No one on the Blount County Commission would make a motion to pass the ban on applause at it’s meetings. It died for a lack of motion.
Commissioner Caylor was absent from the meeting due to illness.
There was a larger that normal number of people speaking, with a couple of people speaking for the first time. Two Knoxville TV stations were present as was a Pearl Harbor survivor, Mr. Swanson, who received applause for his service to the USA. Speakers made repeated reference to Mr. Swanson and our military, and how they gave their lives and service so that we can have freedom of speech and expression. It’s likely that these factors are what contributed to the failure of the ban on applause.
One Item F5, Commissioner Samples made a motion to divide the question and consider all 4 proposed rule changes individually. Commissioner Folts seconded the motion. The motion to divide passed with Commissioners Burchfield, Burkhalter, Helton, Kirby, Lail and Melton voting No. Commissioners Farmer and Moon abstained. All others present voted yes.
Commissioner Samples made a motion to combine the first 3 proposed rules and approve them, excluding 4g. Commissioner Wright seconded the motion. The motion failed vote was 11-Y, 8-N, and 1-Abstain, because a 2/3’s majority of 14 Commissioners is required for rule changes. Commissioners Burkhalter, Farmer, Harrison, Hasty, Helton, Kirby, Lail and Melton voted no. Commissioner Moon abstained. Commissioners Burchfield, Carver, Folts, French, Greene, Lambert, Lewis, Murrell, Samples and Wright voted yes.
It’s really ashamed that 9 Commissioners didn’t vote to approve the 3 proposed rule changes that would have improved County Commission meetings by requiring resumes for appointed positions, yielding an extra minute to constituents, and allowing a Commissioner to request that additional information be included in the Commission packet. (see pages 32-37)
At the end of the meeting, Truth Radio General Manager Harry Grothjahn commented off the agenda that the camera man, that records the Commission meetings to play on the local access cable channel, was absent. Apparently the Commission cut it from this years budget without any discussion on the matter. With all the waste in the budget, the Commission choose to eliminate an item that cost about $5,000, under the guise of cost savings, while leaving enormous waste in the budget.
Additionally, I delivered a royal admonishment of the PBA and Commission, in my ever so “delicate” manner. Not surprisingly I got the gavel while finishing my last sentence. Read more about the Blount County Public Building Authority here.
Since the meetings will no longer be played on cable tv, I will try to post more videos here. Enjoy the public comments regarding the proposed ban on applause.
Speakers in video 1 include Larry Shore, Mary Gregory, Len Rapien, Linda King, Troy Ball and Tona Monroe.
Speakers in the 2nd video include Sheri Turner-French, Richard Hutchens, Barney Lowe, Karen Miller and Carol Ross.
Speakers in the 3rd video include Jack Morgan, Harry Grothjahn and David McClure.