District 2 town hall held at Midway Elementary School

Published 11:57 am Monday, October 14, 2019

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Another District 2 town hall meeting was held at Midway Elementary Oct. 8, and there were around 20 in attendance.

First on the list was a quick recap of the last meeting and residents spoke about the road repairs that have been done and roads that need a further look.

The next thing discussed was the grants; mostly dealing with water lines in areas such as Leatherwood Hollow but also mentioned seeking grants for improved internet service in places of the county such as Clarified.

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Moving on, charter commissioners spoke about the charter as well did Claiborne County Mayor Joe Brooks. Brooks spoke about the access to the charter by simply going to the Claiborne County Election Commission website (claibornevotes.com) and looking for the icon or tab, Home Rule Charter. Residents can go to the county clerk for a printed copy according to charter commissioners.

Brooks said, “Just go to that site and look for the charter header. You can’t miss it.”

Juanita Honeycutt also spoke of the charter, “We have to let people know about the charter and tell them to go to the site to read about it. It’s important to be involved as it will be on the ballot in 2020.” Her advice was to get on the site and print it off. “It’s a lengthy document 80 pages or so, she added.”

The charter commissioners spoke about different things that can be done under the charter as opposed to the current type of government where citizens don’t really have a direct feedback in making changes. Changes can be made via a 50-percent plus one vote under the proposed charter.

Salaries of elected officials were discussed in relation to the charter and how salaries could be increased or decreased by the people and the power of their vote but noted there were some that were set by state regulations. Also discussed was the collection of citizen-owned vehicles on private property and the process that voters would have in voting for or against an ordinance to regulate that situation.

Overall, the charter is amendable through commissioners or individual citizens if not working as advertised and can also be voted out altogether if needed. “It’s relying totally on the voting population. They must show up at the polls,” said Honeycutt. Mayor Brooks agreed that people should vote.

It was fully recommended that citizens read the charter to be able to ask the important questions at the many town halls now being held in each district before it goes on the ballot.

Dan Spurlock spoke of Stand in the Gap Coalition and their focus on prevention. He spoke of a formalized education plan the coalition would like to introduce into the Claiborne County School System. “If they knew how we could educate the students in the schools, everyone would appreciate the program.”

Spurlock also invited everyone out to the Freedom From Addiction Rally Nov. 2 at the Claiborne County Fairgrounds, “There will be a prayer walk starting at noon, music, testimonies and more so bring a bag lunch and join us.”

At the end of the meeting the subject of a crosswalk at needed areas of the county was mentioned to Brooks, and he said this, “It didn’t take me too long calling around to realize that a crosswalk or pedestrian bridge was not going to happen.”

The Tennessee Department of Transportation had contacted the mayor and stated that traffic flow would have to be slowed down so much by adding additional traffic lights that drivers would complain. He indicated there was also a liability issue plus handicap accessibility problems.

The next District 2 town hall meeting will be in January, date not determined as of yet.