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Local News

Unnamed Sullivan official challenges makeup of Budget Committee

April 25th, 2012 3:32 am by J. H. Osborne

BLOUNTVILLE — An unnamed elected official is challenging the legitimacy of the Sullivan County Commission’s Budget Committee, and County Attorney Dan Street is urging county officials to take the matter seriously.

The Budget Committee has eight members. All are county commissioners — appointed by County Mayor Steve Godsey and approved by the full Sullivan County Commission. The committee’s members elect a chairman from their ranks. For many years that has been Commissioner Eddie Williams.

State law governing the county’s budget process, however, dictates a five-member budget committee, including the mayor or his designee, and the mayor or his designee are the only choice for chairman. And the law opens membership, for the other four members, to include non-commissioners.

Sullivan County’s longtime practice has been the eight-member, all-commissioner makeup currently in place.

It has been questioned before. Supporters of it, however, say: Eight members allows for the county’s 24 commissioners to be equally split among the commission’s three primary committees; and they believe the law calls for five members, and Sullivan County’s Budget Committee has five members — plus three.

Read the expanded version of this report in the print or enhanced electronic editions of the Times-News.

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