County Commission To Meet Dec. 13
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The Cannon County Commission will meet in regular session on Tuesday, December 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Cannon County Courthouse.

The Budget Committee for Cannon County will meet on  Monday, December 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Courtroom to consider any financial requests.

AGENDA

1. Prayer and Pledge Rev. Hunter Hay, First Baptist Church. Pledge will be led by Colonel Jim Stone.

2. Roll call- Bobby Smith

3. Summary of last meetings minutes. Chair.

4. Approval of last meeting minutes.

5. Committee Reports,

6. Report from Commissioners about any committee members that wish to withdraw.

7. Resolution to eliminate the need for a wheel tax decal.

8. Discuss the allotted time given to any audience member when they approach the commission and are acknowledged.

9. Dale Peterson, attorney for the City of Woodbury.

10. Adopt a Debt Management Policy.

11. Discuss the future of REACH.

12. Budget Amendments REACH - Linda Bedwell, we will hear from the budget committee.

13. Debbie Morris Budget Amendment, we will hear from the budget committee.

14. Ricky Cope of the Cannon County Ambulance wants to address the
Commission, he has already addressed the Budget Committee.

15. Discuss recommendation of Planning Commission about Zoning. Jimmy Mingle.

16. Request from Eastside Fire department for money to buy box van, we will hear from the budget committee.

17. Other business.

18. Discussion or questions from the Audience.

19. Adjournment. 

Bob Stoetzel

Chairman, Cannon County Commission

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Members Opinions:
December 10, 2011 at 6:33am
If people won't get a wheel tax sticker, what makes you think they will put a decal on their vehicle? I was picking up my child Thursday, at school and saw two vehicle's from Coffee County picking up a child without a sticker. It upset me, what is going on about this? I struggle to pay for one, I think everyone else can do the same.
December 10, 2011 at 12:43pm
redbird, this is only an option to look at. If you get your tags in Cannon County you are automatically paying for the wheel tax, whether you get a sticker or not. Clerk Bobby Smith has told me that he fears if we don't have a wheel sticker than the Sheriff will find it harder to inforce the county's sticker law. These are the things we look at. This commission is dedicated to saveing the citizens money by cutting expense so we won't be raising any taxes. In cutting out the sticker we would be saving the clerks expense by $1,500.00 a year. That is all, there are no hidden agendas.
Bob Stoetzel
Chairman, Cannon County Commission
December 10, 2011 at 4:42pm
I am extremely concerned about the reach program. My grandson goes after school. My daughter works in Murfreesboro and has no way to be home in time to pick him up nor the extra money to pay ababysitter. She has 3 kids and reach is a wonderful program for kids in these situations. It helps so much. She pays a discounted rate being a single mom. I hate to think that once again Cannon county is going to Regress instead of progress. What's up here?? Seems like anything to help the citizens and schools and students and the parents that have to deal with these issues, gets swept under the rug. When are the voters of this county going to put some people in office that can run a county?? Just because some good ol' boys have had the office for years don't mean they have to stay in office! OR does it??? Mr. Stoetzel, if you vote against the reach program my vote will not be yours again! Same goes for any others. I am sure that program seems trivial for some, but for several families, it is an only option.
December 11, 2011 at 1:33am
Junebug18, The problem is the county is not supposed to be in the business of an afterschool program such as this, it is not in the statute. The REACH program by law is supposed to be under the Board of Education and it is not. No program outside of what is involved with the local government can be paid out of county funds. The REACH Program operates out of grants and from the money given by students. REACH has gotten money from the county before while they were waiting for their grant money to come in. This is unacceptable and unlawful, the State's Auditors are all over the county for this offense. When it is put in the paper that we are going to look into the future of the program does not neccesarily mean we are going to shut it down. It does mean that we will be looking for other ways of having that program run. No one on the commission has supported REACH any more than I have in the past. I am bound to do the best I can for the county, and this is always unpopular to some. However, saying that I have never NOT done something because I was afraid not to get a vote, so don't even go there, if you know anything about me you know I am going to do what is right, not particularly popular.
Bob Stoetzel
Chairman, Cannon County Commission
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December 11, 2011 at 6:39am
I will have to agree that the county should not be in the business of running the REACH program. As we can all see that has not worked and the program lost funds from the United Way for something as simple as retaining its 501(c) 3 status.

I discussed this in another article a couple of weeks ago and Kevin stated there are a chairman and a board for REACH. I am not sure who they are, but I do know that it is obvious they were inept at running / monitoring the program if REACH progressed through three years of not doing something as simple as applying for a 501(c) 3 status.

The county cannot and should not be in the business of running this program. It has proved that it cannot. It should be a program associated with the school system.

junebug I too find it very frustrating, not because I have children involved with the program, but because I have tried very hard to help fund the program over several years through grants worth thousands of dollars where I work. Without that 501(c) 3 exemption the REACH program not only lost the help from United Way, it also lost all help I could give it through my company.

Bob: Although it is not enforced in any way to my knowledge, if you guys decide to remove the wheel tax sticker (not the actual tax itself) how will that affect the ability to determine who has the right to throw away garbage at our dump? No sticker on the tag means there is no way of knowing who has actually paid for the right to dump their garbage.

I personally think that if you guys could look at ways of improving Solid Waste costs such as finding ways to enforce the wheel tax sticker at the dump, recycle more, and find ways to reduce the number of loads sent out then you could offset the $1,500 cost the Clerk's office spends on the actual stickers. I do applaud you guys for looking for ways to save money, but sometimes it could cost you more trouble than it is worth.

