By Rebecca Herman
The Johnson County Commission met on February 16 for their monthly meeting; all commissioners were present. The meeting began with public comments.
First to address the commission was Roby Phillippi, who asked the commissioners to consider changing the wildlife baiting regulations due to the overpopulation of wildlife in the county. Phillippi and many other hunters in the county would like to be able to put out bait year round and many states have already passed laws that allows baiting of wildlife year round. County attorney Perry Stout explained that there are state laws that are in place that would not allow the county to make such a decision. Mayor Larry Potter suggested Stout look into the law and said that the county may be able to send in a resolution to ask the state to change the law. Stout stressed that the law is strict and the punishment for breaking said law is harsh; one could lose his license to hunt, guns, etc.
Jerry Jordan addressed the commission asking for them to approve road name changes in Shady Valley and Mountain City due to new residents who need addresses. They voted to add “Lane” on to a road that has been called “Barry Blevins,” which is located off Winchester Road and to merge a small section of Walts Road with Hubert Taylor Road. These changes will be added to the county road list. The commission approved this request.
Next to speak were Ken Wiley and Dr. John Payne who requested the commission to consider dedicating a county bridge in memory of Rubin Stout, a Johnson County native and veteran of the United States Army. Stout was a World War II veteran who had an exciting military career that sent him across the globe. The commissioners voted to approve the request and chose to name a bridge in the Pandora community after Stout.
Russell Robinson asked for the approval of budget amendments. Russell explained that money was moved to pay for new school buses and an educational program which the Johnson County School Board voted on the week before. The commission approved this amendment.
Sheriff Mike Reece asked the commission to approve the auction of a 2007 Chevy Impala that is listed under the sheriff’s department surplus equipment. The commission approved this request.
Perry Stout reported speaking with State Representative Timothy Hill about concerns that the county has about inmate issues. Stout said, “They know the problems…they didn’t realize some of the issues, so it was educational.” He also explained that it makes a difference when the commissioners call the state representatives and officials.
Mike Taylor invited everyone out to the JAM Jamboree and silent auction on April 18 at Heritage Hall. JAM has 75 kids, who are learning and playing old timey music. This program continues to grow each year and would greatly benefit from community support.
The next commission meeting will be March 16 at 7pm.