Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 14, 2013

Explaining the county commission

By John D. Kinnunen
Sun contributor

CROSSVILLE — During the first year as your District 9 County Commissioner, I have had an interesting learning experience and I am now finally able to become an informed member of our county government. The question I am most asked is, “How does the commission work?” Some of the residents of Fairfield Glade have attended the monthly meetings only to leave confused. This, most often, is because all that seemed to be done by the commissioners was taking a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote on items with very little discussion or explanation.

Our county government is basically a committee form of government. All items that make it on the agenda of the monthly commission meeting have been thoughtfully discussed and approved by one of the county's standing or statutory committees. These committee meetings are open to the public and individuals can share their opinions within reason on any subject being discussed, unless a majority of the committee members object.

All county committee meetings are advertised in the Crossville Chronicle in the left hand column of the front page under the title of “Upcoming Meetings." This is posted well in advance of the meeting. The commission encourages our county residents to attend and participate in any or all of the scheduled meetings. By doing this, you will then have the complete story when the subject is sent to the full commission for a vote. Each standing committee has a representative from each civil (voting) district, and only that commissioner can vote on items decided on by the committee.

In future articles, I will explain all of the committees and their duties or areas of responsibility. This way, if you, as a resident of Cumberland County, have a question or project of interest you want presented, I, as your representative, can help you in getting it delivered to the right committee.

This is the beginning of a series of articles I will be writing on a regular basis to help our residents better understand the workings of our Cumberland County government. In my next article, I will be discussing the Education Committee, of which I am chairman. The prime topics will be the school's budget as well as the school security officers. Other county committees and their duties will be the topic of future articles as well as any topics residents deem important for our community's future.