IDB Goes 'Global' Tuesday Night
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The Cannon County Industrial Development Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday (Aug. 7) at 6 p.m.

While meetings of the IDB are usually held at the Cannon County Courthouse, this month’s meeting will be held at the facility of a local business, Global Industrial Components, which is located at 705 College St.

September’s meeting will also be held at the location of a local industry, Crane Interiors on Alexander Drive.

The agenda for this Tuesday’s meeting has the IDB discussing, under Old Business, a Mission Statement, Business Cards/Brochure, THC Select and PC Disposal (rent/monthly lease status), Web Page update, Humane Society Property and Rotation of Members.

Stan Dobson is also scheduled to give an update, while the status of the Southern Automotive Conference on Oct. 11 and 12 will also be discussed.

New business includes IDB Check Signing Authority, Status of Meeting with the Rutherford County CC/IDB and Crane Interiors’ request for Building Repairs and Maintenance.

The IDB may also be losing a member as the result of recent changes to another county government body.

IDB Secretary and Cannon County Republican Party Chairman Corey Davenport was recently appointed to the Cannon County Election Commission by the State Election Commission, after he was recommended by State Sen. Mae Beavers.

Being chairman of the local Republic Party does not preclude Davenport from serving on the Election Commission.

However, Davenport was, in June, also appointed to the Cannon County IDB.

According to Cannon County Attorney Mike Corley, Davenport may not be eligible to serve on both boards.

The IDB was recently revamped after it was learned several of its members, including County Commissioner Mark Barker and Cannon County EMS Director Ricky Cope, could not serve because they were either elected officials, or worked for the county.

According to state law, “No (IDB) director shall be an officer or an employee of a municipality.”

The Cannon County Commission appoints members to the IDB. Commissioners must determine whether election commission members are state or county employees with respect to the eligibility requirements of the IDB, and whether an election commissioner is considered a county “officer” under the IDB statute.
As an election commissioner, Davenport receives compensation from the county for serving.

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 2-1-112(a): "Neither an elected official nor an employee of a state, county, municipal or federal governmental body or agency or of an elected official may serve as a member of a county election commission or as a member of a county primary board or as an election official. No candidate in an election may act in connection with that election as a member of any board or commission or an election official."

IDB members, however, do not receive compensation for their service, are not government employees, and therefore are eligible to serve on an election commission if they meet all other criteria. The issues in this instance are whether a compensated election commission member can also serve on the IDB and whether they are county officers.

Then-State Attorney General Paul Summers addressed a similar matter in Franklin County in 2002 and wrote in an opinion:

“It is not clear whether membership on the county election commission is an "elected or appointed office within the county" within the meaning of Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-8-406. This Office has concluded that membership in a county election commission is a state office for some purposes. Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. 79-72 (February 20, 1979).

“But a county election commission is extensively involved in every part of the election process within the county. This Office has noted that Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-8-406, when read literally, seems to include any office - city, county, or state - within the county limits. Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. U94-95 (July 8, 1994).

“Further, the county commission is generally required to fund the operations of the election commission, except for expenses related to certain city, state, and federal elections. Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-12-109. When the General Assembly amended the county election commission statutes in 1986, it expressly provided that county election commissions were subject to county purchasing and budgetary laws, and also stated that '[n]othing in this act shall be construed as conferring upon any county election commission . . . status as a state employee.' 1986 Tenn. Pub. Acts Ch. 930, Section 5 (now codified at Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-12-210).

“For all these reasons, a court could well conclude that Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-8-406 prohibits a member of the Franklin County Election Commission from serving on the Franklin County Civil Service Board.”

According to CTAS, the County Technical Assistance Service, "A minimum compensation for members of the county election commission is specified by statute and varies according to the population of the county. These amounts may be increased in any county by resolution of the county legislative body. In order to trigger the daily rate, a commissioner must work at least one hour in any given 24 hour period, but payment is made for meetings lasting less than one hour if they are required by statute, budget preparation, or litigation. T.C.A. § 2-12-108."

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Members Opinions:
August 04, 2012 at 1:41pm
My question is does this also apply if you have the same person serving on multiply boards?
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August 04, 2012 at 2:38pm
It is my understanding the question of eligibility to serve is created by the compensation, not the service. IDB members do not receive compensation for serving. To the best of my knowledge county commissioners and election commissioners are the only county bodies whose members are compensated for serving.
August 04, 2012 at 8:03pm
My understanding of the law you noted is that it would apply only if the person was getting compensation for serving on the board. In other words they could not receive pay from more than one board,commission, or elective position.

