|Jowers: Come together for benefit of everyone |
|Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 9:03 pm |
The Messenger 10.01.12
By CHRIS MENEES
Obion County commissioner Danny Jowers wants the county and cities to “come together” in looking toward future growth for everyone.
Jowers addressed recent county-city turmoil during this morning’s Obion County Budget Committee meeting as he suggested county and all city leaders meet to discuss long-term plans and industrial plans.
“Every city sits in the county,” he said, emphasizing that county and city leaders must work together to secure local jobs which will encourage young people to stay in Obion County. “We have got to come together as a county.”
He said the City of Union City has spent a considerable amount of money at the industrial park and he said it is Obion County’s responsibility to assist in bringing jobs and industry for every community in the county.
Commissioner Ralph Puckett said Obion County has done its part to help with industrial development over the years and has partnered with communities in the past. He specifically cited the county’s helping by loaning Union City money for a spec building and the county’s contributing funds for an industrial training center.
Puckett said the county is not the guilty party and Jowers said he didn’t say anyone was guilty of anything, but rather that the county needs to help with long-range planning for the future. Jowers said the community has been seeing only the negative side in recent weeks and “it’s time to get our side out, too.”
Commissioner Allen Nohsey said he doesn’t believe Obion County has ever turned down Union City or any other city for a request and he said the county has been involved in growth and development.
Jowers reiterated he believes it is time to work together and see what can be done for the future to benefit everyone in Obion County and it’s also time the county’s efforts be noted. He said the county also gave $250,000 for the Step Up Obion County program for future growth.
Jowers emphasized the county and cities need to work out any problems in order to focus on future growth and “to flourish.” He said if Union City’s mayor or any city council members want to address the county commission with concerns, they should feel free to do so.
The seven-member budget committee approved Jowers’ request that the long-term planning discussion be placed on the Obion County Commission’s agenda for discussion at its Oct. 15 meeting.
Commissioner Cloney Taylor, who was in the audience, said leaders from every city across the county need to be informed of the discussion being placed on the commission agenda so they can attend. Commissioner Richard Arnold, a member of the committee, said both school boards should also be notified.
Jowers again emphasized everyone needs to try to work together as a county and he questioned how long it had been since the county’s long-range planning committee had met.
“When have we talked about industrial development or anything to do with jobs?” he asked.
Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire said his office’s line of communication with cities across Obion County is always open and he is always willing to talk, as he maintains an open-door policy. He said mayors’ roundtable discussions are held and he speaks with many of the local mayors, adding that Union City is looking at several things but the bottom line is no one wants to see a tax increase.
In other action during this morning’s 20-minute meeting, which was opened with prayer led by vice chairman Sam Sinclair Jr., the budget committee:
• Voted to forward to the commission a resolution to establish an Occupational Safety and Health Program and to provide for a director. Jowers, the county’s Emergency Management Agency director, will be the official liaison for Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration as the county’s occupational safety and health director and will be making some inspections and suggestions which will help in future TOSHA inspections.
The program must be approved by the commission every five years.
It was noted there may be some training available which would be beneficial to Jowers’ effectively performing the duties of liaison. Jowers emphasized his work as TOSHA liaison is part of what the county pays toward his salary as EMA director and not part of the federal government’s pay toward his EMA director salary.
• Approved in-house budget transfers for the clerk and master’s office for copier contract expenses and for the solid waste department for recycle center labor.
• Approved placing notary public applications on the agenda for the county commission meeting.
• Was informed Secretary of State Tre Hargett will be in Union City at noon Thursday for an amphitheater grant presentation at the Obion County Public Library.