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Archives 03-08-2011

News

State Bound!
Legislative Body meeting set, nepotism policy on the agenda
City Council meeting held Monday night
Baxter man arrested for selling food stamps here

State Bound!

Julie Miller photo
Livingston Academy Wildcats and their fans celebrate after LA defeated Chattanooga-Tyner 71-60 in the Sub-State game held Monday, March 7 in Livingston. The win sends the Cats to the TSSAA Class AA State Tournament to be held next week in Murfreesboro.



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Legislative Body meeting set, nepotism policy on the agenda
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Legislative Body will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, March 14. The meeting will be held in the second floor court room of Overton County Courthouse on the square in Livingston.

One of the items on the agenda will be the Uniform Nepotism Policy Act of 2011, which was brought up in the last meeting. The County Commission voted to table the discussion of the policy, but that vote was out of order because a motion to adopt the policy had not been made.

County Mayor Ron Cyrus told Overton County News, “This is an ongoing issue in the county, and I think a lot of it is just misunderstood. I think the failure to pass this thing, it’s a mistake if we don’t.”

He said four counties have adopted this nepotism policy, and named Cheatham and Haywood counties as two of them.

“It has never been challenged in the court to say that it’s illegal,” he said.

“There’s nothing illegal about it.”

Overton County’s proposed policy mirrors Tennessee Code for public officers and employees, the Employees Uniform Nepotism Policy Act of 1980.

“There were nepotism policies in every place that I’ve ever worked at,” Cyrus said.

He also cited Overton County Nursing Home as an example of a county entity with a nepotism policy already in place.

“The nursing home has the same policy and they have 160 employees and they follow it to a ‘T’,” he said. “They have no problem. It’s a management problem is what it is. It’s simply a management problem.”

Mayor Cyrus also emphasized that he is not pushing for the policy because of any personal agenda.

“I have nothing personal against anyone on that school board and I have nothing personal against any office holder,” he said. “I consider them my friends, we just fall on different sides of this issue. And the county commissioners, I believe, are the policymakers in this county, I believe that’s what the state constitution says, what the state laws say, and our jobs, as I see it, as a county mayor and as a county commission is that we establish a budget and we set policy.”

Mayor Cyrus asserted that, even though the policy would not be retroactive, the county may be open to discrimination lawsuits in the future if action is not taken now.

“There’s a quote that’s been going around in my mind, over and over and over and over and over again,” he said as he reached in his pocket and pulled out a worn piece of paper.

He then read from the paper, “When crisis comes people are prone to accept a solution that sacrifices the future at the alter of the immediate.”

The statement is a quote from David Jeremiah’s book “The Coming Economic Armageddon: What Bible Prophecy Warns about the New Global Economy”.

Mayor Cyrus added, “I just don’t think it is right the way we’re doing business. I believe that everybody ought to have an equal chance and there should be a level playing field.

“I honestly believe that we have an obligation to give everyone in this county a fair shake at a job, if there’s a job opening in the county. Everyone should have a chance, it shouldn’t just be for relatives.”



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City Council meeting held Monday night

Dewain E. Peek photo
A new roof, new bathrooms, and electrical wiring are among the improvements to the Farmers Market.

By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes and the Board of Aldermen held the regular monthly meeting Monday, March 7 with Aldermen Bill Winningham, Lynn King, David Langford, Bill Linder, Cindy Robbins, and David Sadler II all present.

Second reading of Ordinance 2011-2-1 to change the zoning of Richard Winton property on East Volunteer Drive from C1 to R1 was approved.

Mayor Hayes informed the alderman, “We’ve got a new roof on the Public Safety Building.”

Alderman Langford asked if the city had any grant money for the roof or if it was paid out of the city’s funds.

“We bellied up and paid it,” Mayor Hayes answered.

Langford asked how much it cost, and was told almost $18,000.

He then asked, “How many bids did we get, three?”

Mayor Hayes said it wasn’t bid, “It was kind of an emergency type situation.”

Randall Penticuff was given the job after two other roofers were also contacted and they were higher than Penticuff.

Langford asked, “We won’t get in trouble for not officially bidding it, will we?”

“Not if it’s and emergency, and this was an emergency,” Mayor Hayes said. “Actually, it was an emergency a year ago.”

Alderman Robbins also asked in the direction of City Attorney John Meadows, “So, we won’t get in trouble by not bidding it out?”

“I said, no,” Mayor Hayes spoke up with a laugh. “The answer, I said was, no. I know the rules on that. If it’s an emergency we don’t have to bid that out.”

Codes Inspector Darius Sims gave an update on improvements at the Farmers Market, saying the latest work will be completed in about three or four days.

“Everybody’s really liked the looks of it,” he said. “And we’ve had a few people that are vendors down there that have come by and they are looking forward to being in there.”

Mayor Hayes asked if a fee is charged to vendors.

Sims said county residents pay $2 per day and out-of-county vendors pay $4 per day.

“They do have a small bank account with about, the last I heard, it was around $1,200 to $1,400 in the bank account.”

Alderman Langford asked what that money goes for.

“I don’t know,” Sims answered. “I don’t know what they use it for. I don’t know where they’ve ever spent any, even since its existence. That may be all they’ve collected.”

Langford said, “I’m all for it, 100 percent.”

Then he asked if the city was paying for the recent improvements or if it was paid for through grant money.

“We got a grant,” Mayor Hayes said, “100 percent.”

Alderman Sadler asked, “Are we paying the electric bill on it?”

“Well, we’ve never had an electric bill before,” Sims answered. “We do pay water, and we’ll probably pay the electric bill.”

The electrical additions include three ceiling fans, two rows of lights, and some outlets, along with lights in the new bathrooms.

The meeting adjourned.


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Baxter man arrested for selling food stamps hereBy Lyndon Johnson,
OCN staff

Livingston Police arrested a man Saturday, March 5 who they allege was trying to sell his EBT benefits– the modern-day equivalent of food stamps– at 50 cents on the dollar.

According to a statement from LPD, officers received a complaint that a person in Baxter “was using the Local Sales Network sales website to sell their food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar.”

With that information, LPD reportedly contacted the man via the internet and confirmed that he wanted to sell his food assistance benefits for cash.

The man allegedly agreed to come to Livingston to sell his EBT card.

LPD Sgt. Jonathan Swift, Officer J.D. Masters, and Reserve Officer Matt Wilson, who had led the investigation, set up a sting operation after making contact with the individual and confirming he wanted to sell the EBT card.

“After approximately two hours, the suspect met Officer Wilson,” who was acting as an undercover agent, the statement said. He then “sold his food stamp card for half the value of the food stamps plus a gas fee for bringing the card to Livingston from Baxter.”

Having completed the transaction, police say they apprehended the suspect without incident in the parking lot of Food Lion on Bradford Hicks Drive.

The suspect was reportedly identified as Nathan Cole Martin, 28, of 6295 Window Cliff Drive in Putnam County.

Martin is currently on probation for forgery in Putnam County, according to LPD. Sgt. Swift stated that “it was not only a federal crime to sell your food stamps, but also a state crime. It is a Class E felony to sell more than $100 in food assistance in a fraudulent manner.”

According to LPD, Martin attempted to sell $200 in food benefits to the undercover officer.

 

 

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Overton County News
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Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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