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Dandridge, Tennessee

January 16, 2012

Budget Committee Votes 6-4
For JCHS Renovation Plans - Recommendation to Full Commission Tuesday
Staff Photo

The Jefferson County Budget Committee held a Meeting on Thursday, January 12, 2012, at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Committee Chairman Scarlett.  Following a small adjustment, the Minutes were unanimously Approved.

Committee Member Tucker made a Motion to approve travel expenses according to County policy for continuing education for Commissioners. Committee Member Scarlett determined that a policy was already in place to address the issue ( which will be provided by the County Mayor at the next meeting) and therefore the Motion was unnecessary. Tucker withdrew the Motion.

The Committee was informed that they needed to move funds into the advertising line item to support advertising needs for the County Commission and the Commissionís Committees. Commissioner Barreiro inquired if the cost for advertising had increased. According to Committee Member and Commission Chairman Mills the cost of advertising in print has increased. Committee Member Tucker presented an offer in writing from the Jefferson County Post to publish all public notice meeting needs at no cost to the County, with the amount of funds that are annually designated for advertising to be split equally among the non profit organizations that currently receive County funds. Committee members inquired if the Jefferson County Post would donate advertising space if the Committee chooses to continue to purchase advertising in the printed papers. Jefferson County Post Editor, Jeff Depew, stated that the spirit of the offer was to eliminate the need to fund advertising and therefore have increased funds to contribute to non profits. Committee Member Tucker made a motion to accept the offer of the Jefferson County Post to provide advertising space at no cost, with the money previously designated for advertising to go to County funded non profits in an equal split. 2nd Kesterson. Motion Failed.

The Budget Committee was slotted to consider a Capitol Request Policy that had been passed from the Commission Floor to the Committee. Upon a Motion from Committee Member Turner and a 2nd from Kesterson, the Capitol Request Policy was postponed until a later meeting to allow time for proper consideration. Motion Passed Unanimously.

Committee Member Solomon made a Motion to approve budget assumptions and was 2nd by Beeler. Committee Member Tucker made an amendment to request individual departments in the County reduce their budget by 3% during the upcoming budget process. 2nd Tabor Motion Passed.

The Original Motion as Amended Passed with Turner Voting No.

Upon a Motion from Solomon and 2nd Estes the Committee Approved unanimously Department of Education Federal Budget Amendments.

Commissioner Estes made a Motion to fully fund the renovation to Jefferson County High School with funds to come from Debt Service, Hospital Lease Payment and Hospital Reserve Account. 2nd Turner.

Director of Finance Helton stated that there are funding options, including Estesí, that could result in no tax increase and would require a combination of sources. Committee Member Tucker stated that he is uncomfortable in becoming dependent on hospital funds in case they should not exist during the entire debt life. He also stated that he would like to see the school system dedicate some of their fund balance to the renovation. Tucker made an amendment to request that the School Board contribute to the renovation project. Taken by consent by Estes. Motion Failed 5-5 ( yes- Barriero, Tucker, Kesterson, Scarlett, Solomon ).

Commissioner Solomon stated that he would vote for the renovation, however he wanted it made clear that he was disappointed in the School Board and expected that they would offer to contribute part of their fund balance.  The Original Estes/Turner Motion Passed 6-4 with Mills, Tabor, Estes, Solomon, Beeler and Turner voting in support of the Motion. The recommendation to fund will go before the Full Commission on Tuesday.  The Meeting was Adjourned.


Jefferson County School Board Meeting

The Jefferson County School Board met for its Regular Monthly Meeting on Thursday, January 12, 2012 in the Media Center of Jefferson county High School.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Chairman of the Board Potts.

Trane, one of the School Systems Energy Contractors, recognized three local students for their submissions for light switch covers to be placed in area schools. The three studentís art work was chosen from hundreds of applicants to adorn the switch covers. Jo Beth Scarlett was the Elementary School winner, Ryan Greer was the top Middle School entrant and Leslie Ann Odem took top honors for the High School division. All three were awarded I-pads.

Both the Agenda and Consent Agenda were unanimously approved.  No teachers, students or citizens appeared before the Board.

Upon a motion from Board Member Vines and a 2nd Board Member Solomon, the Board unanimously Approved the School Activity Fund Contract with McFarland and Gann for $12,000 for the period from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. According to a representative from McFarland and Gann, the delay in the contract was due to the transitions that took place in the Finance Office.

Director of Schools Edmonds informed the Board that if it is the intent of the Board to offer Track at Jefferson County High School then repairs are necessary for safety reasons and that time is a concern because Track season is approaching. He stated that the track is unsafe and will need repairs regardless of the renovation project. Board Member Solomon made a motion for repairs of the track to come from the maintenance budget. 2nd Vines. Passed unanimously.

The Board unanimously Approved 2011-2012 Federal Budget Amendment #4 via a motion from Vines and a 2nd form Jarnigan.

2011-2012 General Budget Amendments, which included reimbursement from the State as well as grants and one salary adjustment for an employee that was misclassified as a bachelor level instead of masters degree, were unanimously Approved upon a motion from Solomon and 2nd Vines.

Director Edmonds stated that the First Baptist Church of Strawberry Plains had requested the use of Rush Strong school during renovation of the Church. He stated that the Church has allowed the school to use parking facilities for several years and recommended that the Board approve the request. Vines made a motion to approve the request, as long as it complies with the current Board policy for use of schools. 2nd Jarnigan. Approved unanimously.

Director Edmonds stated that Community Tectonics did not accept the settlement offer and the issue will move forward into the deposition phase.

