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Dandridge, Tennessee

January 23, 2012 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

JCHS Renovation Funding Rejected
Compromise Motion of $10 Million Not Enough - Fails 10 - 9
Staff Photo

The Jefferson County Commission met for their Regular Quarterly Session on January 17, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Commission Chairman Mills.  Upon a Motion from Estes and a 2nd from Scarlett the Commission unanimously Approved the Minutes and Agenda.

Nine Citizens spoke in favor of the renovation proposal for Jefferson County High School. Two Citizens spoke against the renovation project, one citizen spoke in response to Norfolk Southern Intermodal and one on funding alternatives for School projects other than the renovation.

Upon a Motion from Commissioner Solomon the Bonds and Notaries were approved.

Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri addressed the Commission regarding the proposed renovation to Jefferson County High School and stated that the Commission is in the process of adopting a Debt Management Policy and should consider the total cost to the County in any decision. He said that JCHS does need repair and that the issue is emotional for many, however that the Commission must consider the needs of the County as a whole in any decision.

Finance Committee Chairman informed the Commission that a Debt Management Policy was coming for vote by recommendation of the Finance Committee. Needing no 2nd, the recommendation passed ( Scarlett-No)

Commissioner Tucker formally requested that the Finance Committee prepare a summary document, educational in nature, for the Full Commission regarding the Act of ‘81.

Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett brought a recommendation from the Committee to fund the Highway Department at $351,834 from the Highway Department Fund Balance to go into a reserve account for the purpose of paving only. Passed Unanimously.

Scarlett stated that the Committee is looking at the Capitol Request Policy and Travel Request Policy.
He informed the Commission that they have established budget assumptions. Upon recommendation from the Budget Committee, the Commission unanimously Passed Amendments to the Federal School Budget, as well as the County General Fund Balance ( for Roll Printer for County Tax Assessor).

Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett informed the Commission that the Committee had reversed their recommendation and will present to the Full Commission for vote the recommendation to fully fund, at $24,756,532., the renovation at Jefferson County High School through Debt Service, Hospital Lease Payment and Hospital Reserve Fund.

Commissioner Estes offered an Amendment to include the language for renovation and expansion to Jefferson County High School, and to include wording that allows the County to take out general obligation bonds which shall be used for renovation and expansion to Jefferson County High School Only ( limiting the use of funds to the project at JCHS) 2nd Solomon Amendment Failed 10-9 ( requiring 11 votes to pass ) with Kesterson, Maples, Patterson, Blevins, Barreiro, Scarlett, Dockery, Tucker and Carmichael voting No.

The Original recommendation from the Budget Committee Failed 10-9 with Kesterson, Maples, Patterson, Blevins, Barreiro, Scarlett, Dockery, Tucker and Carmichael voting No.

The renovation project requires 11 votes to pass the Commission.

Commissioner Scarlett made a Motion to approve $9,766,258 for renovation to Jefferson County High School which would include costs for roofing ( $1,635,382) electrical ($1,795,650) Building 8 HVAC($436,953) HVAC ($4,839,480) Bathroom Plumbing ($808,000) Construction Mgmt Fee ($180,793)Liability Insurance ($70,000) to come from Debt Service Fund Balance-$2,566,258 General fund Balance - $1,000,000 Hospital Fund - $2,500,000 and School Fund Balance -$ $3,700,000 to be used for renovation of Jefferson County High School only and for the issuance of general obligation bonds at the recommendation of Finance Director for the County ( bonds would be paid back by the above sources ). 2nd Carmichael Motion Failed 10-9 with Mills, Baxley, Tabor, Cureton, Turner, Griffith, Solomon, Estes, Beeler and Sheets voting No.

A Motion to Postpone the Vote until March also failed 12-7.

Public Service Committee Chairman Tucker informed the Commission that funding of three additional substations for Fire Departments, along with the substation that Dandridge Fire Department has already established, would result in a good ISO rating for all County residents. The Committee brought a recommendation to fund the total of 4 substations at $25,000 per substation, allowing those that are not yet constructed to accumulate funds for building. Commissioner Beeler made a motion to withhold funding until buildings are established. 2nd Turner.

Commissioner Cureton made a motion to refer to the Budget Committee. 2nd Turner and Passed.

Facilities Committee Chairman Tabor stated that the Committee is looking into a long range plan for the County. He stated that the new schools and E-911 are all on budget, however behind schedule due to rain.

Upon a Motion from Scarlett and 2nd from Turner, the Commission voted to accept County roads. (Tabor-No)

The Commission Calendar, upon motion from Tucker and 2nd Barreiro, will be postponed for vote until the March Meeting. Upon a Motion from Solomon and 2nd Sheets the Commission voted to leave the March meeting dates at 3/12 and 3/19.

