Commission Addresses Government By Committees

Cannon County Government has a host of committees to address a variety of matters, from the budget to law enforcement to the library system.

However, most of those committees rarely, if ever, hold meetings.

The Cannon County Commission addressed that issue during its monthly meeting Tuesday night at the Cannon County Courthouse.

“I’ve been on the Public Works Committee for five years and we have never, ever, met,” Fifth District Commissioner and Commission Chairman Bob Stoetzel said. “We have too many committees, too many people on some of them, and most of them can’t get anything done.”

Chairman Stoetzel said all members of the various committees needed to be contacted to gauge each individual's interest level of serving on them.

"I believe it will benefit the county as well as us (commissioners) to use these selected citizens who are on the different committees. I propose we gather our committees and meet with them to give instructions on how we want the county’s business operated. 

“Give these members the responsibility to change what needs to be changed and then bring that proposition before the board members.

"Ideas will come from the members in this meeting I am sure. Take these ideas and put them in use. Budget committees shouldn’t meet just when there is a budget meeting. Solid waste is a daily problem for us and our budget with new laws concerning tire disposal and the cost of taking our garbage to the same facility as others and pay more for our disposal than the others pay.

"Law enforcement committee, public works, industrial board, ambulance service committee meetings should be held every month to check with the private collection company, and private medical providers to make sure they are doing what is best for us," Stoetzel concluded.

First District Commissioner Mark Barker said that since the commissioners just assigned the committees for the current year last month, the commission should wait before making any decision of cutting committees and people from the various committees.”

Stoetzel said he would send a letter to people currently serving on county committees asking them to state whether or not they wish to continue to serve, and will also utilize local media outlets to let people know that the commission is looking for citizens who might be interested in serving on a particular committee.

Another item of business the commission acted on Tuesday night was the establishment of another committee. This committee will study the county’s solid waste operations.

Thea Prince, who was reappointed to the Central Tennessee Planning Region Board at Tursday’s meeting, was named Chairman of the Solid Waste Committee. Neal Appelbaum and commissioners Kevin George and Todd Hollandsworth will also serve. A fifth person will soon be added.

The committee will analyze current solid waste operations for the following issues:

• Contain or reduce, if possible, the operating costs of the Cannon County Solid Waste operation.

• Look into ways to increase the amount of recycled materials.

• Review the Cannon County Solid Waste operation to see if it is in compliance with state laws.

• Prepare a report on the committee’s findings and recommendations on these matters and report back to the full commission by its March 2012 meeting.