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Kerney speaks at Johnson County commissioners meeting

Commissioner Huey Long and candidate Neal Kerney have a conversation following last week’s county commission meeting.
Commissioner Huey Long and candidate Neal Kerney have a conversation following last week’s county commission meeting.

By Paula Walter

The Johnson County Commissioners moved quickly through a short agenda at this May’s county commissioners meeting.  It was noted that all were present, with the exception of Commissioner Bill Adams.  According to Mayor Larry Potter, Adams has only missed the monthly commissioners meeting twice in 38 years.  Adams was on his honeymoon and was unable to attend this month’s meeting.  Chairman Mike Taylor noted the recent death of Bill Gambill, who had served on the Johnson County School Board for the past 22 years.
The commission approved five proposed public notaries.  These include Kayla Price, Sally Snyder, Paula Walter, Cordelia Wilson and Jane Woodward.  There were no committee reports to consider and the budget minutes were quickly approved. A surety $40,000 bond was approved for Kevin R. Colson, who is the Johnson County E-911 assistant director.
Neal Kerney introduced himself to the commissioners at May’s meeting.  Kerney is running for the 4th State Senatorial District that Senator Ron Ramsey currently holds. Ramsey is not running for reelection.  Kerney, who has roots in Johnson County, is married to Sarah Butler, who is a fifth generation Johnson Countian.
“I want to be your next state senator,” he said. Kerney is the former detachment commander of the Trade and Mountain City National Guard Armory from 1995 to 1998.  “I’m not going to forget my home in Johnson County,” he said. The Republican Primary is August 4, 2016.
Darrell Reece, Johnson County Road Superintendant, asked the approval of the commissioners to sell surplus equipment on “Most has done pretty well,” said Reece. “I’m not going to give it away.”  A motion was made and approved 12 yes to two no.
The commissioners questioned Reece regarding the billing process involved in putting in a culvert on a road in the Doe section of the county.   Commissioners George Lowe and Gina Meade raised questions regarding the amount of materials used and the man-hours involved.  According to Reece, the road, which is not yet named at this time, will eventually become a county road.  Reece will meet with Russell Robinson, accounting and budget director for Johnson County, to discuss the report.
Commissioner George Lowe made a request to have the speed limit change on the 91 bypass near Silver Lake from 50 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour. It was determined that Mayor Potter could request the change.  County Attorney, Perry Stout, will then send the request to the state.
Mike Payne and Kevin Long with the Johnson County School Board addressed the commissioners, acknowledging the passing of Johnson County School Board member, Bill Gambill.  With Gambill’s death, the Tennessee code requires action to replace a member if they are within 120 of an election.  According to Long, at this point the election, to be held on August 4th, was 77 days away. Elected school board officials require training once elected.  If Gambill is replaced to finish out his remaining term, the newly elected board member from the August 4th election will again have to go through training again, effectively paying twice for the required training.  A motion was made and seconded to wait until the school board election to fill Gambill’s position.
With no further business, the meeting adjourned at approximately 7:40 pm.