Powers named to school board
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MIKE WEST
Courier Editor
County Commissioners selected Auburntown resident Tim Powers to fill the unexpired school board term of the late Frank Walkup.
Meeting Thursday, December 3, the Commission was faced with other key issues as well including the attempt to purchase three fire engines for the county's fire department. But the overriding issue was restrictive budgetary conditions placed on Cannon County by Tennessee's Comptroller Justin Wilson.
Powers was selected for the school board slot following a brief discussion during which Commissioner Jim Bush asked the three potential candidates whether they viewed the position as temporary.
In addition to Powers, the names of Corey Davenport and John Basinger were nominated.
Powers received eight votes and Davenport and Basinger received one vote each.
Powers will serve on the Cannon County Board of Education until next fall when the position will be up for election.
During the meeting, Cannon County firefighters pleaded with the Commission to take action on the purchase of three fire engines.
In October, the Commission had voted unanimously in favor of the purchase of three, 1995 model fire trucks replacing the last 1970 model trucks. A price of $125,000 was set for the trucks with $25,000 up front. Funding was to have come from the county's $3 million debt service fund.
But then the Tennessee State Comptroller's office turned the funding request down.
"I've been on the phone with them constantly," explained County Executive Mike Gannon, adding that the Comptroller continues to refuse the request.
"We're not alone in this. Several other counties have had similar requests rejected," Gannon said, "but at this point our hands are tied."
Commissioner Mark Barker suggested one possible way of breaking the dilemma.
"What if we move one cent of the tax rate into debt services?" Barker asked.
"I just don't know," Gannon said, "But we can ask."
Later in the session, the county executive said it was good for the public and the Commission to keep focus on Cannon County's budget.
"The county is in excellent shape overall. The issue we are having is a money-flow problem," he said.
"No one in county government is wasting money. That goes for every department," Gannon continued.
"We are recycling ... patching together broken equipment," he said. "We are headed in the right direction."
However, until budgetary conditions improve the Commission will continue to turn-down funding requests like the one made by Penny Daniels, veterans service officer.
"I need help," Daniels told the Commissioners. "I can't do it by myself."
Daniels was seeking funding for a part-time office worker at $7 per hour.
"I've been here since 2007 at the same pay rate since I started. I have medical issues and I can't work anymore hours," she said.
"Right now is a bad time to ask for money. We're running close," Commissioner Jim Bush told Daniels.
Commissioner Glenn Steakley said he met with Daniels at her office to see what help she needed. He suggested a volunteer might could help in the veterans service office.
"I would like to help her myself, but I'm not a veteran and that is required for the job," Steakley said.
"I'm so appreciative of our veterans, but we are in bad shape financially," he said.
No action was taken on Daniels' request.
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