The Commission unanimously Passed a Motion to approve Resolution 2012-02 requiring the State of Tennessee to be medically and financially responsible for mental health inpatient and outpatients mental evaluations and treatment for individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses only.

Commissioner Griffith presented a Resolution to oppose legislation that would amend Title 8 Chapter 44 to subject governing bodies to the same Open Meetings Act that the General Assembly is subject to. 2nd Turner - Passed ( Barreiro, Blevins No)

In Other Action, the Commission voted unanimously to leave the hospital oversight board in place.  The Meeting was Adjourned.


Senator Faulk to Hold Town Hall Meeting in Jefferson County

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett to speak about new voter ID law

State Senator Mike Faulk (R-Church Hill) announced last week that he will be holding a Town Hall Meeting in order to meet with local citizens and hear their concerns regarding issues before the State Legislature. The event will feature Tennessee’s Secretary of State Tre Hargett, who will speak to citizens about the new voter identification law. 

The meeting is set for Saturday, February 11, 2012, from 3:00 pm EST to 4:00 pm at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge. 

"The General Assembly is facing decisions that affect all of us on many important issues like our state budget, jobs, education, and our court system," said Senator Faulk. "I want to be open and available to hear from area citizens about these and other important issues before us, as well as offer any assistance to area citizens with state government agencies. I am looking forward to this event and hope that we have a large turnout.”

The Secretary of State is one of three Constitutional Officers elected by the General Assembly, in joint session. His duties include oversight of nearly 400 employees regarding a wide range of services. He also serves on 15 boards and commissions, and as the presiding member of the Tennessee Local Development Authority and the Public Records Commission. 

The voter identification law was passed in 2011 which requires voters to present valid photo identification when at the polls to make certain that those voting are both legal residents and are the person registered to vote. The bill is designed to reduce voter fraud and provides exemptions for those voting absentee, overseas, in nursing homes and for the infirmed and indigent, who may not be able to obtain proper identification. 

SOPA - PIPA Shelved

By: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

On Friday, January 20, 2012, the controversial bills SOPA and PIPA have been shelved indefinitely. Both of these bills were intended to help stop online piracy and protect intellectual property. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) focuses primarily on copyrighted content being displayed across the internet without direct consent from the creators. The most obvious violation here is piracy: the illegal downloading or sharing of private information or products. PIPA/PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) focuses more on rogue websites that would promote piracy or display pirated content. The bills have caused much controversy, mostly stemming from the vague wording concerning the limitations of the bill. A popular fear of these bills is that any site that contains user-created content would be shut down or fined. Many of these sites are quite popular, the most prominent example being YouTube. Often, users on these sites will use songs as background music for a video or they will upload a video of them performing a popular song with their own personal twists. Videos of this nature would put the creators at risk of committing a federal offense. On January 18, 2012, thousands of websites lead a blackout of their services in protest to the bills. One of the most successful protestors, Google did not fully shut down its services, but the site did receive over 7 million signatures on its petition. Although protestors have adamantly opposed the bills, there is uniform agreement that something does need to be done about the billions of dollars that are lost every year from internet piracy. As a result of these protests, SOPA and PIPA have been shelved until better, more effective alternatives can be found. At the time of this writing, there are no details on alternative solutions.

Arrest Made in Tennessee State Bank Robbery - Jefferson City

Internet, Print and Billboards were used to expose video captured images of Curtis

Staff Photo

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that they have made an arrest in the January 4, 2012 robbery of Tennessee State Bank in Jefferson City. William Steven Curtis, age 40, of Knoxville was arrested in the early morning hours of Friday, January 20, 2012. Members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, as well as the Knoxville City Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff’s Department came together to make the arrest. Curtis, who has been dubbed the “Ball Cap Bandit”, is charged with Federal bank robbery charges for a August robbery of a Home Federal Bank in Pigeon Forge and a November robbery of the TN Bank of Oak Ridge, in Oak Ridge, TN, as well as the Jefferson City incident. Curtis is considered a serial bank robber and his arrest is not only a collaborative effort of all involved city and county police agencies, as well as the FBI, it also represents the use of several different venues to reach the public with information for identification. Internet, Print and Billboards were used to expose video captured images of Curtis to the public, which was useful in his eventual location and arrest. According to Jefferson City Police, no weapon was used in the January robbery and neither the local police, nor the FBI, have confirmed the amount of money that was taken during the incident. It is unclear if Curtis is the suspect in any other robberies in the area and the FBI is releasing very few details about the individual crimes.

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January 23, 2012 Go To Page

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