Jim Folts   Blount County Commissioner


“To stand in silence, when they should be protesting, makes cowards out of men” - Abraham Lincoln

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Special Report on our County Schools

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Next Meetings

  • Blount County Commission - Thursday Dec19th, 7:00 pm, room 430, Blount County Courthouse
  • Citizens for Blount County's Future - Tuesday Dec 17th, 6:30pm, Blount County Library

Report Archives

Feel free to let me know your views on county issues
. Just send me an email at jimfolts@gmail.com, or give me a call at 995-9476.

The Blount County Commissioners

Citizens for Better Government

Current Information

November 2013 - Blount County Commission Monthly Report

Schools hire more people rather than buy needed textbooks
A resolution was submitted to enable the Schools to hire five more teaching assistants. Commissioner Burchfield pointed out that the Schools have said they desperately need new textbooks. She said it would make a lot more sense to use the money to buy textbooks and enable the existing teaching staff to be more effective, rather than adding more people.  I thought Commissioner Burchfield was correct, and voted with her opposing the use of this money to add more people. Unfortunately, only Commissioners Harrison and Helton joined us. The result is that we will have more teaching personnel, without proper textbooks for the kids.  This is just another Commission decision that does not seem to pass the common sense test.

New grant policy to prevent "gallows grants"
The Commission passed a new policy requiring pre-approval of grant applications. The main purpose of this policy is to prevent the County from getting trapped into “gallows grants”. A “gallows grant” is one where the Feds, or the State, pay for the first year or two of a grant, then pull the trap door, and hang our county taxpayers with all the future costs. The policy reads: “If the grant will require any type of county funding after it is awarded or in the future, it will go to the Budget Committee for approval. I requested, and received, a clarification that all such grant requests will be forwarded by the Budget Committee to the full Commission for approval.

More space allocated for storing paper records
The County has a centralized Records Department. Yet, we have a steady stream of requests from other County departments for space to store paper records. Storing paper records is very, very expensive. The floor space is costly. Finding a paper record is costly. Backing up paper records is nearly impossible. This is why nearly every organization interested in saving money has gone to digitized records. I suggested that the Commission should stop granting requests for space to store records and take a hard look at enabling the central records department to digitize County records. I was the only Commissioner to vote against allocating more space for storing paper records.

Good Government Requires Good People to Run for Office

Blount County is blessed to have a population that believes in hard work, common sense, and caring for their friends and neighbors. Many citizens wonder why these values do not seem to be reflected in Commission discussions.

The answer is that we need more of the good citizens of this County to stand up and run for office. We need YOU. In the last Commission election, nearly half the candidates were unopposed. To improve your government, you need to run for office, or if you are unable to run, encourage your friends and neighbors to run. The first step is to pick up a petition at the Election Commission, now. Just 25 signatures from friends and neighbors in your Commission district will get you on the ballot for the May primary. You have until noon on February 20th to file your petition.

Please consider running for office. If the values of the citizens of this County are truly represented on the Commission, Blount County will have the best government in the state.

Only YOU can change YOUR government

Please attend the Commission meeting on Dec. 19th at 7:00pm in Room430 of the Courthouse.