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Dandridge, Tennessee

February 14, 2011

Darrell Helton New Finance Director
Darrell Helton was placed as the new County Finance Director during a recent county finance committee meeting.
Helton, a Jefferson County native, is a graduate of Carson-Newman College with a degree in Accounting.  Helton’s professional resume began in the local banking industry, followed by a stint as an entrepreneur. Most recently, he has served as the Executive Director / Administrator for Kingswood Academy. He has held this position for the past two decades.
Darrell Helton, former Mayor of Jefferson City, felt this was the “right time for a change.” He was aware that the position of County Finance Director had been exited by Mike Long and decided to present his resume. Helton took the post as County Finance Director on February 3, 2011, and was present for the County Budget Committee meeting.
Mayor Alan Palmieri added the County Finance Director position to the agenda of the County Finance Committee. Palmieri stated that he felt it was critical to Jefferson County to immediately fill the position and hiring from home is important when a qualified person is available.
Jefferson County currently functions under the “Finance Act of '81” in which the County finances and purchases are centralized in the County Finance Department. Under this Act, the County Finance Director, or his designee serves as the central purchasing agent for all departments in the county. 
Mayor Palmieri and several of the County Commissioners are in favor of repealing the Act of '81. Palmieri considers the Act of '81 to be the “worst financial act” to date. He is, however, in favor of maintaining a County Finance Department.  Helton, as County Finance Director, would still be pivotal in maintaining checks and balances in the financial management of Jefferson County.
Palmieri says the nearly yearly changes to the Act of '81 makes it difficult to implement. Palmieri feels that “streamlining” the county will add to a more effective government.

Jefferson County School Board
Regular Scheduled Meeting
The Jefferson County School Board held their regular monthly meeting on February 10, 2011 (6:30 pm) at the Jefferson County High School Media Center.
Prior to the beginning of the meeting a reception was held in honor of new JCHS football coach Kenny Cobble. Cobble was introduced to the Board by Jefferson County High School Principal Scott Walker.
Lauren Bible Winner of Director's Gallery for Second 9 Weeks.
Chairman of the Board Anne Marie Potts called the meeting to order. 
Special recognition was given to the 2nd nine weeks “Director’s Gallery” winner Lauren Bible.
Three other teachers were acknowledged as being new to the school system.  Potts added Finance Office Operations to the agenda.
On the Consent Agenda the Board unanimously approved the minutes of the January regular meeting and called meeting, as well as overnight field trip for JCHS Chorus and JCHS HOSA.
During Items For Discussion teacher and forensics Coach Bryan McCampbell informed the Board that the Forensics Team had a successful trip to competitions, and one student had placed 10th in the Nation.
Board Member Annette Loy presenting Award to Lauren Bible
Bobby Carrol, tentative President of the JCHS Track Booster Club, asked the Board for permission to start a Track Booster Club to assist with expenses. The motion passed unanimously. 
Elizabeth Finchum representing Jefferson County Tomorrow asked that the School Board adopt a resolution opposing the proposed Norfolk Southern Intermodal Rail and Truck Yard. Board members will review resolution.
Dual Enrollment was listed under New Business.  Dr. Edmonds suggested a policy to be discussed at the next meeting of the Board. Policy will be concerned with Dual Enrollment Credits and weighted GPA’s. Year Round Schedule will also be discussed during this time.
2011 – 2012 School Calendar was presented by Central Office Supervisor Sherry Finchum. The calendar, which is constructed by a calendar committee, is sent to the school board for approval. The proposed calendar has 8 half days to allow time for teachers to meet in their home school. Board member Randy Bradley questioned if buses would have to run extra days. According to Finchum the proposal would not require extra buses.
Potts stated that she is concerned with the decreased class time. Board Member Maurice Soloman expressed that he fears that the students would not have time to eat a full lunch. Board member Annette Loy has been contacted by parents with young children who will need child care for early release dates.  The calendar proposes two less snow days.  Board Member Annette Loy asked for the possibility of snow routes.  The Board requested Finchum return with additional calendar options.
Policy changes were adopted on second reading for Policy 5.1141 Teacher Effect Data.
Director of Schools Charles Edmonds read a letter from School Board attorney Chuck Cagle stating that the Board did not require action from the County Commission to use part of the bond money recently in question. Board Member Bradley made a motion to construct a south elementary school using available bond money. The motion included purchase of 20 acres at the cost of $9,000 per acre and to proceed with site preparation.
Board Member Bill Jarnigan seconded the motion. Discussion followed with Board Member Jim Vines, Michael Phagan, Annette Loy and Maurice Soloman questioned if it was prudent to act before the Commission meeting because the site of the elementary school would be dependent on the actions of the County Commission and funding available.  Vines amended Bradley’s motion and sought to table the motion until after the County Commission meeting on February 15, 2011. Phagan seconded the motion and the amendment passed 4 – 3.  Vines requested that the School Board attorney, Chuck Cagle be present during the County Commission meeting on the 15th. The motion passed.
In other action Director Edmonds told the board he will have tentative plans for renovation at Jefferson County High School ready for their consideration soon.  Coach Warren, JCHS baseball coach and Randy Rogers, Athletic Director asked for permission to name the field house at JCHS after former coach David Holland. Signage will be donated. The motion passed unanimously. 
The School Board will have a work session February 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm in the Jefferson County High School Media Center.

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