Jefferson County Fair Aug 2-11

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Dandridge, Tennessee

July 16, 2012 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

BUDGET COMMITTEE STALEMATE BROKEN

COUNTY BUDGET WILL MOVE TO THE COUNTY COMMISSION FOR APPROVAL

Staff Photo / Storm over Jefferson County - Saturday, July 14, 2012

Budget Committee called meeting  The Jefferson County Budget Committee met in a Called Meeting on Monday, July 9, 2012 in the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Committee Chairman Scarlett. Sitting in for Committee Members Turner, Tucker, Barreiro and Tabor were Commissioners Cureton, Dockery, Blevins and Baxley respectively.  The purpose of the Meeting was for discussion and action related to the 2012-2013 County and School Budgets, including setting the property tax rate and discussion and action on other budget matters.

Director of Jefferson County Finance Helton stated that he had moved 2 pennies from the County General Fund into the Debt Service Fund for a total of $235,000. Upon a Motion from Estes and 2nd from Beeler the Committee Approved the Debt Service Budget as presented (including the addition of 2 pennies for a total of 25 cents).

Committee Member Beeler made a Motion to Approve the County Tax Levy and Operating Budget, which included the School System Budget for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year. 2nd Baxley- Motion Failed in a tie vote with Solomon, Kesterson, Blevins, Dockery and Scarlett voting No.

Chairman Scarlett stated that his concern was that the proposed cuts from the Department of Education did not represent a full year’s budget, as was mandated by the State. The cuts proposed were from areas of transportation and gasoline and did not represent a full year of transportation costs. Helton stated that clear numbers on the roll over amount into the fund balance will be available in mid August. Committee Member Estes stated that money rolls into fund balance from the Schools every year and its origin has not been identified. He stated that he is concerned that over budgeting is consistently occurring, however, it will take time to investigate the issue and the proposed cuts are a short term fix to the budgeting issues. Committee member Kesterson stated that the cuts were disingenuous because they would require the Department of Education to be able to tap into their fund balance to continue with transportation. Committee Member Mills stated that after numbers for the roll over amount are provided by the Finance Department in August, the Department of Education and the School Board can begin to locate the areas of overages and that they should be able to adjust line items to cover some of the transportation shortages. Committee Member Beeler stated that the current proposal would not require a tax increase. Committee Member Solomon stated that he was uncomfortable with the proposal. After several failed attempts by Committee Chairman Scarlett to get a Motion to the floor, Committee Member Mills made a Motion to recess until after the Work Session and Meeting of the Full Commission Body. 2nd Cureton-Passed.

The Committee reconvened at approximately 7:50 pm.

Committee Member Solomon stated that he disagreed with the proposal presented by the School Board but he would make a Motion to accept the County Operating Budget, including the School System Budget and Tax Levy ($2.05), to move it on to the Full Commission Body for a vote. 2nd Beeler-Passed 6-4 with Kesterson, Blevins, Dockery and Scarlett voting No.  The Meeting was Adjourned.


Fire Substation Funding Passes Public Service Committee

 
Staff Photo

The Jefferson County Public Service Committee held a Called Meeting on Monday, July 9, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Acting Chairman Carmichael. Absent from Roll Call were Chairman Tucker and Vice Chairman Tabor.

The purpose of the Committee meeting was for discussion and action on a proposed Resolution to Provide for the Funding of Fire Substations in Jefferson County. The issue was passed from the Full Commission to the Public Service Committee for recommendation of funding parameters. The Public Service Committee previously brought a funding recommendation before the Full Commission, which failed to pass. The Committee readdressed the issues to include benchmarks necessary to achieve and maintain Substation funding levels.

Upon a Motion from Committee Member Dockery and 2nd from Committee Member Patterson, the Committee unanimously Approved the recommendation of the Resolution for Funding as Written to be passed to the Full Commission.

Any further business was rolled to the next meeting time.  The Meeting was Adjourned.


2 Open Seats On County Commission

 

The Regular Quarterly Work Session of the Jefferson County Commission was held on Monday, July 9, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Commission Chairman Mills. Absent from Roll Call were Commissioners Tabor, Turner, Griffith, Tucker and Barreiro.

One citizen addressed the Commission regarding the need for a Fire Department Substation in Swannsylvania.

The Commission received written reports from various Department Heads, including Jefferson County Circuit and Sessions Court Clerk Penny Murphy, who distributed the Fiscal and Calendar Collections Department Report.

Under Reports of Committees, the Finance Committee had no recommendations for the Full Commission. Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett stated that the Committee would bring a recommendation for approval of a Capitol Request Policy, Request and Guidelines for Jefferson County. Public Service Committee Acting Chair (in for Tucker) Carmichael stated that the Committee would bring a recommendation for Fire Department Substation Funding.

Commissioner Dockery distributed information regarding ISO ratings.

Chairman Mills stated that, in addition to a seat on the Commission that is open due to the resignation of Hubbard, another seat is open due to the recent death of Commissioner Musick of White Pine. Chairman Mills stated that any placement will require a seven day public notice. Commissioner Beeler endorsed a candidate for Hubbard’s seat and stated that, though the Commission had received letters from a potential candidate, it did not ensure that the candidate’s name would be brought before the Commission for a vote. Commissioner Dockery informed the Commission that he would also be bringing a candidate before the Commission for consideration.  The Meeting was Adjourned.

 

The Jefferson County Fair Coming August 2 - 11

Secretary Hargett Invites Tennesseans to Vote Early
 

Beginning last Friday, July 13, registered voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots for the August 2 state primary and county general elections. Early voting continues through July 28. Secretary of State Tre Hargett is encouraging voters to take advantage of early voting if they wish.

“The flexibility of early voting gives Tennesseans one less reason not to exercise their right to vote,” said Secretary Hargett. “Early voting has proven to be quite popular, and I am hopeful that voters will continue to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Voters should remember that whether they vote early or on election day, valid state or federal photo identification is now required when voting in person.

Examples of acceptable forms of ID, whether current or expired, include driver licenses, U.S. passports, Department of Safety photo ID cards, U.S. military photo IDs and other state or federal government photo ID cards. College student IDs are not acceptable.

Individuals with questions about early voting or the new law should visit www.GoVoteTN.com or call the Division of Elections toll-free 1-877-850-4959.

Tennessee’s 95 counties conduct early voting at their local election commission offices. Some counties also offer early voting at satellite locations. For early voting locations, hours and sample ballots, voters may contact their local election office.

 

Syrian Official Defects

 
By Jake Depew

On Sunday, July 15, 2012, Syrian diplomat and defector Nawaf al-Fares called for international military intervention in the Syrian crisis. Fares then went on to claim that the Damascus regime had collaborated with al-Qaeda militants against opponents in both Syria and Iraq. Fares is the most senior diplomat to defect from the Syrian regime, and served as an ambassador in Baghdad. Fares stated that the killing that took place during the last year eliminated any hope of reform. He stated that due to the nature of the regime, that he, himself, once served, foreign military intervention was a necessity. Upon announcing his defection, Fares laid the blame for the regime’s actions entirely on the country’s president, Bashir al-Assad. Syrian opposition movements have praised the removal of such an influential member of the Syrian regime, although they are hesitant to accept Fares into the opposition. Fares went on to prove sincerity by revealing that a U.S. border raid, which was targeting Abu Ghadiya, a major facilitator of al-Qaeda forces in Iraq, did strike a prominent al-Qaeda training camp. Previously, the Syrian government claimed the raid was simply the killing of eight civilians. At the time of this writing, no further news of the international reaction to Fares’ call to arms is known.

 


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