Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

October 11, 2013

Council approves charter changes including one heading to referendum

CROSSVILLE — Several changes to the Crossville charter were approved by the Crossville City Council at their regular October meeting, including one councilman's proposal that will end up as a referendum on the ballot next year letting the public decide on setting term limits for the offices of mayor and council.

A three-member committee has studied the city's charter for the last several months and looked at changes in state law and how it affected the city's private act charter. That committee presented 19 pages of recommended changes that were described as “housecleaning measures” to meet changes in current state law and hopefully help the charter keep up with future changes better. Council members had no trouble with these changes for the most part though one was questioned by Councilman Jesse Kerley concerning the authority of the city manager and the mayor to sign contracts up to $5000 without council approval. 

All of the charter changes proposed by the committee were approved by the council, most of those unanimously. Kerley asked that the section he questioned be voted on separately and it passed with three aye votes and Councilmen Souza and Kerley voting no.

These changes will be forwarded to state Senator Charlotte Burks and Representative Cameron Sexton for approval by the Tennessee General Assembly and once approved will return to the city council for a second vote. If approved by a super majority, two thirds vote, they would become part of the charter.  

Souza had two additional changes to the charter he proposed. One change was approved by a majority of the council pending approval by the general assembly and a city wide referendum but the other change failed to get enough council votes for approval.

Heading for a referendum in November 2014 is a proposal to set term limits of two consecutive four-year terms for council seats and the office of mayor. A council member could serve two terms and then serve two more terms as mayor under the the changes proposed by Souza. 

Several council members expressed concern that the proposal took away the public's right to vote for the candidate they choose, but felt it was OK if the public made the decision. The motion for the change was approved with four votes in favor and only Councilman George Marlow opposed.   

Souza also proposed removing any limits on the value of property necessary to allow county residents who are city property owners to vote in the city election. Currently residential property must be worth $20,000 with a $5,000 taxable value to allow an owner to vote. Souza felt that any value limit should be removed. State law allows no more than two owners to vote based on ownership of any piece of property so that could not be changed according to Souza. 

At the council's recent work session, charter committee member Lanny Colvard explained that property based voting was not a right and the city of Chattanooga lost a lawsuit over property owners voting a number of years ago. Colvard, who previously served as Crossville city attorney, said Crossville set minimum property values because of that lawsuit. Colvard added that the decision of the council would determine how much they want to dilute the voting power of actual city residents.

The proposal was made by councilman Souza and seconded by councilman Jesse Kerley who said he was “all for it.” Mayor pro-tem Danny Wyatt passed on the first round of voting with Souza and Kerley in favor and Mayor J. H. Graham and Marlow opposed. Wyatt cast his vote against the motion saying he was concerned about the vote dilution. 

Kerley then stated that he felt the section allowing voting based on property ownership should be removed from the charter entirely but no such action was taken.

Souza stated that he appreciated and respects the council members vote on the matter.

Martin Elementary School second-grader Isaac Smith was recognized as the student of the month for the character trait of responsibility. Isaac was described as being responsible “for his learning and works very hard in school and beyond." Isaac is the son of Jerry and Teresa Smith.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • Report of missing child turns out false; one charged

    A man living in Crossville set off a major search by law enforcement officers and about 40 employees of a retail store after he reported a small child missing. He later recanted and has now been charged with a misdemeanor charge.

    July 31, 2014

  • tourism-granville.jpg Tourism talk dominates roundtable meeting

    Tourism is big business in Cumberland County and the state of Tennessee.
    Tennessee state officials visited the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and provided a wealth of information for a roundtable discussion County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. organized.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • School system closes budget with more in reserves than planned

    The school system is going to end the year with a little more in its reserves than originally thought, Bob Scarbrough, transportation/maintenance supervisor and acting CFO, at the July 24 meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Education.
    "We believe there will be $4.7 million in the fund balance, which is quite a bit better than anticipated," Scarbrough said.

    July 31, 2014

  • Investigation into assault continues

    A Sparta Hwy. man found with lacerations to the back of the head told Cumberland County sheriff's deputies he was assaulted at a residence on Hwy. 70 N, but doesn't know why.

    July 31, 2014

  • Theft, arson of storage shed reported

    Someone broke into a storage shed and stole several items and, to add insult to injury, set the storage building on fire, according to a Cumberland County Sheriff's Department report.

    July 31, 2014

  • Shop tax free this weekend

    With the return to school right around the corner and Cumberland County students set to return to classrooms Aug. 6, Tennesseans are reminded they can buy certain items without paying sales tax Aug. 1 through Aug. 3.

    July 30, 2014

  • state park bath house.jpg Historic CMSP bathhouse gets new use with renovation

    When a new pool was constructed at Cumberland Mountain State Park in the 1980s, the beach area was converted to a quiet place to watch the water and the bath house was boarded up.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cole dismissed from teaching position

    The Cumberland County Board of Education voted 8-1 to dismiss tenured special education teacher Stephanie Cole, who remains at the Cumberland County Jail without bond charged with the July 20 fatal shooting of Louis Tammaro Jr.

    July 29, 2014

  • Crash sends one to jail, cyclist to UT

    A crash involving a motorcycle and a pickup truck resulted in one man being flown to a regional trauma center and the second man being arrested after he fled the scene, Crossville Police reported.

    July 29, 2014

  • County to include more meeting info on web site

    Cumberland County commissioners approved a change in the commission's rules which requires the full package of materials supplied to the commissioners to be posted on the county's web site.

    July 29, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014