I am sure that I saw somewhere that Sue Patrick is an accountant of the county offices or boards. I also believe she serves on the City Planning Commission as well. Is any of this true and if so how dose the law apply?
This should also make a good story.

Jack
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August 05, 2012 at 7:34am
The State Election Commission determines whether a person is eligible to serve on a county election commission and has determined that Sue Patrick is eligible. I am unware of any recent events which would change that situation.

The Town of Woodbury Mayor and Board of Aldermen determines who is eligible to serve on the Woodbury Planning Commission and has determined that Sue Patrick is eligible. I am not aware of any recent events which would change that situation.

The Cannon County Commission appoints members of the Cannon County Industrial Development Board and makes eligibility determinations based on the provisions in the IDB’s charter. The recent appointment of a member of the IDB to a position on the Cannon County Election Commission may affect elibility with respect to serving on the IDB, according to its charter.
August 05, 2012 at 7:50am
This is actually backwards. You cannot serve on the Election Commission if you are compensated on another board.

But if you are quoting the TCA code above from what I have read that law can also abide to Sue as she has a husband who is an elected official. But what I am actually reading is that applies only to an election.

I would ask that you please check with someone and check your facts so we can get an accurate answer to this. Because if I am understanding this correctly from what you are saying, Corey cannot be on the IDB or serve on the Election Commission because of the TCA Code you quoted. That would also apply to Sue Patrick on her other boards otherwise there is a double standard because he is a Republican and Sue is a Democrat. Laws apply to both parties I believe. My interpretation is that the TCA code you quoted applied to someone working an election not serving on the commission, and my interpretation also states that only applies to the election commission if he is being paid by the IDB. If I am correct Sue gets paid for one of the boards so she is not eligible to serve on the Election Commission, that is my understanding.
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August 05, 2012 at 8:01am
It is up to the County Commission to determine if a person compensated for their service on a county board is eligible to serve on the IDB. It was stated at an IDB meeting that, according to its charter, a county employee can not serve on the IDB. That meant Ricky Cope could not serve. The State Attorney General issued an opinion that compensated board members are employees. Election Commission members are compensated by the county for their service on the commission.
August 05, 2012 at 9:22am
If all of the assertions stated in this story are true facts what makes this news worthy? Why would this not be a mater to be discussed within and by the IDB at its next meeting?
Again if all of the assertions are true I would think and surly hope the IDB would be able to resolve this from within.
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August 05, 2012 at 9:37am
IDB members are not appointed from "within." They are appointed by a publicly-elected body, the county commission. The IDB is itself a public body and subject to public inspection. The newsworthiness and timeliness aspect relates to the recent removal of an IDB member because that person was an employee of the county. The IDB charter indicates that county employees can not serve on it.
August 05, 2012 at 10:08am
Then one would think that the County Commission should already be aware of this and would resolve it at the next meeting. Would you not think them capable of them doing this?

Jack
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August 05, 2012 at 10:15am
I have no control over what "one" thinks. I do not serve on the county commission. My work in independent of anything they might know or do, and not limited to such.
August 05, 2012 at 1:42pm
"The IDB's charter prohibits elected officials or employees of local governments from serving as a member of the body."

Are we over thinking this or is the "new" campaign to oust sue?
August 05, 2012 at 1:45pm
But as you imply in your story, and based upon what you have posted as being factual you have implied with the TCA code that not only can Corey not serve on any other board within the county, but that Sue Patrick cannot as well because she does get compensated by the county for serving on both the election commission and the planning committee. It could be worth checking the facts on this a bit more and calling the State Election Commission to find out their interpretation of the law.
August 05, 2012 at 2:04pm
Bud my intention is not to overthrow anyone. I am just stating that by my interpretation of the TCA code he quoted in this article:

"Neither an elected official nor an employee of a state, county, municipal or federal governmental body or agency or of an elected official may serve as a member of a county election commission or as a member of a county primary board or as an election official. No candidate in an election may act in connection with that election as a member of any board or commission or an election official."

