Should the top position in a local school system — director or superintendent — be won in a political race or filled by locally-elected school boards through a hiring and contract process?
On Wednesday, Ballad Health — the result of a merger of what were Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance — announced Johnson City Medical Center would be the only hospital to retain level one trauma center status for its emergency room.
Officials blame an outbreak of a feline disease with the decision to euthanize all the cats, about 50. Some animal advocates and volunteers for the shelter said they did not have to be euthanized and called for better written protocols and appointment of an experienced director.
In what was billed as the first time the two commission’s ever met jointly, each body voted to approve a resolution citing prior successes and pledging to forge greater bonds — throughout the region.
The committee will include representatives of all the veterans groups in the county and create a plan for how to continue after the current veterans service officer, who works out of the American Legion office, retires in two years.
Most members of the public who spoke during a work session last week told county commissioners they don’t want the county to again partner with the Kingsport-based group.
The county commissions of Sullivan County and Washington County will meet jointly next week to talk about how to work together — and planners hope the effort will grow to include surrounding counties to “make things better for the whole region.”
Nearly $1 million in startup funding will come from the county’s general fund surplus, but an estimated $757,000 in recurring yearly costs will have to be funded in years to come.
On Thursday the Sullivan County Commission approved a nearly $184.5 million budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, keeping last year’s tax rate of $2.55 and balanced with nearly $7.3 million worth of fund balances.
BLOUNTVILLE — When does recess mean accomplishing a challenging task? When it happens at the Sullivan County Commission. At least on occasion. And one of those occasions came on Monday.
BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Commission is expected to be asked to vote up or down Monday on allowing the school system to use $4.8 million of its estimated $11 million general fund balance to pay for athletic fields at West Ridge High School. The school is scheduled to open fall of 2020.
“If we don’t have some kind of program in place, we are contributing to our own problem,” Commissioner Angie Stanley said.
Sullivan County commissioners will have to “start juggling things around” to balance a 2018-2019 budget without property tax increase. Each penny of the property tax rate is projected to generate $372,439 for the current budget cycle. That equals about $239,000 in new money for the county’s general fund under the current tax rate.
Last week, Sullivan County voters elected a 100 percent Republican county commission. Or did they? Are all 24 commissioners Republican enough? That question seems to be the impetus for the creation of a Republican Caucus of the Sullivan County Commission
Incumbents who survived primaries in May win reelection, but majority of commission will be new come September.