Commission Selects New Chairman; To Meet Monthly

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

The Cannon County Commission made major changes to how and when it will conduct business at its quarterly meeting Saturday.

First, the Commissioners voted to select a new chairman. Fifth District Commissioner Bob Stoetzel will now chair meetings for at least the next year.

Stoetzel takes over that role from Cannon County Executive Mike Gannon.

Commissioner Kevin George nominated Stoetzel for the position, with a second by Third District Commissioner Jim Bush. First District Commissioner Mark Barker nominated Gannon, with Second District Commissioner Todd Hollandsworth seconding.

A roll call vote of the nine commissioners present at the meeting (Fourth District Commissioner Clint Higgins was absent) had Stoetzel prevailing 5-4. However, since at least six votes are required to name someone to the position, the situation was left in limbo.

First District Commissioner Russell Reed, Fifth District Commissioner Kevin Mooneyham, George and Bush voted for Stoetzel. Stoetzel voted for himself. Barker, Hollandsworth, Second District Commissioner Jimmy Mingle and Fourth District Commissioner Tony Neal voted for Gannon.

Chairman Pro-Tem Barker then chaired Saturday's meeting. At the end of business he switched his vote to Stoetzel, giving him the required six votes.

In addition to chairing commission meetings, the role is also important in that the chairman sets the agenda.

"I'll be in the hot seat but I think I can handle it," Stoetzel said.

Stoetzel said he accepted the position because he does not believe the county executive should be chairman of the county commission.

"I think that at this time they (fellow commissioners) were looking for some kind of change. I didn't know about it until a minute before the motion was made," Stoetzel said.

"I appreciate the people who nominated and voted for me," Stoetzel added.

Barker was re-elected as Chairman Pro-Tem unanimously by his fellow commissioners.

Gannon congratulated Stoetzel and wished him well in the position. During the recent debates over the county budget and the property tax rate for the current fiscal year, Gannon had indicated he might not want to be commission chairman any longer.

Stoetzel will now preside over at least eight additional meetings of the commission for the next year. Following a motion by Hollandsworth, the commissioners voted to meet monthly on a trial, one-year basis instead of the previous schedule of meeting quarterly in January, April, July and October.

They will now meet once per month on a Tuesday at 5 p.m. The week of the month is still to be determined. Per a motion by Bush, they will not receive additional compensation for those meetings.

New Chairman Stoetzel said anyone wishing to speak with him about putting an item on the agenda for a commission meeting can contact him by phone at (615) 563-8191 or (615) 962-5735, by e-mail at or by mail at 112 Houston Lane, Woodbury, TN 37190.

Other business during Saturday's meeting including a motion passed by the commission to ask the county's planning commission to make a study and prepare a report on the pros and cons of implementing zoning laws in the county, and several motions regarding a proposed rock quarry at the intersection of John Bragg Hwy. and Bradyville Road.

Check back to at the first of the week for additional coverage of those and other topics discussed and acted on by the commissioners Saturday.