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County commissioners recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Johnson County Commission met in regular session on Thursday, March 17, 2016 with all commissioners present with the exception of Bill Roark. No public comments were scheduled so the commissioners quickly moved forward with an all yes approval of February’s minutes and all committee reports. Three county notaries, Amber Cruz, Russell Robinson, and L. John Hartman were unanimously approved.
Russell Robinson presented budget amendments to the commissioners. Robinson stated that at this time of year it is important to address any budgetary items that were unexpected or different than expected. In addition to the budget cleanup, the commission was asked to approve a lease purchase option from the state for the county highway department for two 2017 international trucks outfitted with blades and hydraulics for snow removal, as well as two 2017 Caterpillar backhoes. Purchasing via a lease program through the state will be a large cost savings for the county. Additionally, it will allow the county to purchase better quality equipment. Newer, warranted equipment will have the added benefit of reducing the existing large repairs budget that has been occurring yearly. Approval for the purchase of the equipment as well as the granting of authority to the mayor to sign the lease was unanimously approved.
Matthew Lewis addressed the commission regarding the county’s five-year reappraisal plan. The re-appraisal plan must be approved by not only Lewis but also the commission and the mayor.  Following their approvals, it must be submitted to the state. Lewis also informed the commission that the state would be in Johnson County on March 24 for their second and final evaluation meeting. However, because the commission had not seen the plan nor had time to look it over, they were hesitant about giving authorization. In response to the need to review the document, Commisioner Gina Meade made a motion to table the vote until next month’s meeting, allowing both the mayor and commissioners time to review the plan. “We appreciate the hard work that you and your staff have done,” Commission Mike Taylor said.
The first resolution up for a vote was the 2016/2017 Litter Grant. Unanimous approval was given for this grant.  The second resolution was presented by Mayor Potter effectively making April 2016 Child Abuse Prevention Month. The wording used in the resolution states that Tennessee’s future prosperity depends on nurturing the healthy development of over four million children currently living, growing and learning within our many diverse communities. Research shows that safe and nurturing relationships and stimulating and stable environments improve brain development and child wellbeing, while neglectful or abusive experiences and unstable or stressful environments increase the odds of poor childhood outcomes. Abuse and neglect of children can cause severe, costly, and lifelong problems affecting all of society, including physical and mental health problems, school failure, and criminal behavior. Research also shows that parents and caregivers who have social networks and know how to seek help in times of trouble are more resilient and better able to provide safe environments and nurturing experiences for their children. Individuals, businesses, schools and faith based community organizations must make children a top priority and take action to support the physical, social, emotional and educational development and competence of all children. “It is a shame in America that we have to have such a resolution to prevent child abuse, but it is the world we are living in,” Potter added.

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