IDB Goes 'Global' Tuesday Night
KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor
The Cannon County Industrial Development Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday (Aug. 7) at 6 p.m.
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.
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.
“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."