Centralized Financing Issue Will Go To August 2018 Ballot

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The controversial matter of the 81 Act which would have the County Government adopt Centralized Financing will be put to a vote by the voters during the August 2018 election.  The vote to actually adopt the measure and put Centralized Finance in place failed after a four to four vote with two commissioners Jamie Holloway and Todd Hollandsworth absent.  Chairman Mike Gannon then came up with putting it on the ballot for the citizens to decide during the August 2018 election.  State Auditors have strongly recommended it but various studies have produced several pros and cons.  While Centralized Financing would combine all the County Finances into one department in which it might be more transparent, the costs to implement the department is expensive in comparison and would add to the already money problems the County is currently trying to get out of.  A new Finance Director and staff would have to be hired added more expenses to the County.  The debate will continue for another year on the subject.  Currently only 22 counties of the 95 counties in the State of Tennessee uses this form of centralized financing which leaves the majority of 73 counties using other means.  Also reported at the Commission meeting was the fact that two commissioners reached out to other counties that were under the 81 Act and they stressed that they would not make that choice again if given a second chance.
Other items on the agenda discussed or acted during Saturday's monthly meeting of the Cannon County Commission included:
A committee was put together to take a look at the public comment policy of the Cannon County Commission.  At the beginning of each Commission meeting, the floor is open to the public to make comments, express opinions and ask questions.  One of the attendees said that comments should be at the end of the meeting not the beginning.  A couple of others also echoed the same sentiments.  The reason why it was done at the beginning of the meeting was that a matter on the agenda would have already been voted on and nothing that those in attendance can say would be able to influence or inform the Commissioners how they felt about the subject.  Commissioners Russell Reed, Mark Barker and Karen Ashford will look into it.
Commissioner Glenn Steakley who is also a member of the Cannon County Planning Commission presented a proposed zoning plan resolution to the Commission.  The Commissioners will review the resolution and start discussions during the August meeting.  WBRY news will do an informational series on the zoning proposal that will stretch over the upcoming weeks.  A map of the proposed zoning is available for public view at the Cannon County Courthouse.
Commissioners approved the appointing of Jason Barrett to the 9-1-1 Board replacing Todd Hollandsworth.
The Commissioners will next meet in a special meeting this Thursday July 20th at the Cannon County Courthouse to discuss and possibly approve the appropriations and expenditures of Cannon County Government through the annual budget for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018.  The meeting is set for 5:00.