parking lots at all city schools, hoping to help students, teachers, and parents feel a little bit safe, reports the Herald-Citizen..
And Police Chief Bob Terry is talking about a giant leap in school security here, an idea that he knows would cost taxpayers quite a chunk of money, but would be worth it if the horror that happened in Connecticut ever occurred here.
He would like to see two trained police officers assigned to work in each school in this county every day.
“The county has only one School Resource officer in each of the three high schools, but in today’s world, I would like to see much more security in all our schools,” Chief Terry said.
“I know it would cost us, and I am a taxpayer too. But just think about this: you can’t walk into courthouses carrying a gun, you can’t walk into a police station carrying a gun unless you are an officer, you can’t walk into many places without going through several kinds of security measures. But anyone can just walk into our schools.”

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Chip Leaving as Chuck’s Chief

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s office announced Friday that Chip Saltsman will step down as Fleischmann’s chief of staff effective Jan. 1 after what the Chattanooga Times-Free Press characterizes as “a successful, high-profile and sometimes controversial three years as a confidant, campaign consultant and office supervisor.”
“Chip has been an incredible asset for the last two years,” Fleischmann said in a news release. “His knowledge of politics and public policy is second to none. I thank him for his tireless service and look forward to his advice and counsel in the future.”
Fleischmann legislative director Jim Hippe, a former Bill Frist staffer, will replace Saltsman. The news release gave no reason for the change but said it was part of a long-term plan.
The 2008 presidential campaign manager for FOX News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Saltsman was considered by those close to Fleischmann to favor politics over government. As a campaign consultant, he brass-knuckled health care consultant Robin Smith in 2010 and retired dairy executive Scottie Mayfield this year. Both were considered Fleischmann’s top rivals in consecutive Republican primaries.
“Without question Chip takes a no-holds-barred approach to winning,” Smith said.
Saltsman did not return a call seeking comment Friday. A former Smith aide is suing Fleischmann and Saltsman over advertising and maneuvering in the 2010 election. The case remains in litigation, and campaign funds have been used to pay Saltsman’s legal fees. Fleischmann has called the lawsuit “frivolous.”
A longtime political operative and former Tennessee Republican Party chairman, Saltsman is perhaps best known nationally for his abbreviated campaign for chairman of the Republican National Committee. The bid fizzled in December 2008 when Saltsman distributed a song to supporters called “Barack the Magic Negro,” a parody sung to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon” that mocked President Obama. Less than a year later, he went to work for Fleischmann
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TVA Gets a New CEO

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority’s board has chosen a former energy chief from North Carolina, who was ousted from his previous company earlier this year, to succeed retiring Tom Kilgore as the chief executive of the nation’s largest public utility.
Bill Johnson was CEO of Progress Energy and had been slated to lead Duke Energy when the two companies combined to form the nation’s largest investor-owned utility in July. But within hours of the merger Johnson was out, replaced by Jim Rogers, who had been Duke’s CEO but was slated to become executive chairman.
The surprise ouster has prompted North Carolina’s utility regulator to investigate whether the state and public were misled during the merger approval process.
At a news conference in Knoxville on Monday, TVA Board Chairman Bill Sansom expressed total confidence in the board’s choice of leadership. He said the board was unanimous in its support for Johnson.

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Lance Frizzell Designated Tally Clerk at GOP National Convention

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey’s top aide has been recommended for an official role at next week’s Republican National Convention.
Lance Frizzell, who serves as the Blountville Republican’s chief of staff, has been selected as one of 10 tally clerks working at the Tampa, Fla., event to crown former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan the GOP presidential and vice presidential nominees.
The other tally clerks include state party chairs from Alabama, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands, as well as several Republican National Committee members from around the country.
Frizzell also serves on the state party’s executive committee alongside Memphis attorney John Ryder, who has been named an assistant parliamentarian at the convention.

Scott Gilmer Named House Chief of Staff

House Speaker Beth Harwell has named Scott Gilmer as chief of staff for the state House of Representatives, reports the Associated Press.
From the AP story (it’s at the bottom of a story focused on Gov. Haslam’s non-commenting on political developments, reproduced in full above):
Gilmer replaces Gregory Gleaves, who announced before the primary election that he was leaving to work for Hall Strategies, a Nashville-based public relations and lobbying firm.
Gilmer in 2009 pleaded no contest to a criminal charge stemming from his operation of phony political Web sites in the name of a Democratic incumbent who ended up losing his re-election campaign by about 300 votes. State election law says only candidates or their representatives can authorize communications made in a candidate’s name. Gilmer received a $50 fine and no jail time.
Later in 2009, Republicans narrowly rejected an attempt by Democrats to give more teeth to the law on falsely representing others on political websites. The measure ultimately failed on a 49-48 vote, with all but one Republican voting to throw it out. The lone GOP dissenter at the time was Harwell.
Harwell in an email message to colleagues cited Gilmer’s “many years of experience” in selecting him for the top job in her office
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Gary Wade to Become Chief Justice of State Supreme Court

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – Justice Gary R. Wade is to be sworn in as the 29th chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Sevier County Courthouse. He will succeed Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark, who has served as chief justice since Sept. 1, 2010. On Sept. 5, Governor Bill Haslam will administer the ceremonial oath to Chief Justice Wade at the Knoxville Bar Association’s annual dinner honoring the Supreme Court.
Justice Wade was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2006 by Governor Phil Bredesen. Prior to his appointment, Justice Wade served on the Court of Criminal Appeals for 19 years and was elected by his colleagues to serve as Presiding Judge from 1998 to 2006. Justice Wade previously served as president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference in 1995-96 and was named Tennessee Appellate Judge of the Year in 2004. He is the founder of the Tennessee Judicial Conference Bar Foundation, an organization that provides need-based scholarships to law students at each of the state’s law schools.

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Mark Cate Named Haslam’s Chief of Staff; Gets Pay Raise

News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the promotion of Mark Cate to chief of staff.
“This title better represents Mark’s role and the work he does in this administration,” Haslam said. “I appreciate his valuable contribution to our office and am pleased to acknowledge his work in this way.”
Cate joined the governor’s staff as special assistant to the governor after leadership roles in the gubernatorial campaign and transition team.

Note: Claude Ramsey remains as deputy governor. Cate was manager of Haslam’s 2010 campaign and as ‘special assistant’ has spearheaded many gubernatorial projects, including the top-to-bottom reviews of various government agencies and some legislative initiatives.
According to gubernatorial spokesman Dave Smith, Cate’s salary will increase to $155,000 per year. It’s now $142,298.