Rule changes approved by commission

By Mike Steely

The Knox County Commission met at 2 p.m. Friday in a catch-up session to cover the meetings canceled during the snow storm.

During the brief session, the commissioners voted to approve several rule changes including allowing Knox County Sheriff’s Office employees to make a grievance report if any pay is lost during a suspension.

Commission rules were also changed dealing with absences of committee and board members. The new rule allows the chairperson of those groups to review attendance and possibly dismiss a member for not attending meetings. Rules chair Commissioner Kim Frazier explained the rule doesn’t apply to commission members. Commissioner John Schoonmaker gave an example of a previous Audit Committee that sometimes could not meet because members were absent.

Schoonmaker’s idea to have anonymous, unsigned letters sent to commissioners be forwarded to the commission chair for a decision was also approved.  All three rules passed unanimously in a roll call vote.

The commission repealed the EMS Cost Review Board that was created before the rehiring of American Medical Response as the ambulance provider. Kevin Parton, director of the health department, told the meeting the board was no longer needed.

Two citizens spoke during the public forum. Barry Marshall spoke about the incident of a transgender biker taking part in competition. Marshall also was critical of a press release from Mayor Glenn Jacob’s office that endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Community activist Vivian Shipe brought up the successful city and county response to the snowstorm and specifically mentioned Commission Larsen Jay’s assistance with Mobile Meals deliveries.

Schoonmaker informed the commission of possible action by the state to limit tax increases in all counties at 2%. He urged citizens to contact their elected state legislators to stop the intrusion into any county’s ability to raise revenue.