Commissioner Tom Hatmaker stood up for the citizen's wanting to speak to the commission during the workshop in spite of the fact that Mayor William Baird said they did not follow proper procedures to speak. Commissioners Beverly Hall, Sue Nance, and Hatmaker sacrificed their personal time so that the citizens could be heard.”][/caption]
The workshop began by addressing citizens concerns. Citizens who signed the book were allotted five minutes to address their concerns. The first to speak was Liam Goins. He requested an update on Valley View Roads due to the recent accident involving a child. Mayor William Baird assured Goins that the issue was being dealt with.
The second concerned citizen was Jim Slasher. He addressed issues that have arisen with the new Justice Center. His concerns involve the percentage of space that will house inmates. He said that of the 45,000 square feet of the new building, only 20,000 would be for inmates. There will be an additional 150 beds added, but his concerns are that this is still inadequate. He says, “Campbell County Justice Center as presently designed is going to be known for more than what it doesn’t do instead of what it does do.”
The next citizen to speak was Robert Henson. After a lively debate concerning his time limit, he began to readdress the issue of the County Powers Act. He asked the commission if the members had read and understood the document. The majority agreed that they had read it and understood it. He began questioning whether the board members understood the vocabulary of the document. Commissioner Ayers spoke on the issue, saying that she spoke with County Attorney Joseph Coker on the issue and he explained several of the parts that she wasn’t clear on. Her main reason for supporting the Act is that it will give the commission the ability to limit the amount of campaign signs that can be posted in the county. This has been a major issue, and the County Powers Act is the only way to regulate this. Several audience members asked why the citizens of Campbell County weren’t informed about this Act. In response, Commissioner Ayers said that the workshops are open to the public, and citizens are encouraged to attend. These meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at 6:00 P.M. Henson was given extra time from another citizen who had signed up to speak, and exceeded both.
Several citizens were unaware that they were required to sign up to speak during the meeting. Mayor Baird ignored Tom Hatmaker’s statement that there were more citizens who didn’t know they had to sign the book, as well as several audience members statements that they were unaware they had to sign the book and when asked again Mayor Baird told them, “It sits right up here every meeting.” Commissioner Hatmaker interjected and said these audience members may not have been aware of the policies of the commission. Mayor Baird responded by saying, “You can come next Monday night to the commission meeting and speak to the commission. An audience member asked if they could just sign the book now, and Mayor Baird replied, “You can sign it now for next Monday after we get through.” However, Commissioners Tom Hatmaker, Sue Nance, and Beverly Hall kindly volunteered to give up their own personal speaking time to allow these citizens to speak.
Commissioner Alvin Evans requested to put the County Powers Act back on the agenda for a revote, since several of the commissioners seem to be more informed on the issue than they were at the time of the first vote. Beverly Hall, and Tom Hatmaker are also in favor of a revote.
Beverly Hall gave up her five minutes to Citizen Billy Minser who is a member of the Board of Friends of Norris Dam State Park. He proposed that the continually addressed issue of building a lighthouse hotel, restaurant, and convention center permanently to rest.
Commissioner Steve Rutherford proposed that we get new dumpsters for Campbell County Schools. He pointed out that they are continually getting write-ups from Health Inspectors. The commission was concerned with budget issues, and pointed out that the county was facing one of the most difficult years for budgeting.
The regular meeting of the County Commission is Monday March 21st at 6 PM.