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March 2021
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Press Release: Representative John Rose Reflects on One-Year Anniversary of Middle Tennessee Tornado Victims

by John Rose, U.S. Representative – Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Representative John Rose (TN-6) released this statement reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic tornado that tragically struck Middle Tennessee, causing tangible damage in Smith County, and devasting communities in Putnam and Wilson counties:

“As we mark one year since the devasting tornado tore through Middle Tennessee, let us take time to pause and remember the lives that were sadly lost, the many families and businesses that were tragically affected, and the brave first responders that put their lives on the line to rescue others.

“The morning of Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 22 lost their lives, and major damage to homes, buildings, roads, bridges, utilities, and businesses was reported. This one-year anniversary is a very somber reminder of the fragility of life, the deadly force of nature, and the void we feel since the passing of the friends, family, and neighbors we lost.

“The day after the deadly storm hit, I visited the affected communities and have returned many times in the weeks and months that followed this unprecedented tragedy. I’ve seen firsthand the transition from dealing with disaster to rebuilding.

“Today, the Sixth Congressional District stands as a symbol of the extraordinary resilience of the individuals who live and work here. There was no hesitation from emergency workers and community members to begin the cleanup and salvage process. They didn’t wait for the cavalry to arrive; they just went to work for their fellow man. This bias for action, the deeply rooted belief that we are our brother’s keeper, defines the Volunteer Spirit.

“In the face of tragedy and in the face of hardship, Tennesseans come together to help restore, rebuild, and create a better future—just like they did one year ago today. My family and I will continue to pray for the lives lost and for the continued efforts to rebuild even stronger.”

In Congress, Representative Rose fought alongside his Tennessee colleagues to secure federal resources for the victims to ensure they had what they needed to help rebuild. Following their actions, President Trump approved federal assistance for the storm ravaged communities to help with recovery and rebuilding efforts. Representative Rose accompanied President Trump during the former President’s tour of the damage, meeting with tornado survivors, and visit to Jefferson Avenue Church of Christ in Cookeville, which served as a relief hub for several months following the storm.

U.S. Representative John Rose is currently serving his second term representing Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District and resides in Cookeville with his wife, Chelsea, and their son, Guy. The Sixth District includes Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson counties as well as portions of Cheatham and Van Buren counties. Representative Rose is an eighth-generation farmer, small business owner, and currently serves on the Financial Services Committee.

Press Release: Representative John Rose Local Office Hours for March

by John Rose, U.S. Representative – Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District

COOKEVILLE, TN—Every month, U.S. Representative John Rose’s (TN-6) district staff hold a series of local office hours for constituents to connect directly with caseworkers and receive assistance with federal agencies. Due to previous COVID-19 restrictions, local office hours were temporarily suspended, but will resume in March and be held in Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Robertson, Smith, Trousdale, White, and Wilson counties.

During the local office hours, district staff will be available to answer questions and assist constituents with federal casework, such as social security and veterans benefits, steps for obtaining a passport, and more. Local office hours occur monthly, if you have questions, please contact one of Representative Rose’s offices so a staff member may help you.

“It is important to me, and the staff members, that we are always available and working to help the great people of the Sixth District,” said Representative Rose. “Keeping an open dialogue with my neighbors allows me to hear their concerns about significant issues facing our communities and best represent those perspectives in Washington.”

Details for local office hours can be found below and on Representative Rose’s website

Wednesday, March 3rd

  • TIME: 9:00-10:00 am
  • WHAT: White County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: White County Courthouse, Executive Conference Rm., 1 E Bockman Way, Sparta, TN 38583.
  • WHO: Congressman Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.
  • TIME: 10:00-11:00 am
  • WHAT: Coffee County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Tullahoma City Hall, 201 W Grundy Street, Tullahoma, TN 37388
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Field Representative Lou Nave during this visit.
  • TIME: 2:00-3:00 pm
  • WHAT: Cumberland County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Cumberland County Courthouse, 2 N Main Street, Crossville, TN 38555.
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.

