The resolution was approved at Monday’s Commission meeting.
This issue had been voted on before and turned down. It was brought up again by Commissioner Howard Thompson at last week’s work session and placed on the consent agenda for Monday.
Those in support of passing the resolution said the proposed legislation would not force counties to have an elected director of schools but would give them the option. Many commissioners said the idea is to give counties the right to decide what works best for their respective school systems.
Thompson said members of the community have wanted an elected director of schools for a long time.
According to commission member Adam Lowe, if the legislation is passed, the switch to an elected superintendent or director of schools could only be made after a two-thirds majority vote by a county commission for a referendum. A referendum would then be voted on and passed by voters before the change could be made
Currently, all directors and superintendents of schools are appointed by the school board of the system as required by the Education Improvement Act of 1992. Before this time some school systems did have elected directors or superintendents. Since 1992, many attempts have been made to pass legislation at the state level switching the position from elected to appointed. Legislation to make a total switch to elected has failed, according to Lowe.
The Bradley County School Board has publicly supported having an appointed director of schools on its website.
Commissioners stressed that an appointed director of schools has worked well in Bradley County. The Commission did not discuss at length whether Bradley County would ever make such a switch, but rather should the Commission have the power to decide.
Also during the Monday meeting the Commission passed a motion to support House Bill 1282 which would require individuals to show proof of paying personal property taxes when receiving or renewing a business license.
The Commission also addressed revising the permit schedule for a permit fee for mechanical construction work. A substitute motion was presented and passed to put off the vote and bring up the issue at the next work session. The substitute motion was passed, and the issue will be discussed at the next work session.