Bradley County Commission Approves HCI Committee Grant Award Recommendation Despite Opposition

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - by Tonya Brantley
Bradley County Commission Administrative Assistant Amy Moore receives plaque for her service from Chairman Louie Alford and commissioners.
Bradley County Commission Administrative Assistant Amy Moore receives plaque for her service from Chairman Louie Alford and commissioners.
- photo by Tonya Brantley

Commissioner Adam Lowe presented a motion to accept the Healthy Community Initiative Committee recommendation to the Bradley County Commission Tuesday afternoon. The committee decided the following grant awards: Bradley County Emergency Medical Service - $25,500, Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society - $23,700, Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway - $35,500, Farmers Market North - $4,750 and Prospect Elementary School - $3,000. The total recommendation was $92,450.

Commissioner Mark Hall expressed his disapproval of the grants saying, “I respectfully request the HCI Committee revisit the list of grant awards and include the $30,000 request for the veteran’s home project. We have almost 50,000 veterans in Bradley County. You’d think when a veteran’s project comes along, we would compensate for the underfunding of that department. I am going to do the right thing, even if I’m the only one doing it. I can respect the process but you can’t make me like the results. I’d like to make a substitute motion for the committee to go back and review the allotment of the grants to include the veteran’s home on the list.”

Commissioner Lowe responded, “This is the HCI Committee’s decision. At no time does this need to go back to the committee. This is the recommendation to the commission. The commission has the final decision. I don’t think $30,000 will stall the process. The committee did the work and this is their recommendation. In six months, there will be another grant cycle and the veteran’s home is on the top of the list. HCI will have more money then.”

Commissioner Ed Elkins had a concern with awarding the grant of $23,700 to the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society. Commissioner Lowe explained this was the first time they had been considered for a grant award.

Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones made a substitute motion to take the historical society award off the list and replace it with the veteran’s home, reminding the commission that funding the veteran’s home was one of their top priorities. Commissioner Hall agreed to withdraw his substitute motion. Her motion failed with a vote of six to seven.

Commissioner Mark Hall then made another substitute motion to take the $35,500 grant award for the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway off the list and replace it with the veteran’s home. Commissioner Jeff Morelock said, “Nobody wants the veteran’s home more than I do, but I support Commissioner Lowe’s decision.” Commissioner Connie Wilson said, “We should support our committee and the recommendations they bring to us.” Commissioner Jeff Yarber thanked Commissioner Hall for his passion and said, “We all support the veteran’s home project.”

Commissioner Hall responded, “I think this is a big misunderstanding. I’ve got my eyes on the prize. I just ask that you all vote with your conscience.” His substitute motion failed with a vote of five to eight.

Commissioner Lowe’s motion to accept the original grant award recommendation from the HCI Committee passed with a vote of 10 to three.

In other business, a motion to sign a new three-year contract for inmate medical care with the approval of the Finance Committee passed unanimously. A resolution to request the governor and General Assembly’s support on legislation relative to mental evaluations for misdemeanors also passed unanimously. A resolution relative to the animal control contract with the City of Cleveland passed with a vote of nine to four.

The Bradley County Commission presented their assistant Amy Moore with a farewell luncheon prior to the meeting and a plaque honoring her service. Chairman Louie Alford presented the plaque saying, “It is with great honor and deep appreciation that we recognize you for your tireless efforts as our administrative assistant and for your 15 years of service to Bradley County.” Ms. Moore is stepping down to pursue another career endeavor.

Commissioner Peak-Jones made a motion to move the legislative administrator position to the county mayor’s office saying, “It is best for the tax payers to put $40,000 back in the budget and eliminate this position. Commissioner Brian Smith made a substitute motion for the position to stay like it is. Commissioner Bill Winters said, “This will help us be more efficient. I think it is good to have someone that works directly with us.” The substitute motion passed with a vote of 11 to two with Commissioners Hall and Peak-Jones voting no. Chairman Alford will assign a committee to review applications for the position.

The Bradley County Commission will hold its next work session meeting next Monday at 7 p.m.

Many Photos Of Fairyland Development Featured In New Hiener Photo Book

Many photos of the Fairyland development on Lookout Mountain are featured in the new historic photo book being published by Garnet and Frieda Carter carried out the fanciful development in the 1920s. It was during the construction that the game of miniature golf was invented when a golf ball was hit through a drain pipe at the job site. It was first called ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Ga., Holds Hearing On Property Rate Issue; Compromise Sought On Short Term Vacation Rentals

All property in Walker County, Georgia was reassessed this year, including that in the Town of Lookout Mountain, Ga. where some increased in value, some decreased and others stayed the same. The city council encouraged the property owners with increased assessments to appeal the change. Not knowing if the property values, in the end, would be up or down, the council made a decision ... (click for more)

Literacy Is Critical

Government spending is often portrayed as a freight train "quickly running out of track." And there is some truth to that statement. There is not an endless supply of money to fund every good idea that comes along, and we must acknowledge that problem. Fiscal responsibility is a must.  That is why spending on priority issues like public education is important. You can spend ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prayer Over Despair

As a strong proponent of early voting, I joined hundreds at the Hamilton County Election Commission headquarters on Amnicola Highway yesterday to exercise what I consider one of our greatest freedoms – “for the people, by the people.” Candidly, I have never been as upset or as disappointed over my choices for President in my life. Locally I am fine with our candidates but to pick ... (click for more)

Baylor Bounces Back To Earn Finals Berth Against Briarcrest

MURFREESBORO – There’s good news and bad news concerning the Baylor volleyball team. The good news is that they will be playing Briarcrest on Friday morning at MTSU’s Murphy Center for the Division II-AA state volleyball title. The bad news is that they’ll be facing that monumental challenge without the services of their best player and team leader Gabby Gray. The x-rays ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Advances To Class AA State Final

MURFREESBORO – Never accuse the Signal Mountain volleyball team of ever doing anything the easy way. The Lady Eagles, who entered the TSSAA state tournament here as a possible favorite to win the Class AA division, started off the tournament on the wrong foot Wednesday as they lost to defending champ Sullivan South in their first match. They staved off elimination with a 3-0 ... (click for more)