|Monday's commission meeting was a bit unusual for
me. This was the first time in four years that I had attended a
commission meeting not sitting behind the table. It was different to see
someone sitting in the seat where I had been for those four years. It
was also different to see someone besides commissioner Jenkins in his
long held seat. Then of course there was the spot anchored by George
Miller for twenty years with a new face. Yes, there were some changes.
The thing that hasn't changed were the issues. The agenda was loaded with important issues that will have an effect, good or bad, on most county residents. The first items on the agenda were the planning department, rezones and what have you, presented by Russ Newman. Most of the rezones were approved by commission with the exception of a request by Buddy White, owner of Cedar Hills Golf Course, to rezone a piece of property on Beals Chapel Road. The first vote was thought to have passed, but on a roll call vote the request was denied. About five years ago Mr. White was denied a different request for a rezone but after a lengthy lawsuit, the court ruled in favor of Mr. White and granted the requested rezone.
The first big item was the appointment of a someone to fill the vacant second district commission seat. As already reported, Shirley Reno got the appointment. Some in attendance at the meeting were surprised that Ms. Reno got the unanimous vote of the commission. None of the other nominees, including the republican party nominee, Kent Booher, received any votes of the commission. As a realtor, many thought the some commissioners would hesitate on Ms. Reno's appointment. But that wasn't the case.
There was a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in the audience from the large contingent of builders and developers who had attended to meeting to oppose the second vote of the Adequate Schools Facility Tax. The vote went down 9-1 to pass the tax. The anti's had really been trying to apply the pressure to the commission not to pass the tax. Even before she was appointed to the commission, at least three developers had Ms. Reno cornered in the hall trying to persuade her not to support the tax. I'm not sure how they new ahead of time, she was going to get the appointment. Fortunately the tax vote passed. One member of the developers group told me, "the county better get ready to go to court."
voted to make the intersection at Midway Road and Shaw Ferry a four way
All in all it was a typical meeting of the Loudon County Commission.