Apr 30 2008

Blount County needs a home rule charter, mainly for the purpose of establishing term limits for Mayor, Sheriff, and County Commission, and probably some other offices (some of which ought to be appointed instead of elected anyway).

I used to be against term limits, thinking the voters are supposed to take care of that. The trouble is they don't, even if they bother to show up and vote. And before long you get entrenched political power machines (whether Democrat or Republican) and progress grinds to a halt unless you are a member of a preferred special interest group.


Here here

If Blount County had a Charter then contentious issues (zum Beispiel: Pellissippi Parkway) could be put to Ballot. Dr. Neal, it only takes currently ~15,000 signatures, and our State Senators/Representatives to bring it to the floor in Nashville.

viva Evo Morales


I'm reading TCA 5-1-204. Charter commission — Creation. —

Do I have the wrong code?

According to the Blount County Election committee AND

... folks I spoke with in Nashville, in order to get a County Charter:

  • the Question must be a simple yes or no statement. For Example: "Are you in favor of diverting funds from Public Transportation Projects in Blount County to extending the Pellissippi Parkway to Heritage High School, instead?"
  • Acc. to a percentage rule, there should be at least 15,000 signatures with Names written specifically the same way it is on their Voter's Registration Cards, based on Blount Co.'s Population, on a petition. 10,500 is the real number, but based on statistics a few percent of Signees may have invalid registration status.
  • Representatives McCord or Overby, or Senator Finney must introduce a 'Private Act' at their General Assembly meeting, to see if Blount County should consider such a referendum--the Highway is a State Highway, that's why they must be involved. Unfortunately, it is conceivable, that friends of McCord, Overby, and Finney may fight to keep it from ever happening.
  • The Language has to be put into a non-existant County Charter. Blount County doesn't have a Charter regarding local issues on Ballots.
  • Blount County Commission has to debate and vote on the Charter.
  • Get the Referendum on the Ballot before the cut-off date.

Now, if'n you're not trying to get something on the ballot, then the creation of a Charter may be different, but I'd say there would be about the same number of steps.

viva Evo Morales

I think that's the process

I think that's the process for a "private act", which is what you have to do before the TN legislature when you don't have a charter.

What I'm talking about is establishing a "home rule" county charter. To do that, I believe the process starts with the Mayor establishing a Charter Committee and County Commission approving it. Then the committee drafts a charter. Then the voters vote on it. Then it become prevailing local law, in lieu of but subordinate to the Tennessee Constitution with regard to county government.

Once that's in place, County Commission can enact it's own ordinances without having to go to the Tennessee legislature for private acts, as long are they are constitutional according to the Tennessee Constitution.

(Not sure your example of diverting TDOT funds to local education would be constitutional, but county commission could probably pass a resolution banning the PPE under a home rule charter. Good luck with that!)

hey guys...

I really want you to read TCA 5-1-204. Charter commission — Creation. —

There are several ways to get a Charter Commission and a Charter Commission is needed to review and suggest a charter before the referendum on the actual charter goes to the voters.

Just read it. It can be done.

Readed it

Acc. to what I readed, TCA 5-1-204, describes 4 ways to go to get to the same point.

  • The Legislative body of the County (I assume this means the County Commission in our case), must vote by majority, to create a County Charter Commission. OR
  • The County Charter Commission can be created by proclamation of the County Mayor. OR
  • The County Charter Commission can be created by Private Act of the State Government's Gen'l Assembly (Senate/Congress). OR
  • A Charter Resolution creating a County Charter Commission may be petitioned by 10% of registered Voters in the County, in addition getting two live, clean birds, as well as some cedar wood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop; take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the tip of your right ear, the thumb of your right hand, and the big toe of your right foot; take the log of oil and pour some of it into the palm of your left hand; dipping your right forefinger in it, and sprinkle it seven times on three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a cereal offering.

