Over at The City Paper, Pierce Greenberg has a hell of a story about Dr. Kenneth Hill, the chair of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, which oversees investor-owned telecommunications and utility companies. You have to read the whole thing to get the magnitude of the delicious bizarreness, but the meat of the story is that Hill was appointed to the TRA by Ron Ramsey, and now the legislature is looking to gut the TRA — and with it Hill, whose doctorate from an unaccredited Baptist seminary with sketchy academic cred might not cut it as the executive-level expertise the post will demand.
In other words, Kenneth Hill, the TNGOP is just not that into you.
But Mr. (or "Dr."?) Hill, fear not. It's not you. It's the Republicans. They're not just out to get you. Look at what they're doing to your directors.
The proposed bill also would make the directors part-time and cut their salaries from $152,000 to $36,000 per year. An executive director position, appointed by the governor, would also be added.
Ouch. They could make more money working part-time for Mayor Dean.
Clearly this is a move designed to remove a whole lot of regulatory power from the TRA, and it seems like that might slowly be dawning on Hill:
“With those changes, basically I would say that we don't see it as being favorable for the consumer in Tennessee ... or for efficiency here,” Hill said. “There would be so many changes that will have to take place and quite honestly I don't think part-time directors will be able to do it.”
Which is exactly the point, of course. Maybe Hill can consider this continuing education.