Commissioners OK Tax To Fund SAVE

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TheCannon County Commission approved a $1 increase in the litigation tax during its meeting Tuesday night.

The money will be earmarked to support the Cannon County SAVE Domestic Violence Agency.

State law says that a maximum  $1 "local option" litigation tax can be levied per case.

The litigation tax would not only be paid by those convicted of domestic assault charges, but also by any person found guilty of any charge in General Sessions Court and Juvenile Courts in Cannon County, including any speeding tickets written in the county outside the Woodbury city limits.

For the last few years SAVE Director Lisa Baird has been mostly unsuccessful in her efforts to obtain funding for the agency from local governments. The agency provides assistance to victims of domestic violence in a variety of ways.

• Another resolution approved by commissioners Tuesday requires regular meetings of the Cannon County Homeland Security Committee . The resolution was brought to the table by Commissioner Todd Hollandsworth, who stated that the homeland security has received grants totalling around $670,000. The department has spent around $298,295.00 which leaves over $300,000 left.

Commissioner Hollandsworth would like to have the committee meet on a regular basis to make decisions on what to do with the rest of the money. The Committee has not met since 2006. Commissioner Hollandsworth proposed that the committee meet quarterly. The EMA Director is the only person that can sign the checks to spend any of the grant money that's been left over.

The argument came over a section of the resolution that reads that the absence of the EMA Director to attend any HSC meeting shall not limit the Homeland Security Committee from taking action deemed in the best interest of the County.

In the event of the EMA Director's absence, all duties and authority of that office that the County Executive may designate, which delegation of authority shall continue until the County Executive restores the authority of the EMA Director in writing.

Faye Morse, Cannon County EMA Director, took exception to that particular clause, by saying if she were to miss a meeting, then she would be replaced as the EMA Director until the County Executive restored her to director.

It was explained to her that the implications were to be only if she missed the meeting and she would be restored to her position immediately after the meeting was over. The motion passed with only Commissioner Kevin George voting no.

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