Mar 8 2010

It helps if folks know when, where, and how to participate. To that end, County Commissioners Wendy Pitts Reeves and Joe McCulley are sponsoring a resolution at tomorrow night's County Commission meeting to make all public notice announcements available on the county's website, including vacancies on boards, committees, and commissions.

The agenda for tomorrow's meeting is here, the full text of the resolution follows after the jump...


RESOLUTION No. 10-03-005
Sponsored by Wendy Pitts Reeves and Joe McCulley

WHEREAS, Blount County Government consists of elected officials and personnel who serve at the Will of the People and operates to benefit all its citizens equally; and WHEREAS, the legislative body is charged from time to time with appointing or confirming appointed members to certain Boards, Committees and Commissions; and

WHEREAS, state and federal law requires that various committee meetings and other acts of local government be published in advance in a local newspaper of record; and yet many and various Departments within Blount County Government have also found the Internet to be a highly efficient and cost-effective means of communication with the Public; and WHEREAS, in an effort to improve public notice, the Blount County Commission has already voted on August 19, 2004 to have Commission agendas posted on the Internet; and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee General Assembly recently enacted legislation allowing local governments to establish a legislative forum to enable electronic communications and the Blount County legislative body recently created such a forum via Internet; and

WHEREAS, numerous recent events have left citizens of Blount County expressing concerns that they have not had sufficient notice of important events and appointment opportunities that have a direct impact on their lives and properties; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire of this legislative body to provide sufficient notice of such events whenever possible, to ensure open communication on the make-up, terms and upcoming openings on certain Boards, Committees and Commissions and to encourage citizens to participate in their local government; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire of this legislative body to utilize all reasonable and cost-effective means available to notify citizens of various committee meetings and other upcoming acts of local government;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Blount County legislative body does hereby establish the following policy to further improve Public Notice, and to ensure and protect the Public’s Right to Full and Advance Knowledge regarding upcoming opportunities to follow, understand and participate in their local government.

1. Any Public Notice required by law to be published in a local newspaper of record shall also be listed under a section titled "Public Notices" in an easily visible and/or accessible location on the County website within the same time frame.

2. All Boards, Committees and Commissions of Blount County Government shall be listed on the County website, including names of all current members, their original appointment dates and terms of service.

3. All openings on Boards, Committees and Commissions which are appointed by the County Commission shall be advertised on the County website for a minimum of 14 days prior to said appointments.

4. Nothing in this policy shall be construed in any way to change or alter any federal, state or county requirement regarding the appointment process to any Boards, Committees or Commissions.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution shall take effect immediately, the public welfare requiring it.

Support needed to pass at full Commission meeting next week

The resolution was determined to be a change of Commission rules and as such it requires a two-thirds vote to pass. Last night, CC's Lewis, Harrison, Hargis and Farmer voted against it. Two CCs were absent but it did pass. So now it is on to full Commission where it will once again require a two-thirds vote.

Public support is needed to pass this resolution!

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