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Dandridge, Tennessee

August 6, 2012

2012 Fairest Of The Fair - Alexis Brooke Whitehead

Crowned Friday at The Jefferson County Fair

Photo by: Scott Johnson / Madison J. Photography - Alexis Brooke Whitehead, Daughter of Scott Whitehead & Tina Sawyer Crowned Fairest Of The Fair 2012
County Commission Seats Two New Commissioners To Fill Vacancies

The Jefferson County Commission held their Regular Quarterly Session on Monday, July 30, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Commission Chairman Mills. Absent from Roll Call were Commissioners Kesterson and Tucker.  One Citizen requested to address the Commission regarding public funding for the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and requested that the Commission receive a detailed accounting of expenditures.

The Commission received recommendation from the Nominating Committee for the open Commission seats in District 7 and District 3. The Nominating Committee recommended Jack Akard, who was sponsored by Commissioner Bob Beeler, for the open seat in District 7. Other nominations were Vickie Sawtelle, sponsored by Commissioner John Neal Scarlett and Ginger Holbert Huskey, sponsored by Commissioner Terry Dockery. Commissioner Scarlett requested to address Akard before the vote was taken. Commissioner Scarlett stated that he and Akard had previously conversed when Akard had visited his home seeking his endorsement for the District 7 seat and that rumors and misinformation about that conversation needed to be clarified. Akard agreed that he and Commissioner Scarlett had a civil conversation regarding his bid for the Commission seat but denied that he was recruited by Bob Beeler. Commissioner Turner addressed Sawtelle regarding her ability to remain open minded about issues facing the Commission. Sawtelle stated that, as a successful business owner, she has proven herself capable of making logical and well informed decisions. Akard was seated on the Commission with 10 votes. District 3 Nomination Committee recommendation was for Rita Musick, the wife of late Commissioner Tommy Musick. A nomination came from the floor (Commissioner Scarlett) for former Commissioner Nina Snodgrass. Musick took the seat with 10 votes. Both Akard and Musick were sworn in by Jefferson County Court Clerk Rick Farrar and immediately took their seat as voting members of the Commission.

Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri requested that the Commission reconsider the decision to exclude E 911 employees from the Jefferson County employee raise that is included in the current budget proposal. He brought a request before the Commission to consider not continuing to contract with ETED and instead contracting with David Williams, who had previously acted as planner for Jefferson County. The Mayor stated that Williams would accept a contract with the County at around half the cost ($6,000) of the current contract with ETED. Tim Seals, Director of the Jefferson County Zoning Department, stated that this is an option that would save tax payer money. Upon a Motion from Commissioner Turner and 2nd by Commissioner Baxley the Commission Approved contracting with David Williams for services. Mayor Palmieri brought Resolution 2012-27, which is a hazard mitigation plan. The Motion to Approve the Resolution was made by Estes and 2nd by Scarlett and was Approved by the Commission.

Director of Jefferson County Finance requested that a mower from the Sheriff’s Department be declared surplus. Estes made the motion to declare surplus and was 2nd by Scarlett-Approved.

Director of Schools Edmonds addressed the Commission to provide an update on the school calendar and school building projects. He stated that some water damage to the floor at the new elementary school is being corrected and should be finished shortly after the start of school. The flooding issue was the responsibility of the contractor and the cost of repair is the contractor responsibility. Director of Capitol Projects for the schools, Michael Phagan, stated that another fire hydrant is being added at the new school location. Director Edmonds stated that the Freshman Academy is underway and progressing and that the renovation to Jefferson County High School is still in the beginning phases. The Department of Education will be meeting with the Town of Dandridge concerning the intersection of Hwy 92 and Dumplin Valley. The State has grant money for the signal light but there is significant cost associated with road improvements necessary before the light can be installed.

Commissioner Blevins made a motion to include the E 911 employees for County employee’s raises that are included in the budget proposal. The amount of funding needed to be around $10,700 and to come from County General Fund Balance. 2nd Scarlett and Passed 11-7-1 with Mills, Baxley, Solomon, Akard, Estes, Beeler and Tabor voting No and Musick abstaining.

Commissioner Solomon made a Motion to include part time County employees in the County employee raise proposal. The Motion died for lack of a 2nd.

Finance Committee Chairman Griffith stated that the Committee is in the process of working on a financial advisor contract and would soon be looking at an evaluation process for the Director of Finance.

Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett brought a recommendation to adopt Resolution 2012-28, which is a Capitol Request Policy, Guidelines and Requirements. The Resolution Passed Unanimously.

Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett brought a recommendation from the Budget Committee for Resolution 2012-29, A Resolution making Appropriations for Various Funds, Institutions, Offices and Agencies of Jefferson County, Tennessee for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2013. The resolution, including the amendment for E 911 raises, was presented for adoption and Passed 11-5-3 with Solomon, Barreiro, Scarlett, Dockery and Carmichael Voting No and Maples, Musick and Akard abstaining.

By Budget Committee Recommendation, Resolution 2012-30, A Resolution Fixing the tax levy in Jefferson County, Tennessee for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2012 was presented. The Resolution Passed Unanimously.

By Budget Committee Recommendation, Resolution 2012-31, A Resolution to make appropriations to charitable non profit and service non profit organizations of Jefferson County, Tennessee for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2012 and ending on June 30, 2013 was presented.

Two amendments were offered for Fire Department funding. Commissioner Dockery made an Amendment to move funding for Parrots Chapel Fire Department to full funding level of $55,000. 2nd Scarlett-Failed with Dockery, Blevins, Scarlett, Turner and Carmichael voting Yes.

Commissioner Turner offered an Amendment for full funding for the Jefferson City Fire Department at the $55,000 level. 2nd Dockery-Failed with Turner and Dockery voting Yes. Solomon Abstained.

