County actions limited to three items
by CHRISTY ARMSTRONG  Banner Staff Writer
Jan 22, 2014 | 765 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Bradley County Commission voted to approve three different substitute motions as the governing body’s vice chairman presided over Tuesday’s meeting.

On the agenda were three items concerning county speed limits, the distribution of liquor taxes and appointing two commissioners to the board of the SPCA of Bradley County. However, nothing was approved as originally planned.

The first item was “to adopt the attached list of County maintained roads and posted speed limits as the enforceable limits.” 

Mel Griffith, who chairs the county road committee, introduced a substitute motion to refer the list to the committee before the Commission makes a final vote.

“Some questions have been raised about the roads on this list,” Griffith said.

Commissioner Terry Caywood said he also wanted to review the list before it went to a vote because the limits on some roads varied widely from others. Griffith said county residents could likely argue some speed limits are too high, while some would say they were too low.

The original resolution, if approved, would have set speed limits for a variety of county roads and stipulated that the default speed limit would be 45 mph unless otherwise posted.

The next item was “to approve Bradley County School Board action regarding consumption on the premise tax.” This concerned the ongoing question of whether liquor taxes had been distributed properly to the county school system. No representatives from the school board were present, so no explanation was given on any action in the works. Commissioner Bill Winters said the board had, to his knowledge, not met to discuss the issue.

County Attorney Crystal Freiberg said the Commission did not have to take action on the matter because the school board members were absent. Commissioners passed a substitute motion stating the school board would be asked to address the Commission in the event it did pursue any litigation on the matter.

The Commission also approved a substitute motion to recognize that Charlotte Peak-Jones and Mark Hall had been named as the body’s representatives on the SPCA of Bradley County’s board of directors. Though their approval had originally been up for a vote, the Commission had previously given Chairman Louie Alford the authority to name two commissioners to the board. He had already named his choices at a previous meeting.

In reports from individual commissioners prior to the votes, Commissioner Bill Winters noted that residents along Highway 60 would be invited to attend a meeting during which easements would be negotiated as the road is set to be widened. The date and time for the meeting had not yet been set.

Commissioner Jeff Yarber asked again whether the Commission had heard back from the Bradley County Board of Education after having passed a resolution asking for an official opinion from the school board on Common Core state standards. Winters said no but explained the school board has not met this month due to health issues faced by some school board members and their families.

As she had mentioned in the Commission’s most recent work session, Peak-Jones said a man who lives next to Michigan Avenue Elementary School had complained about the lack of a “buffer zone” between the school property and private residences. She said it was a “nuisance” to those residents, and it needed to be addressed. The matter was set to be discussed at the Commission’s next work session.

Commissioner Adam Lowe questioned whether or not political campaign signs could be placed in a “right of way” — an area right beside a road. Mel Griffith, chairman of the Commission’s road committee, said he believed they could not be placed within four feet of the edge of a road.

The sign question concerned a homeowner finding a political sign near their home and worrying that others might think they endorsed the candidate, Lowe said. Commissioner Terry Caywood said the county road department could be called to pick up any signs violating the space restriction. The department picked up “a large number” of political signs last election year, he added.