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New commissioners meet in first meeting

Discuss new pro tem and commissioner pay

By ZOË HAGGARD - zhaggard@t-g.com
Posted 9/17/22

The first Bedford County Board of Commissioners meeting with the new commissioners was a rather short one, but it decided the new Chairman Pro Tem as well as discussed compensation for members of the …

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New commissioners meet in first meeting

Discuss new pro tem and commissioner pay

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The first Bedford County Board of Commissioners meeting with the new commissioners was a rather short one, but it decided the new Chairman Pro Tem as well as discussed compensation for members of the body.  

Two members were nominated for the pro tem position: Commissioner P.T. “Biff” Farrar of District 9 and Commissioner Tony Smith of District 2.  

Farrar won the nomination with 10 votes. Smith received six.  

The former Chairman Pro Tem was Commissioner John Brown who passed away on Aug. 25.  

Commissioner pay  

Under other business, the board briefly discussed compensation of members.  

TCA 5-5-107(e) states: “Any increase in compensation for member of the county legislative body does not take effect until the beginning of the term following the next election of county commissioners after the resolution increasing the compensation is adopted.”  

That is, this commission would have to adopt a new pay scale for the county commissioners, but it would not go into effect until the next election cycle (four years from now).  

According to Melisa Kelton, county government consultant, “...any increases in CLB [county legislative body] pay have to be voted on by the CLB— not be automatic. Also, any increases can’t take effect until the next term of office.”  

“We recommend that they pass a resolution that lines up with the new statute,” Kelton wrote in an email to county finance director Robert Daniel in October of 2021.  

“A year or so ago they raised the amount of pay that the mayor got and they thought, we’ll raise the commissioner salary too. But the attorney general said you have to vote on it separately...It’s the same pay that’s been for the last 12 years or so,” said District 2 Commissioner Greg Vick.  

Any raise in commissioner pay is not going to pass, according to Vick. “It’s dead in the water,” said Vick. “I think the commission had decided that we’re not only adequately compensated but there are so many other needs we have out there in the community we need to address first.”  

The pay scale increase that occurred for county officials is separate from the commission. Their pay is based on half a percent of what the mayor’s salary is, about $400 per month, according to Vick. The legislature sets the salary for the mayor all across the state.  

Upcoming groundbreakings  

In other announcements, Duksan Electera America, Inc—the new electric car electrolyte facility on the231 North Industrial Park— will hold a groundbreaking on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 a.m. An RSVP is required; you can contact Shane Hooper’s office at931-735-6925.  

The new Tennessee College of Applied Technology will have another groundbreaking on Friday, Sept. 30, at 10 a.m.at the new industrial park location as well. 

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