JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County Commission met in a lengthy in-person session Monday night at the courthouse, dealing with organizational issues, recognizing law enforcement agencies and saying “no thanks” to the Trump administration’s payroll tax deferment option.  WATCH the meeting HERE on demand.

The night started off with the unanimous re-election of Johnny Bruce as chairman and Rusty Orick as vice-chairman.  Before proceeding to other business, the commission recognized representatives from the four municipal police departments, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, proclaiming Sept. 21 as Campbell County Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

The commission then approved committee actions to allow the Campbell County EMA to trade two of three retired ambulances received from the ambulance service in order to convert the other vehicle to a needed flatbed truck, and received an update from Ambulance Director Bruce Perkins on the status of a new plan to increase department efficiency.

The commission then dealt with the Trump administration’s offer to employers to defer the withholding of income tax and social security from employees’ paychecks for the final four months of 2020.  A memo from the County Technical Advisory Service pointed out that if the federal government does not elect to make the deferred payment a permanent tax break, all payroll taxes not withheld from employees’ checks will have to be recouped during the first quarter of 2021.

Having little faith that the deferment will be made permanent, the commission voted unanimously for a motion by Scott Kitts to opt out of the deferment offer.

Commissioners were forced to suspend the rules several times in the meeting to bring up subjects that were not on the agenda. One was a request from Mayor E. L. Morton to approve his nomination of Alvin Evans to fill a vacancy on the planning commission.  The appointment was approved 12-1 with only Dewayne Baird voting “no.”

Another motion was offered by Ralph Davis to set penalties on any commercial haulers who bypassed the scales at the Towe String Convenience Center or dumped commercial waste at any convenience center.  Davis moved to set fines starting at $250 for a first offense with incremental increases for second or third offenses.  Davis’ motion also passed 12-1 with  Kitts voting “no.”

The commissioners then took a brief recess to gather by district and discuss any proposed changes in committee assignments. While most committees were left more or less as they had been,  Orick made a motion to abolish the EMS Committee, explaining, “There’s really no need for it. The oversight of the ambulance service is the mayor’s responsibility.”

“I’ll vote no.  We need that committee in place,” Zach Marlow commented.  With Sue Nance and Carl Douglas having already left the meeting, Marlow was the only member to oppose the motion that passed 9-1 with Tyler King abstaining.  Ralph Davis then caught the bug and moved to abolish the recreation committee, but that idea was less popular.  With only Davis, Kitts and Scott Stanfield voting “yes,” Davis motion failed 7-3.

Four new members of the Financial Management Committee were announced, with every commissioner having one year to serve on that committee that oversees spending and the Office of Finance.  Zach Marlow, Cliff Kohlmeyter, Davis and Charles Baird will be the four commission members in the upcoming year, joining other constitutional members such as the director of schools, mayor and road superintendent.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2020-6AM)