Tag Archives: strained

‘Strained Relationship’ Between Shipley, Kingsport Mayor?

Kingsport’s mayor and some other city officials “apparently have a strained relationship” with state Rep. Tony Shipley that stems from the lawmaker’s Republican primary battle last year with Alderman Ben Mallicote, according to the Kingsport Times-News.
The following is from a story appearing Friday:
At the time, Mayor Dennis Phillips said of Mallicote, “hopefully you’ll be serving us in Nashville.” In addition, Phillips, Alderwoman Valerie Joh, the Kingsport Firefighters Association and the Kingsport Coalition of Police appeared in ads supporting Mallicote.
Carl Moore, a lobbyist and former state senator from Bristol, said in a recent interview that Mallicote’s announcement and Phillips’ endorsement upset Shipley, and that he overheard Shipley express some disturbing emotions concerning the BMA members who were supporting Mallicote.
“That morning I was in a cafeteria in Nashville and Tony came by and was upset about it,” Moore said. “(Shipley) said ‘I don’t understand why … I’ve tried to help them all I can do. I guess I can’t do anything else for them.’ It was very colorful language (Shipley) used and I’ve heard nothing since.”
Phillips said last week he has heard about some troubling comments made by Shipley.
“During and since the election, Tony has been very cold,” Phillips said. “I sent him an e-mail when the election was over, saying ‘I supported your opponent and you won and it’s in everyone’s best interest if we work together and I’d like to have lunch one day.’ I haven’t heard any response.”
Since the election, Phillips said there have been events in Kingsport that he thought Shipley would attend, but he has not, such as the public hearings held last month on the State Route 126 improvement project — the cornerstone of Shipley’s 2008 campaign.
…Responding in an e-mail Shipley said, “Over the past four years, I’ve been fortunate to build close working relationships with local and county officials throughout the 2nd District. Together, we’ve worked to strengthen DUI laws, address the dangers of ‘bath salts’ and improve infrastructure. We’ve done so with a common goal of improving the lives of Tennesseans, both in the city and county. I will continue to work with everyone who sets the importance of improvement in our community above political spats that don’t achieve progress for the people we represent.”
Vice Mayor Tom Parham said …”Shipley has strength and support in the Colonial Heights areas and there’s developed some animosity towards Kingsport, fueled by that election… It’s the city’s challenge to heal that rift. We must engage the people in Colonial Heights … to be new residents in the city and work very hard to include all of our elected representatives with our plans as we go forward.”