If you reside in the sixth district and would like to fill the unexpired term of Bruce Parsley on the Board of Education you may submit your letter of interest to the county mayor's office at the courthouse.
The county commission Monday night voted to accept applications through noon on Monday, February 6.
Parsley, who was elected in August 2008, resigned as of December 31 to pursue a career as a certified teacher. His term expires August 31.
Your application can be simply preparing a letter stating your interest in being considered for the position. The person selected by the commission will serve until August 31.
The county commission will conduct interviews of all applicants for the position during an all-committees meeting on the evening of Thursday, February 23 and then choose one of the applicants to fill the unexpired term during the next regular meeting on Monday night, February 27.
Two persons, Boyd Trapp and Doug Stephens attended last Thursday night's all-committees meeting of the county commission to express their interest. They were also present during Monday nights regular meeting.
In the August DeKalb County General Election, school board members from both the fifth and sixth districts will be elected, each to serve a four year term. The qualifying deadline to get your name on the ballot in the school board races is April 5.
In other business, the county commission took no action on a school board request that the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS) be asked to do a traffic study in the school zones in Smithville.
County Attorney Hilton Conger said he had received a letter from Director of Schools Mark Willoughby concerning the school board's request but found that CTAS does not perform traffic studies. "I did check with CTAS and got a response back from them that CTAS does not do traffic studies." Conger said that he would respond to Willoughby's letter.
The school board has also made a similar request of the city, asking that City Attorney Vester Parsley and city officials seek a traffic study through the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). No word yet on whether the city will follow through on the request.
Meanwhile, the commission, on a near unanimous voice vote, adopted a resolution to mirror a similar one approved by the local democratic party on Saturday expressing opposition to the Republican drawn state redistricting plan, which splits DeKalb County between the 40th and 46th legislative districts. Fourth district member David McDowell voted no.
The resolution states "Whereas DeKalb County has always been represented by one State Representative and one State Senator;
Whereas, DeKalb County cannot have an effective voice in state government when its citizens are split amongst multiple legislative districts (especially given the size of the county and of the newly carved segments);
Whereas, there is both a constitutional and case law requirement that lawmakers avoid splitting counties into multiple legislative districts;
Be it resolved that the Democratic Party of DeKalb County hereby asks the Tennessee General Assembly to amend the redistricting plan to keep all of DeKalb County in one Senate and one Representative district."
In a letter to County Mayor Mike Foster, DeKalb County Democratic Party Secretary Joyce Hendrixson requested that the county commission adopt this resolution as approved by the Democratic Party's Executive Committee and mass attendees on Saturday. "The Party voted to request help from the Tennessee State Legislature to address the injustice that has recently been done to the County by the proposed redistricting,' she wrote.
"I am asking that the County Commission vote to voice their opposition to the newly proposed carving up of the county. The Governor has not yet signed off on the legislation."
"David Harper, State Executive Committee Representative for the Democratic Party, 40th District, asked that a copy be mailed to the State Party by early Monday Morning. I have done that. I am asking that the Commission vote to oppose the redistricting Monday night, January 23," wrote Hendrixson.
The letter went on to state that " The new law, as is, would carve the County into two separate representative districts. DeKalb County has fewer than 20,000 citizens. One of the new districts, as is, would contain approximately 6,000 citizens and the other would contain approximately 12,000. Separately, the new districts would not provide sufficient voice for candidates to feel compelled to listen to the Citizens of the County, especially the precincts totaling approximately 6,000 citizens who would be relegated to an invisible and unvoiced status. We, the members of the Executive Committee of the DeKalb County Democratic Party, offer our signatures in opposition to the new redistricting plan. A universal voice vote of the mass attendees of approximately 150 people is also noted."
Under the redistricting plan, all of the sixth district of DeKalb County, nearly all the seventh district, and portions of the second and fifth districts would be in State Representative Mark Pody's 46th district which also includes Cannon and a large portion of Wilson County. The rest of DeKalb County would remain in State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver's 40th district, which also includes Smith, Trousdale, and a portion of Sumner County.
On another issue, the county has tried for up to three years to have caution lights erected at the intersection of US 70 and highway 83 near Kilgore's Restaurant, where several serious traffic accidents have occurred in recent years, and now comes another delay.
The state recently authorized the county to proceed with the project at the county's expense and last summer the county commission voted to seek bids for the project. The county later awarded the contract to Stansell Electric. The cost was to be around $30,000. But County Mayor Mike Foster said Monday night that the county has since learned that the Tennessee Department of Transportation is prepared to fund the project through TDOT's so called "Stop Safety Program." "We've been three years trying to get lights put up at the intersection of Highway 70 and 83. We thought we had contracted with Stansell Electric to put up those lights but when they went to get the permit to put them up they got this response" (about TDOT funding for the project).
"Many months ago, I talked to TDOT about trying to get them to put up caution lights there because we felt like it was an extremely dangerous intersection,' said Foster. We had 18-20 wrecks at that intersection. We felt like it would come under their (TDOT) guidelines to correct this extremely dangerous situation. We had applied (for state assistance) but I had not been told anything. But apparently we did get it (approval). I have now been informed that this project has been approved through the Stop Safety Program and that TDOT is currently under design and will go to bid under this program at a later date. TDOT has said that if the county wishes to pull its request from the Stop Safety program, it could but the county would be financially responsible for the work and would need to obtain the proper permits in order to proceed" said Foster.
The county commission Monday night voted to table any further action on proceeding with the project until Foster obtains official confirmation from TDOT on state funding.
In other business, the commission voted to advertise for bids on replacing the roof on the veteran's building downtown and to do an emergency purchase on an electrical upgrade there.
The commission also gave its approval to officers selected by the county fire department. This is routinely done by the commission each January. Donny Green has again been named chief and Jeff Williams is the assistant chief.
A resolution was adopted by the commission seeking state action to make the sale of synthetic drugs a felony. Several other counties have adopted similar resolutions hoping to create a movement statewide to get this approved by the legislature.
The resolution states that "Whereas, synthetic marijuana and designer stimulants have created a public health problem in DeKalb County as witnessed by the DeKalb County Emergency Medical Services and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department; and
Whereas, during a recent raid in September 2011 conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, State Attorney General's Office, Rutherford County District Attorney's Office, Murfreesboro Police Department and the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department, thirty six convenience stores in Rutherford County were found to be selling synthetic marijuana and designer stimulants for up to $30 per package; and
Whereas, currently in the State of Tennessee some of these products are being sold legally while some are covered under current legislation making them illegal but is a misdemeanor charge.
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, that the DeKalb County legislative delegation be asked to write and pass comprehensive legislation to make the manufacturing, distribution, and selling of synthetic drugs a felony in the State of Tennessee."