Cannon County Commission Meets, Does Nothing

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

The Cannon County Commission gathered at the courthouse for its regular quarterly meeting Saturday morning at 10.

A prayer was given by Rev. Demetrious Nelson from Auburn Hills Church of Christ. Christine Barrett, USAF retired, led a prayer.

County Court Clerk Bobby Smith called the roll. All 10 commission members were present.

A courtroom filled with citizens was in attendance, anxious to see what would transpire or to address certain issues of interest to them.

And that’s about it, folks.

Before Commission Chairman Bob Stoetzel could proceed with the agenda, Commissioner Clint Higgins made a motion to hold all the items on the agenda until the commission’s May meeting.

Commissioner Tony Neal seconded Higgins' motion.

Higgins stated the reason he wanted to put off the agenda was because he had not had adequate time to review the information sent out by Chairman Stoetzel regarding the topics to be discussed and voted on at the meeting.

Reading from the Tennessee County Government Handbook, Higgins said he should have received the information a minimum of five days prior to the meeting, which would have been Tuesday.

“It did not get it until last night (Friday) in the mail,” Higgins said.

Neal said he still had not received the information as of Saturday’s meeting.

A vote was held on Higgins’ motion. He, Neal and commissioners Kevin Mooneyham, Kevin George, Jimmy Mingle and Todd Hollandsworth voted in favor. Commissioners Mark Barker, Russell Reed, Jim Bush and Stoetzel voted against, and the motion to table the agenda until May’s meeting passed 6-4.

Saturday’s meeting then adjourned. Commissioners receive $50 for attending a quarterly meeting, which means taxpayers spent at least $500 for Saturday's meeting and received nothing in return.

Chairman Stoetzel expressed disappointment in the delay.

“We had a lot of business to take care of and some of it is time-sensitive,” Stoetzel said.

However, Stoetzel said he understood the reason Higgins and Neal proposed the motion and said he would do a better of getting the information out to commissioners in a more timely fashion in the future.

“There have been many meetings I have come to where I didn’t get information about what we were going to be discussing until just before the meeting started. I have felt there have been times when I didn’t have enough time to study things, so I have no problem with them doing what they did.”

Stoetzel also said he may look at calling a special meeting to address some issues between now and May’s monthly meeting of the commission. The May meeting is scheduled for the 8th – a little over three weeks from now.

One key issue commissioners must soon determine is whether or not to place a referendum on the ballot for the County General Electionin August to increase the local option sales and use tax. According to state law once a commission decides to call for a referendum on an increase, an election must be held within 90 days, Stoetzel said.


District 5 Commissioner Kevin Mooneyham notified The Cannon Courier late this afternoon that he will give his $50 stipend for Saturday's meeting back to the county, and will encourage his fellow commissioners to do likewise. Commissioner Mooneyham also said he and Commissioner Mingle did not receive their meeting packet until Friday.