District 3 town hall draws light crowd

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 4/19/19

Although turnout was light for a town hall meeting hosted Thursday night for the Bradley County Commission’s 3rd District constituents, it was still an opportunity for local residents to discuss issues with their commissioners.

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District 3 town hall draws light crowd

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Although turnout was light for a town hall meeting hosted Thursday night for the Bradley County Commission’s 3rd District constituents, it was still an opportunity for local residents to discuss issues with their commissioners.

Among them was Larry Csehil (pronounced SEE-hil) who lives in the 3rd District but attended the town halls held for the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th districts, as well. Neither the 1st nor 2nd districts hosted town hall meetings.

Csehil said he is interested in all aspects of local government and has appreciated the opportunity to meet with county commissioners and other residents to discuss areas of concern.

“I just like the process,” Csehil said, adding he has gathered a lot of information by attending the town hall meetings.

For example, Csehil said he thinks the Partnerships in Industry & Education Center – or PIE Center, is a good thing, but he is not ready to buy into the concept because he still has questions about funding and other aspects. He also wants to learn more about the County Commission’s priority to increase the salaries of lower-paid county employees.

The purpose of the town hall meetings was to share priorities discussed recently by the county commission, and to hear feedback from local residents.

Earlier this month, Chairman Johnny Mull said after he was elected as chairman last fall, he began to receive questions from constituents about the County Commission’s priorities. He asked the commissioners to submit a list of three to five priorities they want to focus on. Mull said there were 70 responses and all 14 commissioners participated.

“It is things we all agree upon” to focus on and pay attention to,” he said.

The top response categories were:

• Salaries – 86 percent

• Education – 71 percent

• Infrastructure – 57 percent

• Economic development – 57 percent

• Building maintenance – 35 percent

• Reduce debt – 21 percent

At the town hall meetings, commissioners also shared a list of individual priorities mentioned, including the PIE Center, water/sewer, building demolition, school expansion, EMS personnel, inmate medical services, better road, mental health, animal control and homeless coalition, among others.

“We can see there’s a lot of things on our list where we see needs,” Mull said. “We need to take this out to our districts and share with our constituents.”

At the various town hall meetings, commissioners noted they will be reporting about the discussions and concerns mentioned at the individual sessions to the full County Commission. No date for that discussion has been set.

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