CC Notes – February 19th 2013
Monday was President’s Day, so the regular monthly meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. All members were present except Charles Seiber.
Commissioner Robert Safdie, due to health concerns, has resigned his seat on the County Commission. In his letter of resignation, Mr. Safdie stated:
“As a result of health concerns, I feel that I must dedicate my time and energy to focus on improving my health.
As a responsible member of the community and an elected official, this decision does not come easy, but distracted by my health concerns, I am unable to dedicate the weekly hours of hard work required to be the best representative to District 2. As a consequence, I am submitting my resignation from the Board of Commissions, effective January 31st, 2013.
It has been an honor serving Cumberland County in elected positions for over a decade, and I trust everyone will understand that when personal health becomes a distraction, it is time to turn the “reigns” of representation over to someone else.”
I have served with Mr. Safdie on both the Board of Education and the County Commission. He is both a friend and co-worker and will be missed. The Commission voted to officially declare the seat vacated during our meeting. Tuesday, March 5th at 4:00 PM is the preferred deadline for anyone qualified and interested in the seat to submit their names to the County Mayor. All names will be sent to the County Commission for consideration. In the March 18, 2013 regular meeting, the Cumberland County Commission will fill the vacancy. Submissions can also be taken at the meeting. The individual appointed will serve until the next election in August of 2014.
The first item on the agenda was the second reading of a resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign a proposal with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. This proposal is for work to be conducted on Highway 127, North of I-40 out to Legion Road. This was approved with a 16-0 vote.
The next two resolutions dealt with applying for a grant and approval of an agreement with Colinx. The agreements will help Colinx to move forward with building an expansion to their current facilities that will lead to the addition of 65 new jobs in Cumberland County. I fully support both of the resolutions and am thankful for the Colinx presence in Cumberland County, but I did bring up a concern I have. These resolutions also include the City of Crossville as a major partner in the agreements and recent actions left me with questions.
At a recent meeting of the Crossville City Council, Councilman Pete Souza attempted to rescind a vote to partner with the County in funding the much discussed visitor’s center. Thankfully, three Councilmen voted and spoke against the resolution, and the vote to default on the agreement with the County failed 2-3, with City Mayor J.H. Graham siding with Councilman Souza. I was very disturbed that two elected officials would so easily vote to default on an agreement with another governing body, which made me question the status of other current and future agreements. I’d like to thank City Clerk Sally Oglesby for being at the meeting and assuring the Commission that the City would stand by the agreement. She has worked diligently on this project, as have many others, to make it a success. In the end, the vote was unanimous to proceed with the agreements while allowing the County Attorney to work up a contract between the entities.
A resolution to amend the Interlocal Agreement creating a Joint Economic Development Board in Cumberland County was approved. The only change to the agreement was in the number of times the Executive Board meets per year, reducing the requirement from eight to four as per TCA. A resolution to approve mechanical inspections of residential home construction was deferred until the Environmental Services Committee could meet and discuss the requirements.
Several budget amendments were approved including:
- $1,237.00 – Acceptance of donations to the Cumberland County Animal Shelter
- $1,328.00 – Acceptance of a grant for the Art Circle Public Library
- $5,788.00 – The pass through of funds generated by the Art Circle Public Library
- $10,000.00 – Acceptance of a donation towards the construction of the visitor’s center
Randall Killman, a Field Operations Program Specialist with the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) gave a presentation detailing the services provided to residents of Cumberland County by the agency. I have made a request for an electronic copy of the presentation and will upload it to the ‘Documents of Interest’ page on my website upon receipt.
Nathan Brock, Finance Director, reported on the current fiscal position of Cumberland County. Currently the local option sales tax, which is a major funding source for our school system, is approximately $49,000 down year to date. The important holiday figures will be in next month and will give a better picture of where we may end up at fiscal year-end. Property taxes are at 56.2 percent which is down slightly over the 58 percent reported last year at this time. The Hotel/Motel tax collections are at $406,000 of a budgeted $650,000 which is 62.5 percent of budget. If trends continue, the Ambulance Service should meet budget for the year. Prisoner boarding is at 55.8 percent of budget.
Smith Mountain Lawsuit
The Smith Mountain controversy is at last settled. Both sides agreed to an order dismissing the Smith Mountain case and any new applications for that site would be required to go through the entire process via the Jackson Law.
Your feedback is important to me. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. Thank you for allowing me to serve the 4th District and Cumberland County.
Board of Commissioners
4th District Representative