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September 2022
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Special Called Meeting of Smith County Commission September 12th 2022

The Smith County Commission held its March meeting on the evening of Monday, September 12th 2022. 

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!

Commission meetings are held in the General Sessions Courtroom of the Smith County Jail and Courts Facility, located at 322 Justice Drive in Carthage.

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

Secretary Hargett Encourages Tennesseans to Register to Vote on the 10th Annual National Voter Registration Day

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, Secretary of State Tre Hargett is encouraging Tennesseans to register to vote or make sure their address on file is up to date.

“Registering to vote is the very first step to making your voice heard on Election Day,” said Secretary Hargett. “If you’re not registered, National Voter Registration Day is the perfect time to get ready to cast your ballot. Registering to vote is important because our society is better off when every eligible voter participates in the process.”

It has never been easier to register to vote, cast a ballot or get accurate election information in Tennessee. Registering to vote, updating or checking your registration status is fast, easy and secure with the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system, GoVoteTN.gov

Using a computer, phone or tablet, any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security can register in minutes at GoVoteTN.gov. Each submission is checked against the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s database. A paper voter registration application is also available to download at GoVoteTN.gov.

“Making it easier than ever before for Tennesseans to register to vote and cast a ballot while protecting the integrity of our elections is our highest priority,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “We work with legislators and county election administers so that every Tennessean can have confidence in our elections and know that it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat in the Volunteer State.”

Tennessee was recently ranked number one in the country for election integrity by The Heritage Foundation. This ranking results from Tennessee’s continual work to incorporate the best practices to protect the integrity of the ballot box.

The Secretary of State’s office and local county election commissions are Tennessee’s trusted sources for accurate election information. For the latest information about upcoming elections and the Secretary of State’s voter registration efforts, follow their social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate

Tennesseans are encouraged to use the Secretary of State’s #GoVoteTN hashtag on social media posts promoting voter registration on National Voter Registration Day and throughout the year. 

National Voter Registration Day and National Voter Registration Month are nonpartisan, nationwide efforts to encourage all eligible voters to register and participate in the electoral process.

For more information about registering to vote in Tennessee, go to GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

September 2022 Meeting of the Carthage City Council

The Carthage City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, September 6, 2022, at 6:00 pm.

Several items were discussed. 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/.

SAVE THE DATE: Carthage Mayoral Debate and Candidate forum set for October 17

Smith County Insider is partnering with the Smith County High School Journalism Class and the Smith County Chamber of Commerce to host a candidate forum and Carthage mayoral debate on Monday, October 17, 2022 at 6:00pm. 

The event will take place at the Smith County High School auditorium and will be moderated and led by JR Smith and students from his journalism class.  

All candidates that will appear on the November 8, 2022 ballot are invited to attend and participate, including candidates for Governor, US House, TN Senate, TN House, Carthage Mayor, Carthage Alderman, and Gordonsville Alderman. Each candidate will have the opportunity to speak for 3-5 minutes (time limit will depend on how many candidates participate). Candidates for Mayor of Carthage will be allowed to participate in a “debate” type question and answer session, where questions will be asked by a moderator. The questions will be drafted by students in the SCHS Journalism class. The format of the debate will be similar to the 2018 Smith County Mayoral Debate.

There is NO COST for candidates to come speak, but we would suggest that all attendees contribute a $10 or more donation to the SCHS Journalism class. 

The forum will be streamed LIVE on Smith County Insider’s Facebook page and viewers will be able to watch for free.

All candidates were invited via mailed letter on August 29 and they will receive a second invitation in the coming weeks. A list of confirmed candidates will be published at a later date.

If you are a candidate and would like to participate, please RSVP no later than October 15 by sending an email to news@smithcountyinsider.com.

Congressman John Rose Local Office Hours on September 9th

U.S. Representative John Rose’s (TN-6) district staff will hold a series of local office hours for constituents to connect directly with caseworkers and receive assistance with federal agencies throughout the month of September.

