The Bradley County Commission welcomed Grant Durrett, nine, as honorary Mayor for the Day during Monday afternoon’s work session meeting. Grant is a third grader at Black Fox Elementary School. During the report from the County Mayor, Grant jokingly recommended a 10 percent raise for all county employees. Chairman Louie Alford thanked him for attending the meeting and Commissioner Ed Elkins commented, “I believe he’s already campaigning for re-election.”
Items to be placed on next week’s agenda were discussed. Commissioner Robert Rominger placed a resolution to sell the Blue Springs School property. During last week’s voting session, Pastor Richard Snyder of Blue Springs Baptist Church addressed the commission stating, “Our church is deeply interested in that property and we would like to acquire that property by whatever means necessary.” Mr. Rominger stated the resolution was drafted with the help of the county attorney.
Commissioner Mark Hall placed a motion on the agenda to bring the environmental officer back under the County Commission. He said, “This would create more exposure and a more proactive approach. I respectfully ask the Bradley County Sheriff to bring back the salary for an environmental officer.”
Commissioner Ed Elkins stated, “Part of the issue here is expectations and prior agreements. There needs to be better communication about what’s going on with cases that are under investigation. Supposedly, the environmental officer serves on the Coalition for Community Improvement Committee and I also serve on that committee. It is very helpful for that person that is representing the county at those meetings to keep us up to date on what the status is on various cases he is investigating.”
Mr. Elkins went on to say, “I think it would really be the benefit of the county if we leave it under sheriff’s department. The priority has to be on the enforcement of environmental situations and communicating problems through the county commission. Since the county doesn’t have codes, it is complaint driven. Someone will make a complaint and the environmental officer will go out and talk to the individual involved. Many times, just an officer going and talking to the individual about it will take care of the situation. There are cases where talking doesn’t do much good. Eventually, depending on the issue the officer may have to site the individual to the environmental court. That’s where the person making the complaint has to be willing to appear in front of the court to testify in order for the court to take judicial action to bring about a reward. That’s why it requires a written complaint.”
A representative from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department addressed the commission to inform them that a deputy currently assigned with special operations will be assigned as environmental officer in the near future and that the department will better educate the public on how to get in touch with that officer in case assistance is needed.
Currently, the county does not accept anonymous complaints. Any individual living in the county wishing to file a complaint that is not comfortable filing one can request their commissioner to file one for them. Sixth District Commissioner Mel Griffith stated, “I’ve encountered a time or two where somebody called me and somebody told them that I would file a complaint on their behalf. I just want to point out I do not file complaints on behalf of constituents. If they don’t want to put their name on it, they’re not bothered enough for me to file a complaint, so don’t refer them to me.”
After discussion and consideration, Commissioner Hall withdrew his motion to place the item on the next agenda.
Commissioner Adam Lowe placed a resolution establishing Bradley County’s inability to participate in any future jointly funded capital projects with the city due to potential loss of sales tax revenues. The resolution was deferred during last week’s voting session when a substitute motion made by Commissioner Brian Smith to postpone a vote until the May 21 meeting passed 13-1.
EMA Director Troy Spence requested a resolution be placed on the agenda for a government building safety policy. He stated the policy is needed for all city and county government employees so they will know what to do in the event of an emergency situation.
The Bradley County Commission will hold its next voting meeting on Monday, May 21 at noon.