I also wonder how that will affect the ability of a police officer who pulls someone over for a traffic violation to determine if someone is compliant with the law.
December 11, 2011 at 10:07am
Thanks Mr. Stoetzel for clarifying the issues! What I cannot understand is why would the school board not address this issue a long time ago? Why would they not apply for whatever it takes to get funding from United Way?? No the county should not be in the actual running of the schools, the School Board should address these issues. I am not a native of Cannon county and like I said before I see "outside the box". The county I grew up in has so much more to offer the children than this county. Here it seems they can't even offer the basics, let alone anything extra, unless it's for sports. It's very frustrating to think my 8 year old will go to school and be offered less than when I went to school 20 years ago in Coffee county. I have seriously considered moving back, but I have come to love this county and the people after 13 years. I wish there were a few of these school board members and commisioners that would deal with reality. I would also like to find out who these board members and chairman are for Reach and who puts them there? And Mr. Stoetzel, I hope you do as you say and do what's right and not what's popular. If you do, then you are apparently doing more than some.
December 11, 2011 at 1:54pm
Thank you both junebug and Corey, Corey we are addressing the solid waste issue. I can say to both of you the Commission is dedicated to bringing down the cost to the county by being (more efficient). We cannot do everything over night, but we can start overnight. With the solid waste we have a great team on top if it right now. Also they are looking for a fith person to be on that committee Corey, if you like you can talk to Thea Prince we have named her the Chairman over the Solid Waste study that she is doing. As far as the wheel tax sticker, Bobby Smith has said he thought we would lose more money by doing away with the sticker than we would save so this is something the board will look at. Bobby says he feels the Sheriff will have a hard time determining who lives in the county.
I can say this to you even though I don't know Junebug18; I am dedicated to turning this county around financially and you two are welcome to come to the meetings. We want transparency in our meeting and input if neccesary. You are going to see changes and it is not like the ones that Obama is talking about.
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December 11, 2011 at 3:28pm
LOL I hope we don't see the same kind of "CHANGE" from our County Commission that Obama talks about because we can't afford another property tax increase to pay for it.

I have come and will continue to try to come to the meetings depending on my work schedule. I enjoy listening.

Thanks for the offer to be on the Solid Waste Committee and I would be glad to help in any way I can. If Thea would like my help on the committee, please have her call me anytime. My number is in the book and she can leave a message if I am not home.

I am not someone who is typically asked to be on a county committee, probably because I comment on this site so much and have not agreed with the status quo over the years and have had no problem saying so. You are the first to ever ask me.

You are right, things aren’t going to change overnight, but meeting once a month instead of every three months, holding committee's to a certain accountability, trying to correct some of the repeated audit findings in our budget and a few of the other changes that have been made are leaps and bounds over past practice!
December 11, 2011 at 7:53pm
I think so too and so do others not on the board. All we have to do is stay the course and continue with holding the committees to do what they know must be done.
Bob
December 11, 2011 at 11:50pm
If REACH is to stay I feel things need to change. My children went to REACH several years ago, and I was told that it was an after school program that would help tutor my child with his schoolwork. Their were several times that my kids came home and someone had done their homework for them. The writing was very clear and did not match any of my other kids writings. I also had to find other tutoring options to help my kids with reading, and I was paying several hundred dollars to support this program out of my pocket. Unfortunately, it has left a bad taste in my mouth for the program ever since, and I know that a couple schools have actually taken the REACH program out of their school because it was not helping the kids or improving their grades. I feel that it has turned into an after school daycare more than a tutoring program.

If the program is to stay in the county it needs to be revamped and improved. We want our kids grades improve then a program that actually does what it is supposed to do is what we need. This program has been a thorn in our counties side for several years now, and it does need to be fixed.

Thank you to our commission for starting to make progress in straightening out our county, and get us moving into the future.
December 12, 2011 at 10:33am
By:Marion on 12/12/11
efisk I do not agree that children are sent home without having completed their homework. There are times that children are picked up early and do not finish their homework, but as a rule ALL homework is finished when they leave, ask any parent. Your children did attend several years and to my knowledge their homework was always finished and no one did it for them. Instead a "thorn in our county
it has been a blessing to a large number of children and parents. As for other tutoring options for your child's reading, we cannot work one on one with each student. Would he been able to read well had he attended another program other that REACH??
December 12, 2011 at 2:56pm
Ms. Sally & Ms. Marion,

Let me start by apologizing to you for the words I did not make clear. It was not meant as an attack on REACH or its staff. It is just frustrating when you find your kids to be at least two grades behind on reading and you have teachers telling you everything is fine, and an after school program that you thought was helping them with what they were having problems with. Then you have to go spend $6,000 to have them tutored in reading in order to get them to the grade level they need to be at.

When I made my first post it was frustration not just of REACH but also the school system as well. As well as, frustration with the past controversies that the staff has unfortunately been on the front line for. Again, Ms. Marion and Ms. Sally I apologize for that.

I do feel that it is time for this program to be moved under the guidance of the Board of Education not for reasons that I am frustrated for, but if the program is to survive it needs to have its 501(c)3 back, and it needs to be available to apply for the grants necessary to continue. It would also make the program more viable to the schools, and some of the funding could be converted over to the teachers who would like to tutor the kids in the afternoon and be offered as an incentive plan for them or a raise to do it. There are several options for the program once moved into the school systems as long as the funding is dispersed correctly and not turned into pay raises for the upper tier.
December 13, 2011 at 4:25pm
My question is why does it not have this 501 c 3 status?? Who is responsible for that? I remember reading some things in paper, but that was at a time that my grandson was not going there so I did not really absorb all the info. My daughter sends him there after school, not just as a babysitting service, although she does not get off work in time to get him from school. She really needs this program for her son.

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