Attendance 101: Von Cannon targets Budget Committee

10:00 am | October 22, 2013

Monday’s Carter County Commission meeting almost opened with the same controversial topic discussed at last month’s meeting – commissioner attendance.  Almost.

Carter County commissioners observed a moment of silence before their meeting in honor of late Commissioner Ernest “Gebe” Ritchie.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Carter County commissioners observed a moment of silence before their meeting in honor of late Commissioner Ernest “Gebe” Ritchie.

A Carter County Citizens in Action member tried to yield the floor during public comments to Commissioner Charles Von Cannon, but Chairperson Tom Bowers would not allow it.

Instead, Von Cannon waited until the very end of the meeting during commission comments to offer the results of his research into commissioner attendance at budget committee meetings.

Von Cannon appeared to target commissioners over the removal of Commissioner Scott Sams from the Budget Committee by fellow 7th-district commissioners Sonja Culler and Russell Kyte, based upon Sams’ attendance and the 7th district’s representation on the Budget Committee.

“Only one commissioner attended all 35 meetings of the budget committee,” Von Cannon said. “That would be you, Mr. Chairman.”

In his presentation, Von Cannon went on to include an example of a commissioner who requested his pay withheld for leaving a meeting early.

“How many times have some of us left early?” Von Cannon asked.

He said he also looked into the rules surrounding whether commissioners can have another commissioner fill in for them on a committee in their absence. The rule, Von Cannon said, is that the person filling in can only be a commissioner from the same district.

“I know I’m not mistaken,” Von Cannon said. “I’ve seen people fill in for others and they were not in the same district. If you want to challenge me on that, go ahead.”

Ultimately Commissioner Steve Lowrance suggested that Von Cannon’s concerns be brought to the Rules and Bylaws Committee for further discussion.

With a second by Commissioner Steve Chambers, the commission approved Lowrance’s motion and was adjourned.

In other business, the commission approved expediting the placement of automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, in the Carter County Courthouse and Annex.

Carter County Finance Director Ingrid Deloach’s research turned up a few possible ways the county could secure money to pay for the devices.

Last Tuesday, Deloach said she spoke with Emergency Management Director Andrew Worley who told her he already looked into an AED grant, which is technically a discount program offering them at about $1,400.

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