By DALE GRAHAM
The Cheatham County Commission met in regular session on Monday of this week. David Davidson and LuAnn Engelman were absent.
In spite of months of work and discussion by Mayor David McCullough and former ECD Director James Fenton, the county commission may have closed the door on a deal to partner with Robertson County for the purpose of building an 1100 acre office park off of I24 in the north end of the county. The item before them was the approval of $32,500 from the Capital Projects budget to fund development of a business plan and model, cover attorney and engineering fees, zoning overlay study and contingency funds.
The rules needed to be suspended because the item had not made it to the capital improvements committee, and it needed to be discussed and decided on quickly, “because Robertson County is continuing to ask where are we as a county? Are we going to do something or not?”, Mayor McCullough explained. “They would like to have some type of response, and I think this would, either way, whether it’s yes or no, it’s going to demonstrate to them where Cheatham County stands.”
After discussion and information by the Mayor, Industrial Development Board Chair David Risner and Chamber Director Chris Neese, the commission voted not to approve the $32,500, therefor likely closing the door on the potential project. The vote to approve was: 6 yes, (John Haines 6th District, Doris Sanders and Betty Ramsey 1st, Rob Myers 2nd, John-Paul Wood 3rd, Donnie Jordan 4th; 4 no, (Walter Weakley 4th, Jimmy Hedgepath 6th, Ann Jarreau 2nd and Dale McCarver 3rd; and Davidson and Engelman from the 5th were absent. The item required 7 affirmative votes for approval.
Also at the meeting, McCarver brought forth a motion to create a committee to oversee the new Veteran’s Service officer, a position which was approved last month to help local veterans with issues they may need help with. The 7 member committee would oversee the part-time officer, and report and advise the commission. Mayor McCullough expressed his opinion that the idea was “inappropriate according to the TN Constitution”, adding that it will only serve to “slow down government”, and that the move was “another form of micro-managing”. The department and it’s employee were under the direct supervision of the county mayor, but after the motion to approve was passed by a vote of 8 yes (Haines, Sanders, Ramsey, Jordan, Weakley, Hedgepath, Jarreau and McCarver) to 2 no, (Wood, Myers), McCullough handed over his file and all authority over the position to the commission.
McCullough stated that he “took 2 oaths, 1 to abide the TN Constitution, and 2 to abide by the Federal”. He added that “it’s about doing what’s right, and what I swore to do when I took this office”.
Also at the meeting: The commission approved a resolution naming September, 2012 “Suicide Prevention Month”.
The commission approved a fireworks ban that will go in conjunction with a state mandated Burn Ban.
The Cheatham County Commission meets the 3rd Monday of each month at 7p.m. in the General Sessions courtroom in Ashland City. The public is invited to attend. Each meeting begins with a public forum, where attendees are allowed to speak.