Bradley County Commission Votes 14-0 To Ask State To Defund Planned Parenthood; Vote Against Insure Tennessee; Alford, Yarber Stay In Charge

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Bradley County Commission, after an impassioned plea by Commissioner Dan Rawls, voted 14-0 on Tuesday night to ask Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly to defund Planned Parenthood.

Commissioner Rawls said he proposed the resolution based on the organization "selling body parts and tissue harvested from aborted  babies."

Saying that through the centuries there had been a focus on "protecting the weak," he said, "What mental illness afflicts them? What demons possess them? No humans would do those things."

He called the founder of Planned Parenthood "a despicable piece of human filth."

The commission also voted down a move by Commissioner Thomas Crye to ask the General Assembly to put the Insure Tennessee program into place. He said some 6,000 Bradley County residents would be affected.

Commissioner Rawls also had an adamant stance on that issue, saying that Senator Mike Bell told him that as many as 480,000 might qualify for the program - up from an earlier 280,000.

He said, "The cost is going to be astronomical. This is not free money. It's borrowed money."

Commissioner Rawls said the last time Tennessee had a Medicaid expansion "it almost bankrupted the state. It had to remove 170,000 people from the program."

In the end, not even Commissioner Crye voted for the motion.

Also during the meeting, commissioners voted to give Louie Alford yet another term as chairman.

Commissioner Terry Caywood nominated Bill Winters for vice chairman. However, current Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber got 12 votes to stay in place.

The commission voted to accept the bid of $66,880 by Ooltewah Nursery for irrigation at Elrod Park.

The panel approved the sale of 11.2 acres of county property on Minnis Road for $132,000.

The commission approved a third amendment to the contract with Santek Environmental for the operation of the landfill, which increases the tonnage limitation from 200,000 tons to 400,000 tons. It also increases the amount of host fees and creates a community involvement committee.

T.L. Huskins said the landfill keeps the south side of town covered with litter that blows off garbage trucks.

He said the sign leading into town should say "Welcome to the trashiest city in Tennessee."

Commissioner Crye withdrew a motion to provide animal pickup.

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