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Dandridge, Tennessee

May 28, 2012 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

MEMORIAL DAY 2012

Remembering The Ultimate Sacrifice

Staff Photo
Budget Committee Mixed Response
Kicks Back DOE Budget Proposal for Extensive Cuts
 

The Jefferson County Budget Committee met on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Chairman of the Committee Scarlett.  Commissioner Blevins sat in for Committee member Barreiro.  The Committee elected to take up the approval of the minutes of the previous meeting at a later meeting.

In Discussion and Action related to Budget Amendments, Committee member Tucker made a Motion to Approve all amendments that were non fund balance impacting as a group. 2nd Turner. The Motion was amended by Committee member Mills to remove a request from the County Mayor to approve a $2,500 line item transfer for the purpose of paying a part time person to assist with data entry in the County Mayor’s Office. 2nd Beeler. The amendment Passed 7-3. Tucker’s motion as amended Passed. A motion to approve the line item transfer of $2,500 for part time data entry help for the County Mayor’s office failed 7-3 (Scarlett, Blevins, Tucker-Yes). Upon Motions from Tucker and Estes and 2nds from Turner two additional amendments passed. Upon Motions from Solomon and 2nd Estes a line item transfer from the workhouse to the jail was Approved. With a Motion from Estes and 2nd Turner a positive budget amendment was Approved to recognize revenue. Upon Motions from Solomon and Tucker and 2nds from Estes and Solomon the Committee Approved amendments from the highway department and the landfill, respectively.

Under the School Systems Budget Amendment requests the Committee Approved, upon a Motion from Solomon and a2nd from Turner, the Federal Budget Amendments. Committee member Estes made a Motion to Approve the Schools non fund balance impacting General Purpose Amendments as a whole. 2nd Turner –Passed Unanimously.

Director of Finance Helton stated that the County will receive money from interest on school bonds that will total around $513,000 annually. He stated that the money could be used to pay on the E-911 combination center project. Estes made a Motion to appropriate $513,000 from the General Fund to pay on the E-911 combination center and to authorize Helton to prepare the documents associated with that funding. The $513,000 will be funded by annually returned interest from bonds and will pay on the E-911 building project (Capitol Outlay Note) and will become a part of next year’s budget. 2nd Turner-Passed Unanimously.

Budget Review 2012-2013

Upon a Motion from Committee member Beeler and 2nd from Tucker the Committee Approved the Workhouse and Jail maintenance budget.  They also Approved, with a Motion from Estes and 2nd Turner, the Dry Fund budget and with a Motion from Tucker and 2nd Estes the Debt Service Budget was Approved.

Jefferson County Finance Director Helton stated that there was a total request from County Courthouse and Jail repairs for $544,169 and that an amount of $456,359 had been collected from Litigation Tax Reserve and Litigation Tax Collection and could only be used on repairs to the Courthouse. Jefferson County Director of Facilities and Maintenance Longmire prioritized his list of requests from 1-6 which included workhouse bathroom replacements of showers, toilets and lavatories, workhouse roof, workhouse kitchen floor repair, Justice Center Carpet and tile, replacement of existing lights, and software (original request was made for 90 user license – MS Office 2010 for Justice Center by County Technology Department). Committee Member Tabor stated that he would like to include the audio system in the Historic Courtroom in the funding. The audio had been laid on the table at the last meeting and Tabor made a Motion to pick it up from the table. 2nd Turner –Failed. Tucker made a Motion to Approve funding on items 1-6 (listed above) to be funded by the Litigation funds. Motion died for lack of 2nd. Tucker made a Motion to Approve the list with the removal of the software and fund at the amount of $410,000 to come from Litigation funds. 2nd Estes –Passed ( Tabor No). Other County Capitol Projects requests that were Approved 7-3 (Turner, Beeler, Mills No) were Chestnut Hill EMS roof, Material only for landfill/sanitation recycle, Lawn Mower for the Justice Center, School Central Office Boiler Room upgrades, landscaping upgrades at 5 locations. Commissioner Blevins made the Motion to fund the items A-E (listed above) at the cost of $62,100. 2nd Tucker. Committee member Turner made an amendment to remove the landscaping from the funding. 2nd Estes the amendment Failed 5-5. Blevins Motion Passed.

Committee Member Tucker made a Motion to Approve a Front End Loader for the Landfill @ $220,000. 2nd Blevins- Passed 6-3-1 (Turner, Mills, Tabor No) (Beeler Abstained)

Upon a Motion from Estes and 2nd from Solomon the Committee Approved funding a small paver ($140,000) out of Highway Department Fund Balance, to be handled in such a way as to not impact the five year average.