I think I translated the last one correctly, forgive me if I'm wrong. But it appears from every path, one is at the mercy of the Party In Power. It's pretty much sewn up.

viva Evo Morales

I vote for option 4

And will throw in "And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive."

No, seriously. How can THEY screw up option 4? 10% of the population will definitely think this is a good idea.

"Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference." --Voltaire

What does the last (minus

What does the last (minus the blood oath) have to do with the party in power? Sounds like a power to the people option to me.

Option #4

  • 5-1-204-(d)-(1) - A charter resolution creating a charter commission may be initiated by petition of the voters in the following manner:
  • 5-1-204-(d)-(1)-(A) - The petition shall be addressed to the county legislative body requesting that a charter commission be created, and it shall state the number of members to be elected as members of such commission;
  • 5-1-204-(d)-(1)-(B) - The petition shall state the number of members to be elected from each of the same districts as members of the county legislative body. No more than three (3) members of the charter commission shall be elected from any one (1) district;
  • 5-1-204-(d)-(1)-(C) - The petition shall be signed by at least a number of registered voters in the county equal to ten percent (10%) of the total number of votes cast in such county for governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election;
  • 5-1-204-(d)-(1)-(D) - The petition requesting such resolution shall be filed with the county clerk and a photographic copy of the petition shall be filed at the same time with the county election commission, which shall be the judge of the sufficiency of the petition.
  • 5-1-204-(d)-(2) - The county election commission shall hold an election on the charter resolution, as in 5-1-204-(b)

    Sorry, if I broke a law posting that, or it used up too much bandwidth. Call me paranoid, but it still looks slanted. How many Blount Countians voted in the Governor's race last time? Is a seat on the County Election Commission an appointed or elected position?
    viva Evo Morales

Home Rule

Concerned Citizen
"I believe the process starts with the Mayor establishing a Charter Committee and County Commission approving it. "

Do you think this would ever get approved by either of the two above?

OH gosh, I don't know...

Do you think we could find 3,765 registered voters in Blount County willing to sign a petition to force the County Commission to create a Charter Committee thus forcing the issue to a public vote?

I do....

Charter Commission

Do you think only 3765 people is 10%? Surely with a population of 120,000 approximately, we should have at least a third registered to vote. In fact I checked my voting records (you can get a copy from the Election Commission) and we have 59469 voters registered as of Janaury 2008. That means you have to get 5947 voters to sign your petition and ALL of them need to be good names. If you round that number up to 7000 you should get enough. BUT if we also have to have a vote from the County Commission or our County Mayor agree, then we are sunk. If it goes on the ballot with just 10% signatures, then it is possible, but probably not on the November 2008 ballot. I don't think you have enough time to get the signatures. Anyone willing to head up this effort?

If it goes on the ballot

If it goes on the ballot with just 10% signatures, then it is possible, but probably not on the November 2008 ballot. I don't think you have enough time to get the signatures.

I wasn't suggesting that it was something that could be accompolished overnight, or that it would be easy.

7000 signatures doesn't seem insurmountable, though. The hard part will be organizing the effort and drafting a good charter. It will take a while to do it right.

Me, too!


Bring it on! Of course, wouldn't it be fun to see who would be "appointed" to said committee?

That’s right; don’t let

That’s right; don’t let the people decide during an election. Let’s pass a law that takes away a person’s ability to even run for office. That’s the American way.


Only Republicans are allowed to run in BC

Oh yeah, a charter process is much worse than just telling people it is reprehensible that non-Republicans are running for office and that those monkeys/hogs/loons are supporting "their own kind."

"Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference." --Voltaire


Lester - I didn't mean it shouldn't go to election. I meant that it was probably too late to get it on the November 2008 ballot. There is a time factor. It takes time to get 7000 signatures, not to mention volunteers to get the signatures. I just don't think there is time to develop a charter, get petitions together, and get 7000 signatures in time to make the ballot for the November 2008 election. This means that whoever decides to head this thing up needs to know when the next general election is and plan to be finished in time to get on the ballot. A special election would cost too much.

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