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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  • Blount County Commission - Thursday Jan 16th, 7:00 pm, room 430, Blount County Courthouse
  • Citizens for Blount County's Future - Tuesday Jan 14th, 6:30pm, Blount County Library

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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





December 2013 - Blount County Commission Monthly Report

County is selling a large building without knowing what it is worth?

The Commission passed a resolution authorizing the sale of a large County-owned building and surrounding property. The problem is the Commission did not bother to request an appraisal of the value of this property. Consequently, there is no way to judge whether the taxpayers are getting a good deal when the property is sold.

Most Commissioners seemed unconcerned about this un-business-like approach. Commissioner Burkhalter said at the Agenda meeting: "It is not our (the Commission's) responsibility to ensure they (the taxpayers) get a reasonable deal (selling the property)". I did not agree.


This approach does not pass the common sense test. I was the only Commissioner to vote No on this resolution.


Commission supports a big spender

In our comparisons of the spending of Blount County departments, with those of other similar Tennessee counties, our Circuit Court Clerk, Tom Hatcher, has repeatedly been identified as a big spender of our taxpayers’ hard earned money. Our Commissioners have done nothing to rein him in. In fact, at the December meeting, the Commission voted to add a total of $57,708 to Hatcher’s budget for additional manpower. I thought this was a bad idea. I was the only Commissioner to vote against this nonsense.


Schools say they need textbooks, but spend on tracks and bleachers

Our school administrators have said they desperately need new textbooks for our children. They have also told the citizens that two of our schools need new roofs. Yet, they came to the Commission for approval of $186,500 to upgrade two running tracks and replace some bleachers. This seemed to me, and many other citizens, to be a very odd set of priorities. Unfortunately, only Commissioner Lambert and myself voted against this measure.


Less than two hours to consider a $164 million budget

The County budget process is dysfunctional. This past year, the full Commission spent less than two hours discussing the County’s $164,000,000 budget. It is simply impossible to determine whether a budget this size is serving the taxpayers’ interests, in two hours. I have repeatedly requested that the Commission set a budget schedule that allows sufficient time for discussion by the full Commission.


The budget schedule presented at the December meeting did nothing to fix this serious problem. I was the only Commissioner to vote against this dysfunctional budget process.

Hospital $6.7 million bond offering – at least the taxpayers are not on the hook

The Commission approved another bond offering by Blount Memorial Hospital for $6.7 million. The good new is that, unlike the $90 million Hospital offering that was done a few months ago, the taxpayers will not be on the hook to pay off the bonds, if the Hospital cannot. Yes, I know, it would have been better if the taxpayers were not on the hook for the $90 million, but at least this was a small step in the right direction.




Only YOU can change YOUR government


Please attend the Commission meeting on Jan 16th at 7:00pm in Room430 of the Courthouse.