The Committee heard a request from the Department of Education for roofing repairs to be funded from the Capitol Projects Budget in the amount of $1,140,000.  The request included $185,000 for Rush Strong School, $180,000 for Jefferson Middle School, $210,000 for Talbott Elementary School and $565,000 for Jefferson County High School Building 8 tear off and replacement. Director of Capitol Projects for the Department of Education Phagan stated that JCHS Building 8 has the worst roof in the County. The other three schools listed are currently receiving band aid maintenance on the roofs. Upon a Motion from Estes and a 2nd from Tabor the Committee Approved funding in the amount of $575,000 for partial funding of the requests. The vote was 6-4 with Tucker, Kesterson, Scarlett and Blevins voting No.

Director of Schools Edmonds presented the Department of Education budget which included a deficit of $2,655,149. Helton said that increases came in the form of health insurance, retirement contributions and a mandated raise. He stated that the sales tax increase is a conservative estimate. Queries from the Committee included clarification on fringe benefits line item, which Edmonds will research and address, and the payback for the Trane program, which is not yet defined. Estes stated that the Department of Education could look at employee contribution to health insurance as an avenue of cutting expense. Committee member Beeler stated that cutting personnel was a viable option because it is the majority of the budget (85%). He said that the Department of Education should consider moving away from block scheduling to reduce the teaching staff at Jefferson County High School.

Upon a Motion from Committee member Beeler and 2nd from Blevins the Committee unanimously Approved sending the Department of Education budget back to the School Board for cuts to the current proposal.  The Meeting was Adjourned.


MEMORIAL DAY

 

The last Monday in May has been designated as Memorial Day and the Country celebrates the sacrifices of the men and women who died in battle to uphold the values of the Nation. Memorial Day originated in the South and was born as a means of remembering fallen Confederate soldiers. Prior to 1865, Southern women had honored the Confederate soldiers lost in the Civil War by decorating their graves. On May 1, 1865, Freedmen, who were former slaves, held a ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina to honor the lives of Union soldiers who were held and died as prisoners of war at a Charleston prison camp. News of the ceremony to honor these soldiers traveled to New York and it was covered in the New York newspaper. The idea of a unified date to celebrated and honor soldiers lost in the War Between the States caught on and Decoration Day, as it was originally called, became a holiday. It grew in popularity after World War II and took on a rejuvenated meaning for the Country as men and women remembered those lost in the war. For several years, the holiday was celebrated on May 30, however, in the late 1960’s the name was officially changed to Memorial Day and the date, in accordance with the Uniform Holiday Act, was moved to the last Monday in May. Memorial Day has become the unofficial start to Summer and marks everything from an acceptable date to begin  wearing white to the kick off of recreational boating season. Grave decoration is still a large part of the holiday, as Americans remember the past and recent sacrifices that have been made. On Memorial Day, the American Flag will be quickly raised to Full Staff and then slowly lowered to Half Staff, to signify and honor those lost in defense of their Country. The Flag will remain at Half Staff until noon, when it will be raised to Full Staff to denote the Nation’s commitment to the value of freedom.

 

PSA Prostate Cancer Testing

USPSTF pushing to ban test
By Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer
 

On May 21, 2012, an online report was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine stated that the PSA-based testing for prostate cancer was unnecessary and harmful for many men. The report was made by the US Preventive Services Task Force, a group of primary care physicians and epidemiologists appointed and funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The report has raised dissent from several groups, including the American Urological Association (ARA). The USPSTF wishes to classify the PSA testing as a rank D test, meaning that no doctor should submit a patient to the testing. In response, the ARA requested that the tests be classified as rank C, which means that doctors will not choose to give the test. Instead, patients can request the PSA-based procedures. At the time of this writing, the USPSTF has declined the recommendation, and is still pushing to ban the tests completely, saying that the detrimental side effects far outweigh the benefits a small group of people receive. Almost 90% of all men who detect their prostate cancer with these tests undergo early treatment, with five out of every thousand men dying within a month of their surgery. Between ten and seventy men will live with urinary inconsistence, erectile, and bowel dysfunction. Many countries have replicated the trial used by the USPSTF, with only one country finding a reduction of deaths using PSA-testing: one in every thousand men. The other trials have not shown a verifiable difference in fatalities. No official action as to the availability or legality of the PSA-based prostate cancer tests has been confirmed.


What Can You Say?  It's Hot

Apparently, Blackberry Winter has given way to the dog days of Summer and it is still officially Spring for another few weeks. As every Jefferson County resident knows, temperatures in the 90s in May could foreshadow a hot and humid July and August. This weekend locals looked for a way to beat the heat. Perhaps the easiest way to endure the recent heat wave is to check out the extended forecast because, in typical East Tennessee fashion, the temperatures are expected to take an almost 20 degree dip by late this week, leaving locals straddling the jump from Spring to Summer. Unfortunately, those hot humid days will surely return and by late July locals will be dreaming of an early Fall!


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