• Home
  • >
  • >
  • No change to beer sale boundary, county recesses for election commission decision

No change to beer sale boundary, county recesses for election commission decision

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

By Holly Roeder
Staff Writer

The Chester County Commission discussed a request to change the boundary allowing for the sale of beer no closer than 2000 feet from a school or church to 500 feet, and voted to leave the law as it stands. Pictured above, Pat Connor, of Mifflin Baptist Church, addressed the commission with a stack of signed petitions, asking them to vote against changing the boundary distance.

The Chester County Commission met Monday evening, Nov. 6, in regular session with all in attendance with the exception of Commissioner Johnny Garner.
As he opened the meeting, Mayor Barry Hutcherson addressed all in attendance, directing the meeting be conducted in an orderly manner, by procedure, affording participants the ability to be heard. Hutcherson later addressed the board, sharing that he hopes to soon present County Meeting Policies by which to abide during future meetings. He was specifically looking at the “Open Meetings” Plan, he said. Such guidelines would provide for a more organized assembly. Hutcherson also presented a proposal for a public comment policy.
The proposed Chester County Public Comment Policy includes allowances for public comment on actionable items, limiting speakers to two minutes each, to respectfully conduct themselves, the number of comments allowed at the discretion of the chairman.
Commissioners Phelps and Crowe suggested a wording change in a the portion which reads a public member will not be allowed to comment if they do not register their desire to speak prior to the meeting, to show “may not” instead of “will not,” and/or to allow for possible last minute comments at meetings. Commissioners agreed to table the discussion to allow for a decision on an amended version.
The commission appointed Commissioner Tim Crowe to continue in the position as Chairman Pro Tempore and unanimously approved budget amendments and all quarterly reports. In election of pro tem, the motion to nominate Crowe was made by Commissioner Dwight Bingham and seconded by Commissioner Renee Phelps. James Alexander motioned to nominate Ann Moore with a second by Bubba Edgin. Crowe was elected following a 10/5 roll call vote.
In the decision to consider a change from the law which prohibits for the sale of beer within a 2,000 foot boundary of a school or church, the commission voted unanimously to leave the law as is. Prior to making their decision, Hutcherson allowed public comment, hearing from Pat Connor of Mifflin Baptist Church, Ronnie Geary with Cave Springs Baptist Church and Chester County Superintendent Troy Kilzer, each encouraging the commissioners to deny the request. Scott McCaskill addressed the commission in support of the change, which would directly affect his business in Mifflin.
Director Kathy Vest approached commissioners on behalf of the Chester County Election Commission, concerning the search for a new location to safely house the election equipment and offices and hold elections. Vest stated the National Secretaries of State Association has named Tennessee number one nationwide in Election Integrity for the second year standing, making it as important as ever to protect the integrity of local elections. She stated ongoing issues with care and functionality of equipment stands to impact local elections if provisions are not made prior to the coming year’s elections. She added that the county is subject to not only state statute but also federal regulations, requiring adequate safeguards and maintenance to prevent loss, theft or damage to election equipment. Vest continued, presenting information on options for relocation, which had been discussed at a previous Elec. Comm. Meeting, specifically the two options of which commissioners had shown most interest. The first option would be a remodel of the Public Safety Building, including changes to address handicap accessibility, a 100-foot boundary issue, HVAC dehumidification and more, and would also require the relocation of U.T. Extension and Veterans Affairs. The cost of this project is unknown at this time. The second option is to relocate to the Hometown Vendor Mall building on Whitely Ave. with a five-year-lease at $3,000 per month, with the plan to prepare the Public Safety Building to move back in there at the end of the five years. Other county expenses would include utilities and some restructuring costs. Vest explained this second option would provide security in preparation for March elections and for Logic and Accuracy Testing in January.
“We’re about to embark on the biggest election that anybody in this election has ever seen,” Vest said. “We cannot go into this election year unprepared.” Vest asked the commission to make a decision at Monday’s meeting, given that they would not meet again until January. “The time is now,” she said.
After some discussion, the commission decided to recess to allow Vest an opportunity to request a shorter lease and to provide additional time to procure bids for the Public Safety Building project.
Budget Amendments were unanimously approved as well as the purchase of a county maintenance vehicle at $8,400, which would replace personal use reimbursements. Quarterly reports, unanimously approved, included the removal of Woodville Creek Lane from the county road roster, the sale of used highway department trucks, Code Enforcement report and a report from Emergency Medical Services. The board also approved Purchase Order and General Policies, Public Advisory and Fair Ground Committees and awarded TLM grant-funded Health Department renovations, with none opposed. Finally, Commissioners discussed proposed county holidays for upcoming months.
Watch the full meeting on the Chester County Independent YouTube channel.

Public Comment Policy

  1. The agenda for any public meeting that includes actionable items will reserve one or more opportunities for public comment. This opportunity may consist of a single comment period for all actionable items or separate comment periods for each.
  2. “Actionable items” are agenda items requiring a vote, except for procedural votes such as adopting minutes, determining necessity or voting to adjourn. Reports and updates are not “actionable items” subject to public comment.
  3. Public members will be allowed to comment on an actionable item before a vote on that item.
  4. Public members may indicate their desire to comment by filling out a form for the meeting and submitting it at least one business day before the meeting to the Chester County Mayor’s Office. Failure to do so will result in the inability to comment publicly. Specific instructions will be provided in advance of each meeting.
  5. Speakers are limited to two minutes per person. Comments may not yield time to each other to extend this period. Speakers will identify themselves at the beginning of their allotted time, including their affiliation. This is a requirement.
  6. Comments shall be limited solely to actionable items on the agenda.
  7. Speakers will respectfully conduct themselves and be removed if they engage in threatening or disruptive behavior.
  8. The majority vote of the Chester County Commission may extend the opportunity for the public to comment.
  9. If actionable items are presented in other business, before the Chester County Commission votes, the public will be allowed to comment; however, the number of comments will be at the discretion of the Chairman.

Related Posts

The Chester County Independent is a weekly newspaper, published on Thursdays, serving Chester County, Tennessee.

© Copyright 2024 

chestercountyindependent.com, 218 S Church Ave Henderson, TN