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New Commissioners Attend First Meeting

by Ashley Murphy

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Newly elected Bradley County Commissioners attended their first meeting after a Labor Day holiday on Tuesday night. Those five new commissioners were Terry Caywood - 1st District, Jeff Morelock - 3rd District, Adam Lowe - 4th District, Robert Rominger - 6th District and Bill Winters - 7th District.

It was that time of year again; choosing the Commission's Chairman and Vice Chairman. Commissioner Louie Alford was awarded votes and retained his position as Bradley County Commission Chairman. Current Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber nominated 7th District Commissioner Mark Hall to take his place. Hall was awarded the vote and is now the new Bradley County Commission Vice Chairman.

First on the regular agenda was a resolution clarifying the authorized use of Wacker Grant and authorizing abandonment of McBryant Road and a portion of Lower River Road. Before passing the resolution, a couple of new commissioners seemed to have some concerns about this idea and wanted to make sure what they were voting on was in the best interest and convenience of Bradley County residents.

A motion put forth on the agenda by Commissioner Howard Thompson to purchase property off of Georgetown Road in the Hopewell area for a County Fire Station was met with criticism. Commissioner Jeff Yarber made a motion to postpone the vote indefinitely after making his concerns known about the fact that this move would be a step closer to going with a county-only fire department. Yarber said he would like to see the commission move to decision-making where the current contract and previous consolidation discussions were concerned.

Commissioner Adam Lowe offered an additional substitute motion which would allow the incoming commissioners a chance to become more familiar with the situation and educate themselves on the issue before making a hasty decision. The vote can be brought back up in two weeks time.

An item not on the agenda came before the commission regarding 7th District Constable Charlie McKenzie. McKenzie had won the unopposed position on the ballot before winning the 1st District seat on the Cleveland City Council. McKenzie stated he wished to retain his seat on the Council, therefore resigning his position as constable, as he is unable to serve in 2 separate elected positions in Cleveland. The Commission will now need to advertise the open position and go through a nomination process.

The Bradley County Commission will meet again on Monday, September 13th at noon in the Courthouse.