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.

“We are ready to assist constituents with federal casework and welcome anyone with questions to sit down with staff,” said Representative Rose. “My goal is to make the expertise of my staff and the resources of this office easily accessible to every person I represent.”

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

WHEN: Friday, September 9, 2022

TIME: 2:00pm-3:00pm

LOCATION: Smith County Administrative Building, 122 Turner High Circle, Carthage, TN 37030
WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.

UCEMC Directorate Election set for August 26-27

UCEMC’s Directorate Election is set for Friday, August 26, 2022 and Saturday August 27, 2022.

Polls will be open between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at all polling locations. PLEASE NOTE: Change in District 1 polling location.

DistrictConsisting of these counties:       Polling Location
    1 Smith, DeKalb, Wilson and Macon907 Main St. N., Carthage.
    2 Putnam and White1794 West Broad St., Cookeville.
    3 Overton, Clay, Fentress and Pickett320 Celina Hwy., Livingston.
    4 Jackson1085 N. Grundy Quarles Hwy., Gainesboro.
DistrictCandidateNumber of Directors to be elected/re-elected:
1C.D. (Digger) PoindexterOne director will be re-elected. Vote for one.
2Stormy Halsell
James W. West
One director will be elected or re-elected. Vote for one.
3Jim BrownOne director will be elected or re-elected. Vote for one.

Voting Rules and Bylaw Reference

  1. ONE vote regardless of number of individual memberships. Section 3.05 of the Bylaws.
  2. Husband and wife are joint members – only one may vote and if they disagree they cannot split their vote. Section 1.04 (b) of the Bylaws.
  3. Unincorporated business owners may not vote if he/she has individual memberships they are voting. Sections 3.05 and 4.08 of the Bylaws.
  4. Corporations have one vote only, regardless of number of memberships, and persons voting corporate memberships should have proper identification or credentials showing his/her right to vote the membership. Section 3.05 of the Bylaws.
  5. Unincorporated associations (such as churches) may have one vote, however, only upon presentation of the person desiring to vote the membership of proper evidence of his/her right to vote which should be in writing for clarity. The fact that a pastor, board member, or church member shows up and says they can vote the membership is not sufficient absent other proof. Section 3.05 of the Bylaws.
  6. No member may vote who has been suspended or terminated. Sections 2.01, 2.02, and 2.07 of the Bylaws.
  7. If a member is served by the cooperative at two or more premises in two or more districts, he/she shall be entitled to vote only his/her residential membership at any one of the cooperative’s election precincts. Section 4.08 of the Bylaws.
  8. It is the duty and legal obligation of the election supervisors to make decisions in accordance with Section 4.12 of the Bylaws.
  9. Voting rights are set out in Sections 3.05 and 4.08 of the Bylaws. (Reference Section 4.11).
  10. Proxy voting by Power of Attorney or otherwise by members who are natural persons is not permitted. Section 3.05 of the Bylaws.

NOTE: Ref. 6 above: Suspension of membership is defined in Bylaws as failure to pay any amounts due the cooperative within the time limit prescribed for payment or other non-compliance with membership obligations. For the purposes of this election, the memberships of members having unpaid bills due on or before August 15, 2022 will be in suspension on Election Day.

                                     OFFICES WILL NOT BE OPEN FOR BILL PAYMENTS ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2022.

Members with questions about the Directorate Election should ask their local UCEMC office prior to Election Day or election supervisors on Election Day. Copies of Bylaws are available at all UCEMC offices or at ucemc.com.

                                                                              EEO Employer/Vet/Disability

Hale unseats 14-year incumbent in state house race

Michael Hale

Smith County will be represented by a new member in the Tennessee House of Representatives as Michael Hale defeated Terri Lynn Weaver in the Republican Primary for Tennessee House District 40 during the August 4 election. Weaver carried Smith County with 1,678 votes to Hale’s 1,534; however, Hale outperformed Weaver in the other areas of the 40th District. Click here to see the election results for the entire district.