Thursday, March 4th

  • TIME: 10:00-11:00 am
  • WHAT: Trousdale County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: County Administration Building, 328 Broadway, Hartsville, TN 37074
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Deputy District Director Ray Render during this visit.
  • TIME: 11:00-12:00 pm
  • WHAT: Coffee County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Coffee County Administrative Plaza, 1329 McArthur Street, Manchester, TN 37355
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Field Representative Lou Nave during this visit.
  • TIME: 1:00-2:00 pm
  • WHAT: Macon County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Lafayette City Hall, 200 E Locust Street, Lafayette, TN 37083
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Deputy District Director Ray Render during this visit.

Wednesday March 10th

  • TIME: 9:00-10:00 am
  • WHAT: Wilson County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Wilson County Courthouse, 134 S College Street Ste 200, Lebanon, TN 37087
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Deputy District Director Ray Render during this visit.
  • TIME: 1:00-2:00 pm
  • WHAT: Cannon County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Cannon County Senior Center, 609 Lehman Street, Woodbury, TN 37190
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Field Representative Lou Nave during this visit.
  • TIME: 2:00-3:00 pm
  • WHAT: Robertson County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Springfield City Hall, 405 N Main Street, Springfield, TN 37172
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Deputy District Director Ray Render during this visit.

Thursday March 11th

  • TIME: 1:00-2:00 pm
  • WHAT: Cumberland County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Village Green Mall, 126 Stonehenge Drive, Crossville, TN 38558
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.

Friday March 12th

  • TIME: 9:00-10:00 am
  • WHAT: Clay County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Clay County Senior Center, 145 Cordell Hull Drive, Celina, TN 38551
  • WHO: Congressman Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.
  • TIME: 12:00-1:00 pm
  • WHAT: Jackson County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Jackson County Library, 205 W. Hull Avenue, Gainesboro, TN 38562
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.
  • TIME: 2:30-3:30 pm
  • WHAT: Smith County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Smith County Administration Building, 122 Turner High Circle, Carthage, TN 37030
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.

Tuesday March 16th

  • TIME:9:00-10:00 am
  • WHAT: DeKalb County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: DeKalb County Board of Education, 110 S Public Square, Smithville, TN 37166
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Field Representative Lou Nave during this visit.

Wednesday March 24th

  • TIME: 9:00-10:00 am
  • WHAT: Overton County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Overton County Administration Building, 308 West Avenue, Livingston, TN 38570
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by Field Representative Rebecca Foster during this visit.
  • TIME: 11:00-12:00 pm
  • WHAT: Pickett County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Pickett County Library, 79 Pickett Square, Byrdstown, TN 38549
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.
  • TIME: 2:00-3:00 pm
  • WHAT: Fentress County Local Office Hours
  • LOCATION: Fentress County Courthouse, 101 S. Main Street, Jamestown, TN 38556
  • WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.

Press Release: Representative John Rose on Celebrating National FFA Week and A Long Legacy of Experiential Learning

by John Rose, U.S. Representative – Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District

National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Week is a special time for me–an opportunity to reflect on the vital role agriculture has played in my life and the direct impact it has on the success of Tennessee.

One need look no further than the official Great Seal of the State of Tennessee to know that agriculture is entrenched in our state’s legacy and has played an important role in our history. Today, with 66,600 farms covering more than 10.8 million acres, agriculture continues to be Tennessee’s number one industry and remains the economic driver in many communities throughout the Sixth Congressional District.

Since its establishment, FFA has connected students with agriculture professionals providing agriculture-based education in schools across America. The organization teaches students using this motto, “learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live and living to serve.” Many lives, including my own, have been positively impacted by FFA, which cultivates confidence in the classroom and in life. 

Even as an eighth-generation farmer, FFA unquestionably and irrevocably strengthened my passion for agriculture, and in the process, became the most consequential learning experience of my life. The FFA was established in 1928 and granted a Federal Charter in 1950, and today more than 28,000 Tennessee student members are guided by the FFA mission to “make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” The 220 chapters that make up Tennessee FFA represent 93 years of traditions while looking forward to the future. I personally served as the State FFA Vice President and Cookeville FFA President, as well as earned the American FFA Degree.

