Wearing face masks in county government offices?

Mayor: Requested, but not required

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 7/7/20

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, who has the authority from Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to mandate that face masks be worn in public, announced over the weekend that he would not make that …

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Wearing face masks in county government offices?

Mayor: Requested, but not required

Posted

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, who has the authority from Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to mandate that face masks be worn in public, announced over the weekend that he would not make that declaration.

But, at Monday evening's Bradley County Commission meeting at the courthouse, Davis said that beginning today (Tuesday) visitors to all county offices will be asked to wear a face mask.

He said he is not demanding, but strongly urging and encouraging the use of face masks due to COVID-19.

The mayor went on to say people need to be reminded of the initial guidelines of the fight against the coronavirus, such as personal hygiene, no large crowds or gatherings, face masks and social distancing.

"Our numbers are rising, and we're one of the counties where positive cases  are spiking," he said. "We can all do our part, by following the guidelines."

Commissioner Bill Winters, who wore a mask through most of Monday's meeting, praised Mayor Davis for his decision. "You're giving everyone a choice, if they must visit a county office," he said. "I think you're doing the right thing."

Other commission business and reports:

• The commission approved two reappointments, with little discussion. They include John Coats to the Cleveland Bradley Public Library Board of Directors, with his term expiring on June 30, 2023; and Sandra Snider to the Bradley County Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center Board, her term expiring on July 1, 2024.

•  Commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the Bradley County mayor to enter into a health services agreement with Fast Access Correctional Healthcare for one year to provide inmate health service for the Justice Center and Workhouse.

The agreement will include options for each of the next two years.

The annual base compensation amount will be $1,210,707.

Asked how this cost compares with current health services for inmates, Mayor Davis said it was slightly more expensive, with the current contract being around $1 million.

• Commissioners also authorized Mayor Davis to execute a memorandum of understanding with the District Attorney General for the 10th Judicial District regarding autopsies.

This is regarding reimbursement from the county for an amount up to $7,500 to offset the cost of autopsies sought by the DA's Office to combat the opioid epidemic. This agreement is for fiscal year July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

• Commissioner Erica Davis had words of praise for retired Black Fox Elementary School Principal Herbert Lackey, who continues to promote reading among the school's student.

"This year he recognized two students for their reading accomplishments," Davis said.

She added that these two students, Zora Hammond and Cameron Ellison, each read more than 1,000 books.

• Commissioner Charlotte Peak, and others, congratulated Commissioner Howard Thompson on his successful Fourth of July fireworks display during the weekend.

Thompson said 15,000 to 20,000 people attended the event, and he thanked Sheriff Steve Lawson and his team for assisting with parking and the crowd.

• The next commission meeting will be a work session at noon on Monday, July 13, in the County Commission Courtroom of the courthouse.

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