Weaver, a resident of Lancaster, has represented Smith County and House District 40 since being elected in 2008.

Michael Hale, a lifelong resident of DeKalb County and District 40, is seeking election for public office for the first time. He will move on to the state general election in November, where Tom Cook will be opposite on the ballot as the Democratic nominee.

House District 40 now consists of all of Cannon, DeKalb, Jackson, Smith Counties, and a portion of Wilson County. House District 40 was redrawn for the once-a-decade redistricting after the 2020 census.

August 4, 2022 State Primary and Smith County General Election Results

Voters had the opportunity to cast ballots in a variety of races during the 2022 State Primary and Smith County General Election, including Governor, US House, TN Senator, TN House, District Attorney, General Sessions Judge, Mayor, Trustee, Clerk, County Commission, and several more. Citizens may view a full sample ballot here.

Polls were open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and voters had the opportunity to vote early from July 15-30 or by absentee ballot.

Below is a PDF of the election results for the August 4, 2022 Smith County Primary.

Use the up and down arrows at the top and bottom of the PDF to scroll between pages.

8 of 8 Precincts have reported, along with Early Votes and Absentee Votes.

8-of-8-ElectionSummary

Early voting down 30%; Election Day set for August 4, 2022

Residents across the county had the chance to cast the ballots early for the August 4 election that includes elections for almost all county offices; however, the number of early votes cast has been significantly lower than the previous county general election held in 2018. According to Smith County Election Administrator Yvonne Gibbs, early voting is down approximately 30%, with only 2,138 early votes being cast compared to 3,135 at the end of early voting during the same election cycle in 2018.

An analysis of the Tennessee Secretary of State’s early voting shows that Smith County is not unique in lower turnout during the early voting period. Tennessee has seen 135,000 fewer ballots cast during early voting across the state, equating to a 22.1% decrease statewide.

Smith County residents who did not vote early will have the chance to cast their votes on Election Day, which is set for Thursday, August 4, 2022. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Citizens can vote at their respective polling places. Below is a list of the polling places by district:

District 1 – Defeated:
The Carver Barn
315 Defeated Creek Hwy
Carthage, TN 37030

District 2 – Tanglewood:
Smith County Motor Co.
211 Dixon Springs Hwy
Carthage, TN 37030

District 3 – New Middleton:
New Middleton Elementary School
402 New Middleton Hwy
Gordonsville, TN 38563

District 4 – Rock City:
Union Heights Elementary School
663 Lebanon Hwy
Carthage, TN 37030

District 5 – Gordonsville:
Gordonsville Civic Center
63 Main Street, East
Gordonsville, TN 38563

District 6 – Carthage:
Smith County Chamber of Commerce
939 Upper Ferry Rd.
Carthage, TN 37030

District 7 – South Carthage
Senior Citizens Bldg
120 Pauline Gore Way Suite B
Carthage, TN 37030

District 8 – Elmwood:
Forks River Elementary School
611 Cookeville Hwy
Elmwood, TN 38560

Citizens may view a full sample ballot here. Please remember that Smith County residents must be registered to vote and must be able to present a valid photo ID issued by the Tennessee or U.S. government to vote in the August 4 election.

Edward De La Rosa announces candidacy for District 8 Smith County Commissioner

Edward De La Rosa


It is my honor to announce my write-in candidacy for 8th district County Commissioner.

I have lived by a motto that has guided my life personally as well as professionally: “My success will always be indirect proportion to those I help”. It’s a mindset I plan to share with those I work with as Smith County Commissioner.

I’ve dedicated my life to working hard, raising my family, and loving thy neighbor. I’m blessed to be married to my best friend of over 30 years and have 2 beautiful children and 3 precious grandchildren.

With more girls than boys, I know a little something about politics, majority rules.

As a Blue-Collar worker, I’ve taken pride in the way I have been able to provide for my family, and I know Smith County is built on the same values that put food on the table.

