An ongoing dispute in the city administration for Knox has left one office empty, as former Planning Commissioner Greg Matt was not re-elected to his position. Worse, the Planning Commission and Mayor Rick Chambers are at odds as to who elects the planning commissioner – Chambers said he believes the planning commissioner is a department head appointed by him, but the Planning Commission believes he is an employee appointed by the commission.
Chambers said that it’s a confusing matter because, in the past, it has been done both ways; however, he said he has presented a state statute and city ordinance to the commission and their attorney explaining why he believes the planning commissioner is his appointment. The attorney for the planning commission, however, disagrees.
In the meantime, the office of the planning commissioner is empty, with no interim planning commissioner filling Matt’s stead. Chambers said if an agreement is not reached soon with the planning commission, the city will have to look into finding an interim planning commissioner so business can continue until the conflict is resolved.
Greg Matt is now just an elected city official as he serves as president of the city council, but another wrench is gumming up the works. The state passed an ordinance months ago prohibiting employees of municipalities from also serving as elected officials, but since Matt had run for city council prior to the ordinance taking effect, he would be able to serve in both capacities this year. However, this may be irrelevant, as it’s still up in the air as to whether or not Matt will eventually be re-appointed as planning commissioner.