Commission Addresses Government By Committees

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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.

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Members Opinions:
November 09, 2011 at 5:20pm
Awesome accountability. WOW is all I can say.

The very idea that someone who agrees to being on a committee that could make decisions that affect the lives of the 13,801 people who live in Cannon County should be held responsible to notify the public, hold meetings, record minutes and make actual decisions and report back to the full commssion is wonderful!

Why have we not had this in place before? Was it so illogical to have accountability that the thought was never proposed before?

Again, congratulations to Chairman Stoetzel for initiating an obvious and much needed change in policy!
November 09, 2011 at 6:04pm
"Why have we not had this in place before? Was it so illogical to have accountability that the thought was never proposed before?"

If I may offer a thought, I think because until now the commission has abdicated its authority and responsibilities.
November 09, 2011 at 6:48pm
Duh??? They just thought of it! This should have been done a long time ago! Actually, I would think that sort of thing is what should be expected to be done in the first place. BUT, then again, look what we are talking about~~~~ Cannon, where things are done as they want to be---not how they should be!!
November 09, 2011 at 9:06pm
Probably true Kevin.

So does that mean the person you are suggesting they abdicated their authority to was not doing the job they were being paid to do?
November 10, 2011 at 3:00am
I wasn't thinking it was abdicated to one particular person, just abdicated in a general sense. Committees are formed by the commission, members are approved by the commission, committees serve at the directive of the commission, and report to the commission.
November 10, 2011 at 9:33am
I am not quite sure what is going on, whether it is public pressure or what it is, but it seems that our commission is beginning to make some headway in cleaning things up.

This and the other decisions that have been made over the last few months are some very positive decisions. I feel that with these decisions we are preparing our county for a future that could help us all through this economic downturn and could help bring jobs to our community.

I applaud Chairman Stoetzel and the other members for what they have done at the last couple of meetings.
November 11, 2011 at 12:14am
The Cannon County Library Board of Trustees is appointed by the County Commissioners, but it is part of a state system and is not actually a committee. The 7 trustees meet monthly to ensure that our county has excellent libraries. We encourage everyone to come spend some time in either the Adams Memorial or Auburntown library and see why community members come to the libraries about 4,000 times each month!
November 11, 2011 at 1:10pm
I for 1,use the library at least twice a month.Ive never had a bad experance there and everyone there is always so cheerful and helpful.i was not aware that it had a committee.
November 11, 2011 at 6:54pm
I was not aware of a library committee either!

Great place to go! One of my absolute favorites!
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