Because Sue is paid for being on the planning commission she is also considered an employee of the county. So, just as he and the IDB are stating that Corey cannot serve on the IDB because he is paid for the election commission because he is now an employee of the county (by their interpretation and their charter). So, as the TCA code implies she is an employee of the county so she could not serve on the election commission or on the planning commission at the same time because she is paid for both or does this not make her an employee of the county just as it does Corey.
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August 05, 2012 at 2:06pm
This story is not about the election commission or eligibility to serve on it. That would be a separate story. If I learn that Sue Patrick receives compensation for serving on the Woodbury Planning Commission and that it conflicts with their eligibility to serve on the election commission, I will report that. That is also something the State Election Commission should have known when it appointed her.

It appears to me you are confusing eligibility with serving on the election commission with that of serving on the IDB. I do not know if the charter of the Town of Woodbury prohibits service on the planning commission if the person receives compensation for serving on a county board or commission. That is unrelated to service on the IDB. It is also unrelated to service on the election commission.
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August 05, 2012 at 2:16pm
Sue Patrick does not serve on the Cannon County Planning Commission. I am not aware whether members of either the Cannon County Planning Commission or the Woodbury Planning Commission receive compensation for serving. I am also not sure whether the State Election Commission considers someone who serves as on a county or town election official, and who is compensated, as an employee of the county or town.

What I have reported is 1) Election Commission members are compensated and in the opinion of the State Attorney General and the County Attorney are considered employees and 2) According to information presented at an IDB meeting and a county commission meeting, compensated county employees are not eligible to serve on the IDB.
August 05, 2012 at 2:24pm
But if I am reading the IDB charter correctly and I quote

"No director shall be an officer or employee of the municipality."

This states the municipality, that is employee of the county. An election commission member is paid by the State and governed as such. So, if you read the charter and quote the charter as it should be Corey is eligible to be on the board because he is not employed by the county, he is employed by the state.

The TCA Code 8-8-407 refers to the Franklin County Civil Service Commission which was being paid to be on that board. This needs to be used in the right context in order to apply to this issue.
August 05, 2012 at 2:33pm
I take back my statement about Sue being on the planning commission. She does not currently serve on that commission.

She does however serve as financial director of the 911 board.
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August 05, 2012 at 2:36pm
T.C.A. 2-12-108. Compensation.

"(a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (a)(2), each member of the county election commission shall receive each month from the county funds the following minimum amount as compensation for each day spent in the performance of such duties ..."

That indicates election commission members are compensated with county funds, not state funds. The state sets compensation guidelines base on population, which the county commission may increase by resolution.
August 05, 2012 at 2:39pm
I found this:

TCA code 8-8-406 by the Attorney General says:
This office has concluded that membership in a county election commission is a State office (Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen 79-72 (February 20, 1979)

By your statement:

"2) According to information presented at an IDB meeting and a county commission meeting, compensated county employees are not eligible to serve on the IDB."

It does not say state employee, it says county employee.
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August 05, 2012 at 2:41pm
Well good for Sue. I am sure all citizens appreciate her service in whatever capacity she is eligible to serve, just as they would the service of any other individual who serves in any capacity for which they are eligible to serve.
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August 05, 2012 at 2:53pm
There is a portion of the Attorney General's opinion that was left out "... for some purposes."

"It is not clear whether membership on the county election commission is an “elected or
appointed office within the county” within the meaning of Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-8-406. This Office has concluded that membership in a county election commission is a state office for some purposes. Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. 79-72 (February 20, 1979). But a county election commission is extensively involved in every part of the election process within the county. This Office has noted that Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-8-406, when read literally, seems to include any office — city, county, or state — within the county limits. Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. U94-95 (July 8, 1994). Further, the county commission is generally required to fund the operations of the election commission, except for expenses related to certain city, state, and federal elections. Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-12-109. When the General Assembly amended the county election commission statutes in 1986, it expressly provided that county election commissions were subject to county purchasing and budgetary laws, and also stated that “[n]othing in this act shall be construed as conferring upon any county election commission . . . status as a state employee.” 1986 Tenn. Pub. Acts Ch. 930, Section 5 (now codified at Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-12-210). For all these reasons, a court could well conclude that Tenn. Code
Ann. § 8-8-406 prohibits a member of the Franklin County Election Commission from serving on the Franklin County Civil Service Board.

In addition, we think Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-1-112(a) also prohibits a member of the Franklin County Election Commission from serving on the Franklin County Civil Service Board."
August 05, 2012 at 3:33pm
This is an excerpt of a news article that can be found from a neighboring county from 2011:

"In December 2010 the federal district judge ruled, based upon 60 year old Tennessee Supreme Court case, that the county election commissions and the county election commissioners are state officials."