We love our homesteads, and as citizens, we work hard to maintain what we’ve earned.

In my time managing projects all over this county, state, country and the world, I have made understanding and motivating people my business. But my favorite people are the citizens of Smith County, which is why I am dedicating my life to enriching the lives of my community.

I’ve volunteered and served as a committee member for countless Smith County charity and outreach programs including Smith County Drug Prevention, Bridging the Gap, CASA and Emanuell House. It has been a privilege to consistently be involved in understanding the needs of our citizens by actively engaging and working to overcome the hardships we face as a community.

As 8th district Smith County Commissioner, I will dedicate myself to the district I call my “forever home” and put people before politics.

It is truly the families living in our communities that keep the heart of Smith County beating!

If elected, your public safety would be ensured, our economic growth stimulated, the infrastructure strengthened, our local commerce renewed, local taxes properly utilized, and our elections will be fair.

On August 4th WRITE-IN Edward De La Rosa on your ballot for 8th District County Commissioner. Everyone counts and together we win!

Amid Soaring Inflation, Rep. Rose Slams Democrats’ Spending Proposal

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S Rep. John Rose (TN-6) spoke on the House Floor Wednesday in opposition to many of the provisions included in the House Democrats’ latest appropriations funding bill.

H.R. 8294, a package of six appropriations bills for fiscal year 2023:

  • Increases overall domestic spending by 14%
  • Increases the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 20%
  • 17% increase for the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Increases funding for general government activities by 17%
    • $1 billion increase for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    • 30% increase for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    • 20% increase for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

The full speech, as prepared for delivery, is below:  

Madam Speaker, on many different occasions I have come to this chamber to point out exactly how we arrived at this moment where we are experiencing record-breaking inflation. Each time, Congressional Democrats’ desire to recklessly spend trillions of taxpayer dollars continues to be the answer.

Here I am again, as the House passed yet another spending bill costing hundreds of billions of dollars and is filled with socialist wish list items that increases federal spending by double and triple percentage increases in some cases.

I, of course, voted “No.” Not only because it increases the size of our government by increasing spending on non-defense programs by 14%, but because it also fails to include the Hyde Amendment, which is a long-standing bipartisan agreement that protects taxpayer dollars for being used to fund abortions.

Overall, the bill would increase the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency by 20%, increase the budget for general governmental activities by 17%, and include a 10% increase for the Food and Drug Administration—the same department that botched the baby formula shortage.

This funding bill rewards bad behavior by giving funding increases to departments that have failed the American people. It encourages illegal immigration, it discourages increasing our domestic energy output by restricting offshore oil and gas activities, and it fails to fund our national defense construction priorities like the sea-launched cruise missile-nuclear. 

It’s been almost two years of complete Democratic control of government, and instead of addressing the root causes of the crises Democrats created, the bill doubles down on their failed socialist agenda. Tennesseans are fed up with the out-of-control spending. Americans all across the country are fed up with it, too.

Early Voting for the August 4 County General and State Primary Election is July 15-30

Early voting for the August 4 election begins on July 15 and runs through July 30. Click HERE to view the sample ballot.

Early voting will be available at two locations: The Smith County Election Office and the Gordonsville Municipal Building.

Early voting at the Smith County Election office will be open from July 15–30 from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday. Late-night early voting will be available on July 21 & 28 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Voters may vote early at the Gordonsville Municipal Building on Thursday, July 21 from 8am to 7pm, Friday July 22 from 8am to 4pm, Saturday July 23 from 9am to 12pm.

Both early voting sites will be open to all Smith County voters, regardless of where in the county they live. On Election Day, the Gordonsville location will only be available for those voters who live in the Gordonsville district. The Smith County
Election Office is not a voting location on Election Day.

If you wait until Election Day (August 4) to vote, you must go to the polling location that is located in the precinct where you
live.

