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Commissioner Wants Survey Given to Volunteer Firefighters
by Ashley Murphy

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
During last night's Bradley County Commission meeting, Mayor D. Gary Davis made a suggestion to the commission to offer the City of Cleveland an option to drop the current Sales Tax Referendum lawsuit and use the money toward the payment of bonds on industrial site property and the continued effort to gain more industrial site property.

When passed, the Sales Tax Referendum held many stipulations and divided the extra earned money between the city and the county. However, the city believes they deserve more than the county referendum was allowing them and both sides have been in a lawsuit against each other over that money since the referendum was implemented. Davis made sure to let everyone know that the money is currently not included in either government's budget, it is just being sat aside until the lawsuit can be settled. Davis was making this offer knowing that the each side is in need of more industrial site property to encourage growth and he hoped that this would lead the City of Cleveland to drop the lawsuit and come to an agreement with the county. The idea has yet to be formally presented to the City Council.

Commissioner Mel Griffith gave his idea for a resolution to devise and conduct a survey to all former Bradley County volunteer firefighters to try to determine a set reason for why they left the department. Also, a separate survey would go out to current volunteer firefighters to find out their current 'likes' and 'dislikes' within the department. Griffith's reasoning was that several volunteers have quit over the years, in addition to the department's dire need of more firefighters in certain areas.

Commissioner Jeff Yarber said he felt like a survey was not the best course of action and that a process should be implemented to get more volunteers on board and trained so they can get out in the field and fill the void the department is currently experiencing.

Commissioner Adam Lowe agree with Griffith and after Yarber heard his reasoning, suggested that the surveys be conducted at the same time as the recruiting and training process. However, Griffith believed the survey should be tabulated first to see if there is a specific reason volunteers are dropping off and try to fix the problem, if there is one, before bringing in more volunteers.

The Bradley County Commission will meet again for their voting session on Monday, March 7th at 7 p.m. in the Courthouse. As of today, no items were listed on the agenda.