Commission tackles resolutions

By Jan Runions -

The Claiborne Commission tackled a wide variety of resolutions last week that ran the gamut from budgeting funds for the Little League to taking a stance against same-sex marriage.

The recent controversy surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court ruling apparently prompted commissioner Dennis Estes to sponsor a resolution asking Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and the General Assembly to make a stand to “protect the freedom of traditional Bible believing Christians.”

In his resolution, Estes cites the tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as security for states against such a ruling by the federal government.

The resolution asks that the legislature “institute, create, establish, order and command the laws, regulations and executive orders that are necessary to preserve, protect and defend Tennessee citizens from the oppressive and repressive restrictions handed down from the federal judiciary which abrogates their rights to believe and act on a literal belief in the Bible’s teaching on marriage.

“These laws, regulations and executive orders must allow that belief to have free expression in every aspect of the lives of Tennessee citizens both public and private without fear of repercussions from neither criminal nor civil prosecution,” the resolution reads, in part.

Estes read the entire document for the record. With no discussion, the resolution was adopted by a vote of 17 for, one against and three passes.

Commissioners Juanita Honeycutt, Shawn Peters and Dan Longworth passed their votes. Commissioner Whitt Shuford was the lone no vote.

A resolution sponsored by commissioner Steve Mason calls for the county exemption of state requirements for minimum construction standards for one and two family dwellings.

The unanimous adoption of this resolution guarantees the continuation of the ongoing exemption under the new local legislative body following the last election.

A resolution, accepting Edwards Grading as the low bidder for the Midway waterline project, was added to the agenda by commissioner Bill Keck during the opening moments of the meeting.

A portion of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds will go toward the $372,495 grading job that will begin the process of extending the lines down Goins and Fords Chapel Roads.

County Mayor Jack Daniels said the Little Sycamore community can expect waterline work to begin sometime in September.

A second last-minute resolution, sponsored by commissioner Honeycutt, requested a lease agreement between the county and the Regional Education Center. Apparently, the Center has outgrown its location directly behind the Claiborne Courthouse and its administration would like to relocate to the rock house on Straight Creek Road, adjacent to the Claiborne Justice Center.

The Education Center is expected to install a donated office trailer to the left of the rock house, which should not interfere with Justice Center parking overflow.

The commissioners unanimously adopted the resolution with an amendment that allows a 60 day opt-out of the lease agreement.

The Regional Education Center serves about 87 families per week and teaches job skills including computer technology training.

The county is expected to pick up the tab for all utilities.

The local Little League teams will be receiving a bit of financial help to attend the state tournaments in Clarksville and Woodland.

The commission unanimously approved by resolution the donation of $200 each to the New Tazewell girls’ and boys’ softball teams as well as the Harrogate Little League Junior Girls Softball team.

Apparently, commissioner Shawn Peters doesn’t like to lift his hand to signify his votes. Peters sponsored a resolution rescinding a previous one requiring the lifting of hands in favor of placing the style of voting method upon the discretion of the chairman.

Future votes will be conducted either by a “yay or nay” except where roll call votes are required or requested by a county commissioner, who now has the right to request one on any voting item at any time prior to the specific vote.

Peters did say the raising of hands creates for him an interruption in note taking.

Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.

By Jan Runions

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