JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County Commission, after months of trying to solve continuing problems with the Environmental Services Department, moved Monday night to take offer solutions, including the demotion of Sanitation Director Bill Rutherford and nomination of Commissioner David Adkins as interim director. Watch the meeting HERE on demand from WLAF.

The commission also voted unanimously to return oversight of the sanitation department to the mayor’s office after the previous commission removed that power from former Mayor E. L. Morton.

At the outset of Monday night’s meeting, Commissioner Dewayne Baird moved to suspend the rules. The motion passed unanimously. Baird then made a motion to approve the demotion of Rutherford from his position as director and leave his future employment to his replacement. That motion passed, but Commissioner Tyler King Voted “no” while Commissioners Sue Nance and Beverly Hall both abstained.

Commissioner Rusty Orick then moved to form a three-member committee chaired by the mayor to oversee sanitation and begin a search for a new director. Mayor Jack Lynch accepted the responsibility and nominated Commissioner David Adkins, chairman of the sanitation committee, to serve as Interim sanitation director. Commissioner Scott Kitts made the motion to accept the mayor’s recommendation, and that motion passed with one abstention and that was from Adkins.

With that business concluded, the commission returned to its regular agenda, quickly approving all reports, committee minutes and most budget amendments. One budget amendment was held out for a separate vote, which allocated the second round of federal ARPA funding to a number of projects including waterline extensions, the previously allocated $414,193 to the sanitation department, courthouse renovations and more.

The reason that amendment was voted on separately was it involved an additional $499,179 for premium payments to all full and part time county employees. The “loyalty incentive” would be available to any employees hired prior to April 1, 2022, with $2,000 to full time and $1,000 to part time employees. King and Hall are both county employees, so they had to abstain from voting on the motion by Commissioner Zachary Marlow, that passed by a vote of 12-0 with the two abstentions.

A number of motions from Marlow followed, including one that asks the state to take over collection of the hotel/motel tax in its entirety. Last year the state began collecting the tax from owners of AirB&B properties who report income to the state, and the commission would like that expanded to include all short-term rentals. Marlow’s other motions involved increasing state payments for prisoner board and increased support for veterans’ affairs.

At the end of the meeting, Orick announced Campbell County Veterans Affairs Officer Kevin Walden is stepping down at the end of the year to deal with health problems. Orick made a motion to accept Walden’s request for retirement on Dec. 31, which passed unanimously. Orick then stated that his committee would begin the search process for a replacement in December. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/22/2022-6AM)