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County removes Ethics Committee

By Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:02 PM

The County Commission discussed the future of the county Ethics Committee and heard an update on activities in the state legislature during its Monday meeting.

At the Jan. 27 commission meeting, Commissioner Wendell Marlowe made a recommendation that Mayor Randall Hutto change the members currently sitting on the Ethics Committee, “due to inadequate representation of needs.”

In a 15-7 vote (two abstaining, one absent), the commission decided to remove the five members currently serving on the committee.

Under the county’s current policy, ethics committee members are appointed to one year terms by the county mayor and are affirmed by the County Commission. Hutto pointed out that “all members have been reaffirmed by [the commission] each year.”

There was a question of how to go about replacing the committee members, and Jennings said there is nothing in the local rules about moving committee members.

“According to Roberts Rules of Order, if you are going to change [members] it takes action from the mayor and from [commissioners]. Perhaps the way to go is to further define how to deal with these issues and further define the responsibilities of the committee.”

Terry Ashe spoke to commissioners regarding some proposed legislation that could affect the county and where it is in the legislature at this time. One such piece of legislation was the hotel/motel tax increase that has been proposed in the county.

“Some of you have called me and wanted to know what your legislators have introduced,” said Ashe. “The private act regarding the hotel/motel tax has been filed for introduction.

“We’re halfway through the session, so all I can do now is keep you from last-minute surprises. If there are any bills anyone has questions about, just give me a call.”

Items approved at the meeting included the following items:

• An additional appropriation to the special purpose (school construction) fund for the purchase of additional land at Carroll-Oakland Elementary School;

• Adoption of the 2012 edition of the International Residential Building Code;

• Accepting the bond for Road Commission member Zone 2, Becky Siever;

• An appropriation from the GIS reserve account into Planning;

• An appropriation to make a line item transfer in the Drug Court program;

• An appropriation from the County Clerk data processing reserve account to the County Clerk;

• An additional appropriation into the Wilson Emergency Management Agency;

• An additional appropriation in the general fund to other economic and community development;

• An appropriation for line item transfers in the Sheriff’s Department.

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