For nearly an entire year, schools have been closed across the nation, and we are seeing the negative effects of students being isolated from their peers and teachers, including increased mental health issues and a steep decline in academic success. Fortunately, for members of FFA, agricultural education has continued thanks to Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE), projects outside of school that apply the knowledge and lessons from the classroom to real life. During my time in FFA, I maintained multiple SAE projects, including raising commercial beef cattle and sheep, growing tobacco crops, owning a small lawncare business, and working on my family’s farm. I believe nothing compares to the contentment of an accomplishment earned and built by your own skill, sweat and bare hands.

Tennessee agriculture plays a vital role in helping to feed our nation, and that incredibly important, ongoing endeavor depends on areas like the counties I represent in Middle Tennessee to successfully cultivate the best and brightest to lead the agriculture industry. FFA plays an integral part in identifying and preparing these future leaders. If you know someone in FFA, you know how passionate these young people are about agriculture as they develop their skills to become agriculturists, biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, entrepreneurs, or any number of careers.

As an FFA alumnus and your voice in Washington, I am proud to be an active and longtime supporter of this organization and advocate to ensure our government works for our farmers, not against. If we want American agriculture to continue to thrive, we must work with our young people to expand agricultural knowledge and leadership skills. Time spent in FFA, in the field, on the farm, in the lab, and in the classroom not only prepares students for successful careers, but imparts basic principles about life and the world in which we live. 

Just one person, taking one step, can bring about change in their community, and FFA prepares students to be those agents of change. From the West Tennessee plains to the mountains of East Tennessee, FFA will continue to lift our state to new heights by carrying on its traditions and values from generation to generation with talent, determination, heart, strength, and dignity. 

February 2021 Meeting of The Smith County Board of Education

The Smith County Board of Education met at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

You can watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Judy Smith and Lacey Crockett of Blackwell Realty for sponsoring the live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Smith County School Board meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at the Smith County Board of Education, located at 126 Smith County Middle School Lane in Carthage, Tennessee.

The next school board meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

Carthage City Council Levies 1% Hotel Occupancy Tax During Special Called Meeting

The Town of Carthage passed an ordinance to levy a 1% hotel occupancy tax during a special called meeting on February 23, 2021.

Late last year, it was discovered that Carthage had been collecting a 5% hotel occupancy tax since 2003 without proper enactment. In 2003, the state legislature amended the town’s charter through a private act to authorize the town to collect a hotel occupancy tax. The town ratified the amended charter, including the authorization to levy the tax; however, the town never enacted the tax through an ordinance due to procedural error.

During the January 2021 meeting of the Carthage City Council, the first reading of an ordinance to levy a 5% hotel occupancy tax was introduced to correct the previously discovered oversight. A motion to pass the first reading was tied by a vote of 3-3, with Mayor Smith casting a tiebreaking yes vote for the motion to carry.

At the February 2021 meeting of the council, the ordinance was brought forth for a second reading as required by state statute. After discussion, including the city attorney explaining the situation, no motion was made to approve the second reading. It was determined that the city would immediately cease collecting the tax since no enactment of the tax had ever been made.

The second reading of this ordinance was added a second time to the special called meeting on February 23, 2021 after the Smith County Commission passed a resolution asking the state legislature for a private act to allow the county to levy a hotel occupancy tax during its February 2021 meeting. The county had been discussing this idea prior to the Town of Carthage’s actions. The county was not projecting receiving hotel occupancy tax from the towns of Carthage or Gordonsville. The county would not be able to collect the tax within the boundaries of these cities due to a hotel occupancy tax being previously enacted by them; however, with Carthage no longer having a hotel occupancy tax, the county would be able to collect the tax from within the city limits if its request passed the state legislature and was enacted by the county commission.

A motion was made during the special called meeting on February 23rd to pass the second reading of the ordinance as written with a 5% hotel occupancy tax. The motion was discussed, and an amendment was made to lower the hotel occupancy tax to 1%. The amended motion to enact a 1% hotel occupancy tax passed by a vote of 4-2. With the passage of the hotel occupancy tax within Carthage’s municipal boundaries, the county will not be able to collect its own tax within the city limits even if it levies a higher hotel occupancy tax than the town.

