CC Notes – September 16th 2013
All members were present for the September regular monthly meeting of the Board of Commissioners except for Brian Houston and Larry Allen. September is the organizational meeting for the County Commission, and we began by electing Mayor Carey as the Chairman. Sonya Rimmer was elected Chairman Pro-Tem, and Harry Sabine was elected Parliamentarian. A resolution to reappoint Nancy Hyder, Johnny Presley, Mike Harvel, and Carmin Lynch as members to the Financial Management Committee for terms to expire August 31, 2014 was passed in a 15 – 1 vote. I was the lone dissenting vote as I do not believe that County employees should be on this committee. Approval was also granted for bond change riders for County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Jr., Finance Director B. Nathan Brock, and Trustee Kimberly J. Wyatt. This change was made to comply with applicable TCA.
Several routine budget resolutions were passed. Among those was one in the amount of $2,360 for the library. As you may recall, the State of Tennessee Comptroller’s Office recently recommended that internal operations of the library be revised so that all funds received by the library be remitted to the County Government. This issue was addressed in the new budget, and this should be the last of these cleanup resolutions.
A Community Services Officer will now be working with those assigned to complete community service as a part of their General Sessions court sentences or to pay off overdue fines. The officer will help to facilitate the community service program, which in turn should actually be a savings to our county. The program will enable the county to utilize more community service workers in various jobs and should lead to the need for less part time help.
A resolution concerning the School Resource Officers (SROs) that the BOE has funded was tabled. During the budget process, the BOE and Sheriff’s Department came to agreement on funding for four new SROs for the elementary schools. The SROs would each be responsible for two elementary schools. Under the agreement, the BOE would fund three SROs and equipment in the amount of $233,828, and the Sheriff’s Department would fund one. A resolution was submitted to allocate funds to the Sheriff Department budget from the BOE budget for the three SROs. Although the SROs are currently hired and in place at the schools, the resolution was tabled until the County Commission can meet in a work session on September 30 at 5:00PM and discuss the issue. While I do feel many of the concerns voiced are invalid, the issue of recurring funding for the program needs to be discussed. In the end, the motion to table was unanimous.
The technical details for the funding of the Crossville-Cumberland County Visitors Center were finally worked out. Resolutions were approved for an interfund loan from the county, to the county, as well as other basic budget housekeeping for the project.
A resolution to appoint Larry Allen, Donnie Buttram, Sandra Brewer, Stanley Hall, and James Perry as members to the Ethics Committee for terms to expire September 30, 2014 was approved. An extension to the Cumberland County Red Cross lease was approved while one with Downtown Crossville was tabled so the Building and Grounds Committee could talk with the tenants and make sure they still need the space. A resolution re-affirming Cumberland County’s commitment to justice and equal treatment for all its citizens was approved, as was one to accept the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant previously discussed in earlier editions of CC Notes.
Sales tax collections for August came in at approximately $26,000 below the budgeted amount. More details of other county income will be distributed as it becomes available. The new County and BOE budget for 2013 – 2014 is now online at my website, http://allenfoster.net, on the ‘Documents of Interest’ page.
Last week I read an article in the Tennessean concerning taxes to schools from liquor by the drink sales (http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013309120073). I contacted my 4th District counterpart on the BOE, Josh Stone, and asked him if our schools were receiving the money that should be coming from this tax in Cumberland County. He contacted the BOE CFO to look in to the issue. This was evidently a popular question, as the County Finance Director reported that the City, BOE and County were working together to see what, if anything, is owed our schools from this tax. I will give more updates as they become available.
Thank you for allowing me to serve the 4th District and Cumberland County. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at any time.
Board of Commissioners
4th District Representative