Early Voting for the Aug. 4 Election Starts Friday

Tennessee’s generous early voting period for the Aug. 4 State and Federal Primary & State and County General Election begins this Friday, July 15, and runs Monday to Saturday until Saturday, July 30. 

“More Tennessee voters take advantage of the convenience and flexibility of our state’s generous early voting period every year,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “There is a longer ballot for the Aug. 4 election, so I encourage Tennessee voters to cast their ballot early.”

On the August ballot, Tennessee voters will see primary races for Governor, U.S. House, State Senate, State House and the State Executive Committee members for each political party and retention or general elections for judicial offices and other state and local positions. 

Early voting allows Tennesseans to avoid Election Day crowds and shorten their wait time. Early voting also offers the flexibility of evening and Saturday hours and multiple polling locations in many counties.

Tennesseans can find early voting and Election Day polling locations, view sample ballots and more with the GoVoteTN app or online at GoVoteTN.gov. The GoVoteTN app is free in the App Store or Google Play. 

Voters are encouraged to review their sample ballot on the GoVoteTN app or GoVoteTN.gov before they head to the polls. Reviewing your ballot and deciding how you will vote will also reduce your time at the polls.

“There are several judicial retention questions on the ballot this year.  I want voters to be aware that the August ballot is longer than normally and will take additional time to complete,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “When you vote early, you can help reduce wait times for yourself and other voters.”

Tennesseans voting early or on Election Day need to bring valid photo identification to the polls. A driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee state government or the federal government is acceptable even if it’s expired. Student IDs are not acceptable. Out of state driver’s license are not acceptable.  More information about what types of IDs are permitted is available on GoVoteTN.gov.

For the latest accurate information about the upcoming election, follow the Secretary of State’s social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate.

For more information about early voting, visit GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

Jereme Donoho announces candidacy for Smith County Clerk

I, Jerome Donoho, would like to formally announce my candidacy for Smith County Clerk.

I grew up in the Pleasant Shade community and I am a member of Pleasant Shade Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church. I have remained a resident of Smith County throughout my entire life.

I have been married to my wife, Kelly Bane Donoho for 30 years. Together we have 3 wonderful daughters – Kelsey, Katie & husband Damian, and Maizey, as well as one grandson – Cole.

I started Donoho’s Muffler Shop in 1983. It has been a privilege to have developed so many relationships with the people of Smith County these past 35+ years, and I feel extremely blessed to have had the support of this community throughout my career thus far. I look forward to having the opportunity to serve the public in a different way through this new avenue.

I will be running as an Independent candidate – I hope to have the opportunity to speak with you in person, but if I am unable to reach you, I humbly ask for your support throughout my campaign over the coming months, and for your vote in August.

July 5 is the registration deadline to vote in the Aug. 4 election; Early voting start July 15

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennesseans who want to cast a ballot in the Aug. 4 State and Federal Primary & State and County General Election must register or update their voter registration before the voter registration deadline on Tuesday, July 5. 

“Going into this 4th of July holiday, I can’t think of a more patriotic thing to do than to register to vote,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “With our convenient online voter registration system, it’s never been easier or safer for Tennesseans to register to vote or update their registration.”

Registering to vote, updating your address or checking your registration status is fast, easy and secure with the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system. Any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security can register online in minutes from any computer or mobile device at GoVoteTN.gov.

Voters can also download a paper voter registration application at GoVoteTN.gov. Completed paper voter registration applications must be mailed to your local county election commission office or submitted in person. Mailed voter registrations must be postmarked by July 5.

Election Day registration is not available in Tennessee.

Early voting for the Aug. 4 election starts Friday, July 15, and runs Monday to Saturday until Saturday, July 30. The deadline to request an absentee by-mail ballot is Thursday, July 28. However, eligible voters who will be voting absentee by-mail should request the ballot now.

For up-to-date, accurate information about the Aug. 4 election, follow the Secretary of State’s social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate.

For more information about registering to vote, voter eligibility and other Tennessee election details, visit GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.