Smith County Mayor Jeff Mason’s February 2021 County Commission Report

Smith County Mayor Jeff Mason will be submitting a written version of his mayor’s report from each county commission meeting beginning this month. You can follow Mayor Mason on Facebook and see reports on the Smith County Government’s website at https://smithcotn.com. You may also view the full February Commission meeting here.

Opening Remarks

First, I want to send a ‘thank you’ to School Director Barry Smith and his maintenance staff at the Board of Education. We had a heating issue and a small natural gas leak in the elections office. We reached out to our normal vendor and they could not get to us at the time. I knew Director Smith had hired an HVAC pers recently. I called Mr. Smith and he never hesitated in sending his crew to us. A government works much better when all departments share and help each other when possible. This was a great example of that. Thank you, Director Smith!

Secondly, I want to send a thank you out to EMS Director Jeff Crockett. The state performed our EMS audit last week. There were no findings with our EMS department. Thank you, Director Crockett, and your team, for the service they provide to our citizens.

Governors One Time Money for County Governments

Smith County received $826,000 in one time money from the state of Tennessee. We worked with Departments to meet needs that were not funded in the past due to budget and hierarchical restraints.

Tonight, we will move eleven thousand dollars over to our EMR program. The EMR program is a group of volunteers that respond when they can to begin administering care until an EMS crew arrives. They do not receive any county funding currently. The money approved tonight will go to buy equipment and supplies that may last for many years. Recently this program was able to save a gentleman’s life by administering care before the ambulance arrived.

Sale of the Baker Property

We are currently working on options for the Baker Property. We will include Gordonsville Mayor John Potts and his council to find a solution that works best for Smith County and Gordonsville.

County Employee Salary Study

As directed by the Budget and Finance Committee last year, we are currently working to get a salary study complete. The firm tasked with completing this study, Thompson and Associates, is still gathering information and data. Once complete we will present findings to the county commission.

Budget Season

Budget request sheets are currently being worked on by elected officials and department heads. Budget and Finance hearings will begin in late March to early April. If collections maintain their current level, we should reach our sufficient operating capital goals this year. We will have made our goal in two years instead of the three planned. This combined with not adding to our debt, restructuring our debt and paying off debt was my goal. The direction I will advise the county commission will be to reduce property tax rates this year. It is the right thing to do. We asked for a heavy lift from all of Smith County in 2019 and will have soon fixed our issues. We need to reduce that ask from all of us.  Government needs to do what it does and do it efficiently and effectively. Government services cost what they cost but we should only ask for what is needed to operate year to year and maintain funds for improvements. 

Census Data

Census data will be sent out in the spring. We will start working on redistricting in the summer with it being completed by year end.

Actions Taken During the January Commission Meeting

County commission passed a resolution asking the state legislature to pass a private act that will allow Smith County to implement a hospitality tax. This will only be for areas outside the cities in the county. Should this pass the revenue will be used for Public Safety and Tourism. These fees will be paid by people staying in our county. It will not generate a ton of revenue at first but hopefully it will generate enough to reduce a portion of the property tax rate.

Tonight, we recognized Jerry Wilmore for his retirement and service to the Smith County Agriculture economy. Jerry worked with Farm Services for many years and helped a lot of Smith County farmers. Thank you, Jerry Wilmore!

Chris Nixon was appointed by the commission to fill the resigned seat of Shannon Green in District 1. We had four worthy candidates express interest in this seat.

Thank you for allowing me to be Mayor of the greatest county in the world!

God Bless Smith County and God Bless the United States of America

Jeff Mason

New County Commissioner Elected to Fill Vacant Seat

On Monday night, February 8th, at the Smith County Commission meeting, a new member of the commission was elected to fill the vacant seat for District 1 (Defeated). The seat was formerly held by Shannon Greene who recently resigned. Mr. Chris Nixon was elected by the commission to fill the vacancy. Three additional individuals, Mark Schwartz, Rusty Williams, and Helen Vose, submitted their names and resumes for consideration to fill the seat.

