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Out-of-order resolution cutting Hawkins Commission fails to get to floor

Jeff Bobo • May 22, 2018 at 8:45 PM

ROGERSVILLE — An out-of-order resolution that would have cut the Hawkins County Commission membership from 21 to 14 as of Sept. 1 failed to make it to the floor at the end of Monday's commission meeting as a loud "No" followed the motion to add it to the agenda.

An out-of-order resolution, which is a resolution that was submitted too late to be added to the County Commission's monthly agenda, must be approved unanimously by the full commission to be added to the agenda.

When the resolution's co-sponsor, Mike Herrell, made a motion to that effect at the end of Monday's meeting, Commission Dwight Carter responded with a loud "No" before Herrell's motion could even be seconded.

This is an election year, with all 21 county commissioners coming up for re-election in the May 1 county primary and Aug. 2 county general election.

Last month, the County Commission approved Herrell's resolution to decrease the size of the commission from 21 to 14 when the election cycle comes around again in 2022.

Herrell told the Times News last week he would have made the reduction effective in 2018 in last month’s resolution, but he was led to believe it was too late when he submitted the resolution in early April.

What he didn't realize until later was that although he had submitted the resolution too late to impact the primary ballot, he could still reduce the number of commissioners who can be voted for on the general election ballot as long as he met the 45-day pre-election deadline of June 18 to mail out military and overseas ballots.

The idea was to reduce the number of commissioners voters could vote for in each of the seven districts from three to two.

With the resolution failing to make it to the floor Monday, the earliest it can now be considered for a vote would be for the June 25 County Commission meeting, but by then it will be too late.

The Jack H. Goins Building

On Monday, the commission also approved a resolution naming the county archive building on McKinney Avenue in Rogersville The Jack H. Goins Building after county archivist and program founder Jack Goins. Goins was appointed county genealogist in 2004, and in 2005 he organized a group of volunteers known as the Friends of Hawkins County Archive project. Since then, Goins and the group have volunteered untold hours organizing and preserving county records.

Goins told the commission prior to its vote Monday, "I'd like to thank the Records Commission for nominating me for this award. It was made possible really by all of my volunteers. Without them I wouldn't be standing here."

Public Safety funding

The commission voted 17-1 to approve a resolution establishing the contribution agencies that will be paid from a $10 wheel tax public safety reserve to include all volunteer fire departments, both rescue squads, Emergency Response Team, EMS, American Red Cross and the humane society. Commissioner Dwight Carter voted no.

Telecommunications tax revenue

The commission voted 17-1 to approve a resolution appropriating the full amount of revenue received from the state telecommunications tax to the county general fund. The commission had previously allocated $4,500 from its share of the telecommunications tax to the Board of Education. Commissioner Darrell Gilliam voted no.

The next 2018-19 budget workshop rescheduled

Budget Committee Chairman Stacy Vaughan told the commission he rescheduled the next budget hearing from May 31 to June 18, which is the date of the regular monthly budget meeting. The second draft of the proposed 2018-19 county budget will be presented that day at 8:30 a.m. The regular monthly Budget Committee meeting begins at 1:30 p.m., followed by the joint meeting with the Board of Education at which time the BOE will present its 2018-19 budget.

In God We Trust

The commission voted 18-0 to approve a resolution displaying the motto "In God we Trust" on all marked new Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office vehicles. The resolution was sponsored by Commissioner Charlie Newton.

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