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Charter Commission asks for, is granted, additional time

With two months left out of a nine-month time frame to come up with a proposed series of changes to county government, Anderson County’s eight-member Charter Commission is seeking a time extension to allow them more time to research and recommend any possible changes to the county under what could end up being a Charter form of government.

In a unanimous vote, Anderson County Commission approved a resolution at the county commission meeting on Monday, June 19, to extend the time for the Anderson County Charter Commission to prepare and file a proposed list of changes under an Anderson County Charter Commission to prepare and file a proposed list of changes under an Anderson County Charter type government that will then be voted on by Anderson County registered voters in a countywide referendum sometime in 2018—or later, depending on how long it takes Charter Commissioners to decide on any revisions.

According to the Tennessee Code Annotated, a Charter Commission has no later than nine months after the date of its initial meeting to prepare and file a charter—“or within such extended limit of time as may be authorized by resolution of the legislative body of the county.”

The resolution states that the county’s charter commission is making this request to county commission for a time extension so that charter members can have more time “to fully evaluate all aspects of county government operations in order to complete a thorough and exhaustive examination of proposed charter provisions and legal construction requirements.”

According to Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager, who presented the resolution for a time extension to Commissioners at the Commission meeting last Monday, the Charter Commission is only wanting a time extension of a few months, at least until Aug. 1, 2018, to thoroughly review all components of county government and determine whether or not a Charter form of government is indeed necessary and would serve in the best interests of county citizens.

“There’s no reason to believe they’ll [Charter Commissioners] need the entire amount of time, but we want to go ahead and cover this with one extension resolution,” said Yeager.

The extension will be a one-time occurrence, he said.

Since December 2016, when the Charter Commission’s first met, Charter members have met seven times — once every month — in the past seven months to look into what changes — if any — need to be made to the way Anderson County government conducts its business.

In January this year, Charter Commissioners made a motion to hear from county department heads and elected officials every month to get feedback on possible changes they could make to the structure or operation of county government.

As of the date of the most recent Charter Commission meeting on June 5, Charter members were still hearing from elected officials and department heads.