The Campbell County Commission managed to skirt around most of the controversial topics that were brought before them at last week’s workshop and conducted mostly routine business at Monday night’s meeting, along with handing out accolades to local businesses and groups.

Pyro Shows was the latest business to be honored by resolution for their contributions to Campbell County. Owner Lansdon Hill and other company officials and family were present for the ceremony.

Also honored was the welding class at Campbell County High School, which has managed to save taxpayers thousands of dollars by repairing metal garbage containers for the Department of Sanitation avoiding the need to replace worn containers.

A fifth grade student, named Isaac, from Caryville Elementary School addressed the commissioners about his drive to address bullying in county schools, explaining he wants to raise funds for anti-bullying T-shirts and start discussions among students, parents and educators. Mayor E. L. Morton added that one of the movie nights at Lonas Young Park will be dedicated as “Stop Bullying Night.”

A representative of Community Health of East Tennessee was allowed to address the commission and informed them that after discussions with Judge Shayne Sexton, “CHET is no longer interested in participating” in a proposed partnership between CHET and the county to hire a psychiatric nurse to address the county’s opioid problem.

Mayor Morton had previously suggested using $45,000 from the county’s sale of delinquent tax property to match $45,000 from CHET to fund a program to address the drug addiction epidemic. Pushback from some commissioners and others resulted a budget amendment failing for lack of a motion at last week’s Finance Committee session.

Instead, commissioners were told, CHET will participate with the drug court to plan a program to address the problem. Campbell County ranks “third in the nation” in the extent of the county’s drug addiction problem.

Joe Coker reported on his inquiries with CTAS about the feasibility of a county commission resolution barring officials and county employees from campaigning in county offices while on duty after Scott Stanfield brought up the subject at the workshop.

Coker told the commission that his discussions with CTAS and state officials revealed that the “Little Hatch Act” pertains only to state employees and school employees, while there are no state laws that would restrict elected county officials or their employees from handing out campaign literature.

Ralph Davis brought up the topic of penalizing non-profit groups such as volunteer fire departments that receive county donations but fail to file timely reports to the commission. Davis wanted to make his motion retroactive so that any groups that had failed to file reports at the first of the year would be penalized beginning January 1.

Marie Ayers and others hesitated at that suggestion and Davis finally agreed to amend his motion to become effective July 1. His motion passed 10-4.

Lonnie Weldon reported that the Animal Control Committee met earlier in the day with personnel from Holston Gas at the animal shelter to discuss concerns voiced by shelter director Patricia Simpson about a gas leak.

As of right now, there is no leak at the animal shelter,” Weldon reported. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 05/22/2018-6AM)