You can find the complete article in which this statement comes from by searching "WJLE Nashville Attorney"

By this finding all the election commissioners are state employees. It goes on to say:

"The court said they are state officials because they are not elected by the county voters and they are not appointed by county government, but they are, in fact, appointed by the state election commission to serve in each county so they are really an arm of state government."

As I said this is just part of the article and you can read it all by searching it.
August 05, 2012 at 3:52pm
so now after all this a couple things are for sure: if a head rolls from one party then by whatever means or powers a head from the other party must roll (not sure of tca code numbers but if we look and interpret long enough i am sure we will find it) also Sue ,if you know her so well, or Mrs. Patrick cannot and I repeat cannot serve on IDB board.
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August 05, 2012 at 4:16pm
I had and have no doubt there are conflicting opinions. That is why the county commission and IDB need to resolve the issue.
August 05, 2012 at 4:36pm
At which point this article should be rescinded or edited so as not to be misinterpreted until the commission or IDB resolves the issue.

As far as any issue there was with Corey serving on the IDB, I was not aware just as many who read this that there was such an issue with the IDB. If there was I would have thought it would have waited until the commission had made a decision before the Courier would have posted such an article that would cause more conflict in an effort to get more revenue. I would also have expected more fact checking and reporting from both sides of the issue rather than a one-sided commentary.
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August 05, 2012 at 4:50pm
Again, I did not bring up the issue. The issue of whether a county employee or someone compensated to serve in a position for the county was brought up at an IDB meeting and a county commission meeting. The conflict exits only because there are differing opinions as to whether an election commissioner is a state or county employee. As the Attorney General opined, "for some purposes" they are state employees and for other purposes they are not. "... When the General Assembly amended the county election commission statutes in 1986, it expressly provided that county election commissions were subject to county purchasing and budgetary laws, and also stated that “[n]othing in this act shall be construed as conferring upon any county election commission . . . status as a state employee.”
August 06, 2012 at 8:52am
I feel you need to rewrite this article or add in facts that support the other side of the issue. You have only presented statements to give reasons why someone is considered a county employee and that was an opinion. A good reporter would present statements to show why someone is not considered a county employee.

I have presented some of that research but you still use an Attorney General opinion, when I presented you information of a US Federal Judges "ruling" that is more recent than the Attorney General's "opinion".
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August 06, 2012 at 9:32am
The Attorney General’s opinion addresses both sides of the issue. To my knowledge no federal judge has instructed the Cannon County Commission to not determine or consider whether a county election commissioner is either a county official or officer, or a county employee, with respect to eligibility to serve on an industrial development board.
August 06, 2012 at 11:40am
And to my knowledge neither has an Attorney General's "opinion", but you still stand behind it.

The quote you gave in your article where the Attorney General's opinion is stated pertains to a paid position in Franklin County not a position in Cannon County. By that I gave you facts that pertained to a case in Dekalb County in order to give a position on the other side of this so called issue. I myself do not have a stack in this but I do feel that if you are going to quote a source that is for the decision to throw someone off, you should also present a quote from a source that supports a decision to keep them. That is called fair and balanced reporting. Otherwise this should have been a Commentary rather than an actual news story. Next time it could be considered to only report the agenda, then wait until the matter is discussed within the actual meeting.
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August 06, 2012 at 12:41pm
The case in DeKalb County does not have anything to do with an election commissioner’s eligibility to serve on the Cannon County Industrial Development Board. The Attorney General’s opinion with respect to election commissioners serving on county boards has been cited in at least two instances during meetings of the State Election Commission.

However, neither a federal judge nor the State Election Commission determines who is eligible to serve on the Cannon County Industrial Development Board. That is the legal duty of the Cannon County Commission.

Insofar as the IDB’s charter states that “No director shall be an officer or an employee of a municipality” the Cannon County Commission is legally bound to determine whether there are any circumstances under which a member of the Cannon County Election Commission can be considered as either an officer, or an employee, of the county.
August 06, 2012 at 5:24pm
By your own statement above this article should be rewritten and the Franklin county information removed. As you stated the county commission is the one to make the decision, and the Franklin County ruling has no bearing on this.
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August 06, 2012 at 5:46pm
I don't agree.

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