Edmonds stated that negotiations are continuing for additional property for Rush Strong School and White Pine School, including a reasonable cost for building removal at the Rush Strong Property. The White Pine property in consideration for pricing and usability. 

Director Edmonds reported that some money had been received and applied to the Trane payment leaving a payment amount of $400,000 which was needed to pay the difference in the amount received from the State and the bill which totaled $1,128,371. He informed the Board that the Department of Education was already seeing the benefits from both of their energy contracts.

The Board discussed a conduct policy for County coaches, students and parents. Board Member Solomon stated that he is concerned with the behavior that has recently been displayed at County sporting events. Director Edmonds stated his displeasure with the conduct of some of those representing Jefferson County. The issue will be referred to the policy committee for a detailed conduct policy for the County.

The Board was updated on the JCHS roof and was informed that an infrared scan found only minimal repairs were needed. The high tech scan was employed to determine the state of the roof. Roofing consideration will greatly be determined by the renovation project.

Director Edmonds stated that School Board appreciation week is January 25-28 and he thanked the Board for their work for Jefferson County Schools. He also stated that the renovations to JCHS will go before the Full Commission on Tuesday and that he hopes that the Commission will consider the project as a whole. Edmonds said that the renovations that are proposed can carry Jefferson County through the next 30-35 years and that they can be done with no tax increase, according to information at the County Commission Work session.

A representative from Rentenbachís stated that the elementary school is on schedule and should be completed on time.  The Meeting was Adjourned.

Martin Luther King Day

Monday, January 16th, is the day that Jefferson County, along with the Nation, will celebrate Martin Luther King Day. Jefferson County has a great, though little known, connection to the Civil Rights Movement that was lead by King, among others. The signature song associated with the movement, We Shall Overcome, was introduced at Highlander as the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. Highlander, which is now known as Highlander Research Center, is located in New Market and has a history of being active in the pursuit of equality. Through cultural workshops at Highlander that involved key activist in the Civil Rights Movement, the signature song, which is a gospel song, became an identifying feature of the movement. It was performed by folksingers and is still identified closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The County will recognize the contributions of Dr. King with a march from the Dike in Dandridge to the steps of the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse, where there will be a program in honor of Dr. King. Those who wish to participate in the march will meet on the Dike in Dandridge at 10:30 am. The program is slotted to begin at 11 am. Citizens for Justice, Equality and Fairness organized the event and the Jefferson County High School Band and Chorus, Carson-Newman College and several area Churches will be participating in the march and program. Jefferson County residents are encouraged to attend and pay tribute to Dr. King and others that were instrumental in breeching the gap to equality.

In honor of the holiday, Federal, State and Local government offices will be closed. There will be no postal service and both Jefferson County Schools and area colleges are closed.

Novartis Consumer Health Over-The-Counter Products: Recall - Potential Presence of Foreign Tablets or Chipped or Broken Tablets or Gelcaps

including Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin, Gas-X Prevention

ISSUE: Novartis Consumer Health Inc. is voluntarily recalling all lots of over-the-counter products Exedrin, Bufferin, Gas-X Prevention and NoDoz. Reports were received of chipped and broken pills and inconsistent bottle packaging clearance practices at the Lincoln, Nebraska facility, which could result in the bottles containing foreign tablets, caplets, or capsules.

Mixing of different products in the same bottle could result in consumers taking the incorrect product and receiving a higher or lower strength than intended or receiving an unintended ingredient. This could potentially result in overdose, interaction with other medications a consumer may be taking, or an allergic reaction if the consumer is allergic to the unintended ingredient.

BACKGROUND: This voluntary recall pertains to all lots of select bottle packaging configurations from retailers of Excedrin and Nodoz products (expiry dates of December 20, 2014 or earlier), and Bufferin and Gax-X Products (expiry dates of December 20, 2013 or earlier), in the United States.

RECOMMENDATION: All of the pills in the bottle should look the same. If patients find a pill that is different in shape, size, color, or markings, they should bring their medicine bottle to their pharmacist and not take any of those pills.

Consumers that have the product(s) being recalled should stop using them and contact the Novartis Consumer Relationship Center at 1-888-477-2403 (available Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time) for information on how to return the affected products.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

Complete and submit the report Online:
Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178 

Iranian Officials Accuse U.S. of Supporting Terrorism
By: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

On Sunday, January 15, 2012, Iranian officials have accused the United States, Great Britain, and Israel of supporting international terrorism. The claim was fueled by the death of an Iranian nuclear scientist, who was killed Wednesday by what Iranian authorities claim to be a magnetic bomb that was attached to the manís car. This is the third nuclear scientist to have been killed in three years, with one scientist having survived an attempt on his life. Officials have stated that the assassination will not hinder the progress of the Iranian nuclear program. While many world powers have openly declared that they fear Iran is striving to build a nuclear bomb, government officials still maintain that the goal of the program is to supply citizens with energy. All countries accused of terrorism have fully denied any involvement in the killing. Regardless of these statements, Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated Sunday that ďWe shall persist in punishing the perpetrators of this crime, as well those supporting them behind the scenes." Khamenei also gave voice to his belief that the attack was planned or carried out by the United Statesí C.I.A. and Israelís Mossad, the intelligence agency of Israel. As of this writing, officials from every accused nation have repeatedly denied any involvement with the assassination and have stated that they have no intention of hindering Iranís nuclear program so long as its purpose is to bring nuclear energy to the nationís civilians.

© Copyright 2011 The Jefferson County Post All Rights Reserved

January 16, 2012 Go To Page

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