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Legislative Committee Meeting Minutes – February 9, 2024 (Approved)

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9 February 2024


Chair Commissioner Matt Rubelsky opened the meeting asking Commissioner Roger Reedy to offer a prayer and lead the pledge.  The minutes of 13 November 2023 were moved for approval by Commissioner Joyce Woodard, seconded by Commissioner Annelle Guthrie, and were approved unanimously.


The Chair asked if there were any public comments and Ms. Carolyn Thompson stated she had attended a meeting with Tarpley Shop and South Giles Utility Districts.  She said at the meeting consolidation of those two districts was discussed, voted on, and approved.  She suggested it as a model for other districts to consider.

The Chair then asked County Executive (CE) Graham Stowe if he had any announcements.  The CE gave the following:  The consolidation of Tarpley Shop and South Giles Utility Districts is at the direction of the state Comptroller’s office; On 23 February at 3:15 pm, Senator Blackburn will be at UTS Gault to meet with public officials (not a public meeting but for elected officials only); CE Stowe is meeting with Jason Griffin (OHM) to work toward a contract for the ambulance building design; the Emergency Services committee meets at OEM Feb 26th at 9:00; the new county website is expected in early March; Carol Wade asked for one of the commissioners to stay for a required second signature on a Trustee document.

The Chair said next agenda items, Rule 8 and 15, of the county’s Standard Procedures.  The CE addressed Rule 8 which references quorums and voting – Per the CE each should align with state statutes and CTAS guidance. Motion to approve change and send to full commission was made by Commissioner Caleb Savage, seconded by Commissioner Evan Baddour, and was approved unanimously.  A suggestion by Commissioner Gayle Jones to reference the specific TCA statute was discussed but was determined as unwieldy since would have to be consistently applied to all rules, the key point being to ensure the rules complied with statutes.


The CE addressed Rule 15 which covers protocols, committees and elections, and commissioner notifications.  He stated the changes are basically for clarity with a few procedural changes that have been executed but not yet expressed in the Rules.  Commissioner Evan Baddour commented so no substance going away, just clearer with the CE answering yes.   Questions then centered around notifications and minutes for committee meetings, and pre-packages for full commission meetings.  Some concerns were voiced, saying they never knew when some of the meetings were to occur, came and some were postponed, availability of minutes not consistent, in past got a letter, and this is an administrative function so why discuss here.  Commissioner Gayle Jones had discussed with the Citizen paper about publishing the agenda along with the timing and date, and the paper was amenable to putting on their new website.  The CE said it would be put on the new county’s website and that he was using other methods to communicate the information as well.  The CE further said he would pursue the issue with the Giles Executive secretary to improve the process.  A motion by Commissioner Caleb Savage and seconded by Commissioner Evan Baddour was made to approve and forward to full commission and was approved.


Next agenda item Resolution showing encouragement for the Consolidation of South Giles and Tarpley Shop with the Chair noting the county does not have power to regulate the utility districts; that is the state’s responsibility.  The County, per the Chair, can communicate and provide resources to facilitate.  Motion to approve the resolution was made by Commissioner Evan Baddour, seconded by Commissioner Caleb Savage, and after the following discussion was approved unanimously.  The $2.7M for water improvements has not been received yet and the CE noted that the projects remain in planning and design phase.  Additionally, TDEC has other grants to encourage consolidation or at least partnerships on grants.  Commissioner Terry Jones noted the recent weather problems and supply of water to consumers.  He emphasized that communications were well done by some and with others none or poor.  He compared the water outages to electrical outages and how well PES communicates during those times.  Commissioner Wamble said the City of Pulaski is the only district that does drinking water and all others get their water from that source, mentioning South Giles gets theirs from Limestone County.  He suggested building a water treatment system at the Campbellsville spring for drinking water, and the CE mentioned that’s an option, with other options in the southern part of the county, and pursuing a new treatment plant would be permit-intensive, 10-year plan.  The Chair said the cost would be around $30M.  Question raised at this time if this is the proper committee for this discussion.  The Chair noted it was brought after several commissioners asked for the discussion.  Fairview Utility District representative said communication is difficult because many of the utility districts aren’t staffed to answer constant phone calls in extreme weather and water shortages.  The representative said their first priority is getting the water turned back on which includes callings customers with leaks or potential leaks.  Commissioner Joyce Woodard mentioned that on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 5 o’clock South Giles Utility District has their monthly meetings.  The CE said that he will send out the notices for all utility board meetings.  Commissioner Tracy Wilburn in discussing the Resolution, said it needs more teeth in it or it is useless.  The Chair said the Resolution is in response to requests from constituents.  The Fairview representative said there are 13 utility districts across Tennessee in financial hardships, and with new state committees, the state is pushing toward consolidation, in order to provide better services.  As noted above, motion was approved.

The Chair asked if any old business.  Commissioner Evan Baddour discussed the sale of beer in accord with the county’s distance from churches/schools.  In the last full commission, a request for a beer license failed, and he made a motion to bring back to the full commission, and Commissioner Joyce Woodard provided the second.  Roberts’ Rules of Order was discussed as to which commissioner could ask for reconsideration, and the final consensus was anyone can ask at the next meeting, just not in same meeting.  In the same meeting only one of the prevailing voters may bring the subject up again for voting.  A role call to place it on the agenda for the full commission (thereby informing the public) was taken and the motion passed 4-3 with Commissioners Annelle Guthrie, Caleb Savage, and Matt Rubelsky voting no.


With no other old business, the Chair asked for new business.  Commissioner Gayle Jones discussed a handout which stated the correct procedures for calling the question.  The CE stated there had been a procedural error on that point, but that was an oversight, not an issue with the Rules.

A motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Caleb Savage, seconded by Commissioner Judy Pruett, and was approved unanimously.

ATTENDEES:  Members of the Committee – Chair Commissioner Matt Rubelsky, other commissioners:  Joyce Woodard, Terry Jones, Annelle Guthrie, Caleb Savage, Judy Pruett and Evan Baddour   Other Commissioners attending:  Tracy Wilburn, Matthew Hopkins, Roger Reedy, David Wamble, Joseph Sutton, David Adams, James Lathrop, Erin Curry, Shelly Goolsby, Tim Risner, Rose Brown, Brad Butler

Others Attending:  County Executive Graham Stowe, Road Superintendent Barry Hyatt, Director of Schools Vickie Beard, Fairview Utility District Jamie Byrd, Members of the Public -Carolyn Thompson, Connie Howell, Bill Young and others