Mr. Chris Nixon will be sworn into office this week. Chris and his wife, Megan Nixon, reside in the Defeated community with their two sons Carson and Lucas.

February 2021 Meeting of the Gordonsville City Council

The Gordonsville City Council held its monthly meeting on Monday, February 8th, 2021.

You can watch the full council meeting below.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Gordonsville City Council meets at 6:15 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at Gordonsville City Hall, located at 63 Main Street in Gordonsville.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

February 2021 Meeting of the Smith County Commission

The Smith County Commission held its February meeting on the evening of Monday, February 8th, 2021. You may see a copy of the agenda here.

You can watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Powell & Meadows Insurance Agency for sponsoring the live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Smith County Board of Commissioners meets on the second Monday of every month except December.

Typically, commission meetings are held in the General Sessions Courtroom of the Smith County Jail and Courts Facility, located at 322 Justice Drive in Carthage. During the July 2020 Meeting of the Smith County Commission, commissioners voted to hold all meetings at the Smith County Ag Center until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

All meetings are open to the public and are streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

February 2021 Meeting of the Carthage City Council

The Carthage City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 4, 2021, at 6:00 pm.

The meeting was held at the Smith County Chamber of Commerce because the performance hall was not adequately heated. Social distancing was practiced throughout the meeting.

During the meeting, various items were discussed including applying for grants that require looking at next year’s budget, quotes for the city swimming pool’s repairs and possible remedies to the situation, hotel taxes, budget amendments, downtown speed limits and parking issues, and insulating/ heating the performance hall.

You can watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Smith County Animal Clinic for sponsoring Smith County Insider’s live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Carthage City Council meets at 6:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at Carthage City Hall, located at 314 Spring Street in Carthage, Tennessee – 37030.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

January 2021 Meeting of the Smith County Board of Education

The Smith County Board of Education met at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

You can watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Judy Smith and Lacey Crockett of Blackwell Realty for sponsoring the live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Smith County School Board meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at the Smith County Board of Education, located at 126 Smith County Middle School Lane in Carthage, Tennessee.

The next School Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

Smith County Mayor Jeff Mason’s January 2021 Report to the County Commission

Smith County Mayor Jeff Mason will be submitting a written version of his mayor’s report from each county commission meeting beginning this month. You can follow Mayor Mason on Facebook and see reports on the Smith County Government’s website at https://smithcotn.com. You may also view the full January Commission meeting here.

Opening Remarks

First, I want to send a ‘thank you’ out to Michael Railing and his staff at the Smith County Health Department. They have worked long and hard to provide Covid-19 testing and now administering vaccines. During a recent meeting, I heard many other mayors across the state address issues with their own county’s testing and vaccine administration. I am now more convinced our Smith County Health Department is doing a great job with the process and the logistics of the vaccine. It has not been an easy 10 months, but they have performed well.

Secondly, I want to send a ‘thank you’ out to Daisy Denton, Director of Budgets and Accounts. Daisy works hard to keep the books balanced and keeping the county commission informed on the financial standing of the county. I struggle sometimes with the lack of common sense usage in government processes. She always has good info and facts as to why certain things have to be done certain ways. I appreciate her for the job she does.

Governors One Time Money for County Governments

Smith County received $826,000 in one-time money from the state of Tennessee. We worked with Departments to meet needs that were not funded in the past due to budget and hierarchical restraints.

We have purchased two roadway tractors with sidearm bush hogs to keep our right of ways clear. They were delivered early fall and are currently being used across the county.

We purchased a new oil distributor and truck for the highway department. The distributor they had was over 30 years old. It has been delivered and Steve Coble is building a fund for rock and oil to be used when the weather breaks in the spring.

We purchased a new tanker truck for Central District Fire Department to replace the old unit in which the tank was beginning to rust. The new tanker has a poly 2000-gallon tank that should serve the county for many years to come.

We purchase AED kits for sheriff’s patrol cars that did not have one. These life-saving devices are now in every car and do not have to be swapped out at shift change.