The Original Resolution 2012-31 Passed 16-1-2 with Barreiro voting No.

Under New Business, the Commission Approved, upon a Motion from Solomon and 2nd from Baxley, Resolution 2012-25 which is a rezoning request form A-1 to C-2 (owner Mary Elizabeth Jaynes Henry c/o Michael T. Henry).

Commissioner Beeler made a Motion to instruct County attorneys to set a meeting, pending the County appointments to the Jefferson Memorial Board, with Jefferson City Council regarding the Jefferson Memorial Foundation. 2nd Turner-Passed.  The Meeting was Adjourned.


Election Officials Expecting Larger Turnout For November Election


Jefferson County had a slow voter turnout for the August 2, 2012 General and Primary election. 4,897 residents cast their votes, with 2,435 casting early and absentee ballots and 2,462 voting at the polls for a nearly 50/50 split. Jefferson County Election Director Charles Gibson had closely predicted the total vote count as early as the last few days of early voting. He stated Jefferson County historically votes half early and absentee and half at the polls, with the exception of the Presidential election. He has predicted, should Jefferson County stay true to past election statistics, that the Presidential election in November will bring out four times the number of voters that voted in the August 2nd election. Voter turnout was low across the State, with very few Districts having a strong showing. Locally, the most hotly contested races were Tennessee State House District 11 and District 17, as well as Tennessee Senate District 8. In all three Districts, Jefferson County shares representation with other counties. In House District 11 and Senate District 8 Jefferson County vote recipients were also the winners of their races. In District 17, Roger Griffith had the majority of votes in Jefferson County, bringing in 1673 votes (54.87%). Andrew Farmer, also seeking the District 17 seat, brought in 1217 votes (39.91%) in Jefferson County. Farmer out distanced Griffith in his home County of Sevier and ended the competition with a nearly 400 vote lead to secure the Republican nomination for District 17. In District 11, Faison heavily carried Jefferson County and in District 8 Senate race, Niceley more than doubled his closet opponent’s vote count in Jefferson County and carried all but two counties in the Senate District. In Other notable races, Corker showed strongly in Jefferson County with nearly 85% of the vote, as did Duncan. Incumbent Susan Gaddis Gass bested her opponent in the General Election with nearly 87% of the vote and will return as Jefferson County Assessor of Property. In contested Constable races, District 8 went to Henry with 74.35% of the vote and District 5 went to Barber with 68% of the vote. District 2 race for Constable was close, with only a five vote split between Thurman and Gann, with Thurman carrying the lead. At the time of press, provisional ballot counts were not available.

Both District House 11 and 17 Republican Primary winners will face Democratic opponents in the November General Election. Republican Primary winner Niceley is not opposed in the General Election and will hold the seat for Senate District 8.


Iran Successfully Fires Fateh-110 Missile

By Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer
On Saturday, August 4, 2012, Iran successfully fired its Fateh-110 missile. Video footage that was submitted to the state-run Press TV station shows a missile being fired from a rocket launcher before plummeting beyond the horizon. The missile is capable of traveling 185 miles with reasonable accuracy, giving rise to concerns from many nations of the UN. A Pentagon report states that “Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems with accuracy improvements and new submunition payloads.” The report also indicated that Iran is developing missiles that will be capable of hitting Israel and the United States, among many other countries. In addition, the report stated that Iran can still test a long-range international ballistic missile by the year 2015 without foreign assistance. In light of such possible threats, the United States and NATO have recently been fielding an anti-ballistic missile shield in the southern and eastern parts of Europe. The shield is currently still in development, and Iranian officials are remaining steadfast in their declaration that these military upgrades are not intended as threats.

Jefferson County Fair Going On Now
Through August 11th !

Budget Committee Sets Tax Levy Rate


The Jefferson County Budget Committee held a Special Called Budget Meeting on Monday, July 30, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge.

The Meeting was Called to Order by Committee Chairman Scarlett. Absent from Roll Call were Committee Members Kesterson, Tucker and Solomon. Commissioner Blevins was in for Committee Member Barreiro.

The purpose for the Called Meeting was for a Public Hearing on the intent to consider a resolution to levy a tax rate on all taxable property within the boundaries of Jefferson County.

Chairman Scarlett declared that a quorum was present and opened the floor for comments from citizens. Two citizens request to speak before the Committee. Steve Palmer spoke in opposition to an increase in property tax rate. Randall Bergen spoke in regard to current tax appraisals and the need to address the assessment process before determining a property tax increase.  No other citizens requested to address the Committee and the meeting was Adjourned.


Nominating Committee Deliberate On Replacements

The Jefferson County Nominating Committee held a Special Called Meeting on Monday, July 30, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Acting Chairman Dockery.

The purpose of the meeting was to establish a recommendation to the Full Body of the Jefferson County Commission for two open Commission seats.

Upon a Motion from Committee Member Griffith and 2nd from Committee Member Turner, the Committee Approved the meeting agenda.

Three Citizens had requested consideration for an open Commission seat in District 7. Each citizen seeking committee recommendation was sponsored by a sitting Commissioner. Nominees for District 7 were Vickie Sawtelle (John Neal Scarlett) – Jack Akard (Bob Beeler) – Ginger Holbert Huskey (Terry Dockery). The recommendation for the District 7 seat was awarded to Jack Akard, who received the majority of Committee vote.

One citizen was nominated for recommendation for District 3 open Commission seat. Rita Musick, the wife of the late Commissioner Tommy Musick, was sponsored by Commissioners Baxley and Tabor of District 3. The recommendation was unanimously awarded to Rita Musick.  The Meeting was Adjourned.

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