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Legislative Committee Meeting Minutes – September 29, 2022

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Chair Commissioner Evan Baddour opened the meeting asking for a motion on the 1 June 2022 minutes.  Commissioner Judy Pruett moved for approval and with Commissioner Joyce Woodard providing the second, the minutes were approved.  Prayer and pledge were not offered having been done in previous same day meeting.


First and only Agenda Item – Changing time for legislative meeting(s).  The Chair and other commissioners discussed strong support during the election campaign for a time change.  Commissioner Caleb Savage said many of his constituents had mentioned 6:00 p.m. so they might attend, given their daytime jobs.  Commissioner Joyce Woodard mentioned some of the problems with changing the times (for both committee and full legislative meetings).  For county employees, especially Department Directors, that timing would not be in keeping with their regular scheduled work hours and they would have to come back to attend; security for the meetings would result in overtime where currently the security is provided with employees at their hourly rate; some Department Directors cannot come in at that time; with winter coming on, older people will not want to get out to drive; and can watch on the Citizen’s website (the full commission meeting.)  Per Commissioner Gayle Jones this change would be for the citizens of Giles County, not for the Department Directors.  Per Commissioner Judy Pruett that is a lot to ask of the county employees.  Commissioner Annelle Guthrie said she would reiterate what Commissioner Jones had just said and to try it; that was the number one thing her voters had told her.  Per Commissioner Brad Butler, we approve generally the committee work during the full legislative meeting, so if the people want to be involved speaking at the committee meetings is easier and more beneficial.  Commissioner Erin Curry mentioned this has been tried several times before, and failed, but with a later time it might encourage more people to run for public office.  Per Commissioner Terry Jones, the Planning Committee meets at 5:00 p.m. and lots of people attended the last meeting, so the committee meetings might be the best place.  Commissioner Adams noted that anyone can get on the full committee agenda (with advance notice); and since his vision at night is difficult, an earlier time might be better.  In addition, most people complaining won’t come any way.  Commissioner Tracy Wilburn noted many people work the night shift, and that you are elected to be the voice of the people, and that you can be at home and watch on TV, and did not think the time change would benefit the majority of the people.  Commissioner Tim Risner agreed with Commissioner Wilburn.  Commissioner Wamble addressed the additional cost, e.g., overtime and is that coming from their budget or from the County Executive’s budget.  County Executive Graham Stowe mentioned a hybrid solution with day light savings time changing meeting times in winter/summer.  He further stated he wanted the meetings to be transparent to the citizens.  He also mentioned the possibility of a special meeting to have the public speak on any subject.     Commissioner Shelley Goolsby said she was the first to bring up the change of additional meeting times, changing to monthly from every two months meeting for the full legislature.  She recommended the hybrid of one at night and one in daytime.  Commission Joseph Sutton added that the timing should let high school students attend.  Commissioner Joyce Woodard agreed with the part day, part night solution.  Commissioner Savage said timing makes no difference to him; that he supports because a lot of people said they wanted a different time.  If can’t agree on 6:00 p.m., he liked the hybrid.  Commissioner Tracy Wilburn said he thought a work session would help to get input on issues.  Commissioner Curry said time for public comments is available during full commission.  Commissioner Wamble noted it would take a 2/3 vote to change, and given today’s discussions that probably would not happen.  He did like the town hall so all could come and discuss.  The Chair said the discussions were good to let people know we are responsible to their concerns.  A motion by Commissioner Gayle Jones, and seconded by Commissioner Savage was made and approved to send to the full commission that every month the commission would meet at 6:00 p.m.  Motion approved 5 to 2 with Commissioners Joyce Woodard and Judy Pruett voting no.


Chair called for old business and there being none, called for new business.  Commissioner Gayle Jones addressed the Rule on public speaking at the full commission and noted it was to be reviewed annually, in October.  A motion by Commissioner Jones to strike the “review annually” and was seconded by Commissioner Caleb Savage and was approved.  Commissioner Wamble noted it would take a 2/3 vote in full commission for final approval.  County Executive Stowe asked why the statement “review annually” was in there and Commissioner Reedy noted it was placed in there as an option to see how it would work.


Also under new business, Commissioner Joyce Woodard read from correspondence from Ms. Barbara Nicolson of the County’s Archives Department where she asked for approval to name the Reading and Research Library room the Parker-White room in honor of Ms. Clara Morrow Parker and Ms. Elizabeth White.  She called out their lengthy and dedicated service to the county.  A motion by Commissioner Joyce Woodard and seconded by Commissioner Judy Pruett was made to approve the naming.  It was noted that this would properly be done by the Building Committee and should be addressed in their next meeting.  The motion was approved to send a recommendation of approval to the Building Committee.


Again, under new Business, Commissioner Gayle Jones noted that she as a representative of the county has served on the Giles County Library Board.  Commissioner Jones raised the question of the library lobbying or attempting to influence legislation and if that placed their 501C3 in jeopardy.  Commissioner Jones also wanted clarification since she had been appointed by the County Executive, but the library’s Bylaws state that is the prerogative of the Library’s Board of Trustees, i.e., Nonvoting, advisory ex-officio representatives for the city and county governing bodies may be appointed by the Board of Trustees to a term to coincide with their term of office.  Commissioner Caleb Savage made a motion and Commissioner Jones seconded that the County attorney research and brief this committee on the County wide Powers act.  The chair asked are there any specifics, negative as well as positive.  Commissioner David Wamble suggested the County Executive might give the committee a presentation on it before the additional cost of the county attorney researching and doing.  The motion was then removed.  A member of the public, former commissioner Mike Cesarini noted that the county already has the CTAS (County Technical Assistance Service) that supports counties in such issues.


A meeting on Public Records was identified by Commissioner Gayle Jones for 4 October at 9:00 a.m. in the Annex.  The meeting is to discuss potential destruction of old records and hiring the part-time employee.  Since this information had not been made available to all, a discussion took place on the various committees with only commissioners involved as well as committees that include members outside the commission.  The Chair stated it is the Chair’s responsibility to set up the meeting, and in the case of the Annex building to assure through the County Executive’s office the room is available.  Typically, the County Executive’s Office provides information to all commissioners on any upcoming meeting involving commissioners.


Call for adjournment was motioned by Commissioner Caleb Savage, seconded by Commissioner Gayle Jones and was approved.


ATTENDEES:    Members of the Committee:  Chair Commissioner Evan Baddour, Commissioners:  Joyce Woodard, Terry Jones, Annelle Guthrie, Caleb Savage, Judy Pruett and Gayle Jones for Matt Rubelsky (absent)  Other Commissioners in attendance:  David Adams, Rose Brown, Brad Butler, Erin Curry, Shelly Goolsby, Matt Hopkins, Roger Reedy, Tim Risner, Joseph Sutton, David Wamble, Tracy Wilburn Other Attendees: County Executive Graham Stowe, Financial Management Beth Moore-Sumners, members of the public including Mike Cesarini