We allotted fifteen thousand dollars to the rescue squad for upgrading and purchasing new rescue equipment.

The remaining balance of just a little less than fifty thousand will go to building repairs and upgrades.

Thank you goes to the commission for approving and trusting us to spend the money on needs.

County Bond Restructuring

We completed a bond-restructuring sale in December. This sale and restructuring saved the county $1.5 million in interest charges and reduced the length of debt payments. Thank you to the county commission for allowing us to get this done.

Sale of the Baker Property

The proposed sale of the Baker Property to DeCleMac Holdings is not moving forward. At the second reading of the Gordonsville City Council, the motion to rezone the property from I-1 to I-2 did not receive a second. The request had passed unanimously through the Gordonsville Planning Commission and first reading of the city council. DeCleMac Holdings decided to build their ammunition primer manufacturing, penicillin fermentation distillery and sensor production facilities in Power Com Industrial Park located in Trousdale County. I am disappointed that this did not happen here, and our citizens and children will not be able to have those jobs in Smith County. Mayor John Potts and I are committed to working together to find the best use for the property that will be approved by the Gordonsville Council.

County Employee Salary Study

As directed by the Budget and Finance Committee last year, we are currently working on getting a salary study complete for wages and benefits for county employees. The firm we are working with is compiling data from our employees and surrounding counties as well as similar size counties across the state and private sector comparable jobs. They will then make a recommendation on what salaries we should be paying. At that time, we will present findings to the county commission and a decision on whether or not to make changes to the compensation plan. 

Budget Season

Budget request sheets will be going out to elected officials and department heads in February. Budget and Finance hearings will begin in late March to early April. If collections maintain their current level, we should reach our sufficient operating capital goals this year. We will have made our goal in two years instead of the three planned. This, combined with not adding to our debt, restructuring our debt and paying off debt was my goal. The direction I will advise the county commission will be to reduce property tax rates this year. It is the right thing to do. We asked for a heavy lift from all of Smith County in 2019 and will have soon fixed our issues. We need to reduce that ask from all of us. Government needs to do what it does and do it efficiently and effective. Government services cost what they cost but we should only ask for what is needed to operate year to year and maintain funds for improvements. 

Census Data

Census data will be sent out in the spring. We will start working on redistricting in the summer, with it being completed by year-end.

Thank you for allowing me to be Mayor of the greatest county in the world!

God Bless Smith County and God Bless the United States of America.

Jeff Mason

January 2021 Meeting of the Smith County Commission

The Smith County Commission held its October meeting on the evening of Monday, January 11, 2021. You may see a copy of the agenda here and read a written version of Smith County Mayor Jeff Mason’s report to the commission for this month here.

You can watch the full meeting below. We apologize for missing the first few minutes due to recording issues.

Thanks to Powell & Meadows Insurance Agency for sponsoring the live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Smith County Board of Commissioners meets on the second Monday of every month except December.

Typically, commission meetings are held in the General Sessions Courtroom of the Smith County Jail and Courts Facility, located at 322 Justice Drive in Carthage. During the July 2020 Meeting of the Smith County Commission, commissioners voted to hold all meetings at the Smith County Ag Center until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

All meetings are open to the public and are streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

January 2021 Meeting of the Gordonsville City Council

The Gordonsville City Council held its monthly meeting at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, January 11, 2021.

In order to practice recommended social distancing, the meeting was held inside the Gordonsville Civic Center.

You can watch the public hearing and council meeting below.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Gordonsville City Council meets at 6:15 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at Gordonsville City Hall, located at 63 Main Street in Gordonsville.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

Smith County Democrats to Host Strategic Communications Expert for January 2021 Meeting

Learn how to better communicate to rural voters with the Smith County Democratic Party at its next meeting Saturday, January 16, at 10 a.m., when we will welcome strategic communications expert Isaac Wright, a political and public affairs consultant. Due to COVID-19’s continued outbreaks, SCDP will meet via Zoom this month. To receive instructions to attend the meeting via Zoom, email inquiries to SmithCoDemocrats@gmail.com.

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