Von Cannon returned to Financial Management Committee

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

When members of the Carter County Commission revisited appointments to the Financial Management Committee on Monday evening, the makeup of that group once again changed as Commissioner Charles Von Cannon was returned to the committee following his request for a review of appointments.

In September, the county’s governing body voted 22-1 to appoint Commissioners Danny Ward, Bobbie Gouge-Dietz, Brad Johnson, and Randall Jenkins to serve on the Financial Management Committee alongside Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey, Carter County Road Superintendent Roger Colbaugh, and Director of Carter County Schools Dr. Kevin Ward. Commissioner Charles Von Cannon cast the sole dissenting vote to confirm the appointments. Prior to that vote, the Commission was represented by Ward, Gouge-Dietz, Von Cannon and Commissioner Ray Lyons on that committee.

On October 2, Van Cannon presented acting Financial Management Committee Chairman Ward with a letter requesting a review of the appointments to the committee, citing his difficulty hearing during the Sept. 18 Commission meeting. The Elizabethton Star obtained a copy of the letter through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

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“Due to a Hearing Problem and the inability to understand the Newly elected Commission Chairman, I — Charles D. Von Cannon, representing the 3rd District was unaware of a vote being taken to Replace me on the Financial Management Committee,” Von Cannon said in the later, dated Oct. 2. “At the time of the nominating and the vote, it was already known that the hearing and understanding of the new Chairman of the Commission existed in my case as well as other Commissioners and those in the audience.”

“I am asking for a review of this action including who nominated my replacement as well as why someone did not ask me if I wanted to continue as a member of the Financial Management Committee,” Von Cannon continued.

On Monday evening, Commission Chairman Dr. Robert Acuff addressed the request by Von Cannon to review the appointments. Acuff said he, Humphrey and Carter County Attorney Josh Hardin met and reviewed Von Cannon’s request as well as video from the September meeting.

“It was determined that we should revisit the issue, so tonight we will nominate and elect four members to the Financial Management Committee,” Acuff told the Commission on Monday evening, adding the decision was reached since there was a question regarding hearing during the meeting.

To help correct the deficiencies with the sound system in the courtroom, additional speakers were hooked into the system to amplify sound for members of the Commission as well as members of the public in attendance.

Following his explanation for revisiting the appointments, Acuff opened the floor for nominations to fill four seats on the Financial Management Committee.

Commissioner John Lewis nominated Von Cannon. Commissioner Sonja Culler nominated Johnson. Commissioner Mike Hill nominated Ward. Commissioner Ross Garland nominated Gouge-Dietz.

Acuff asked if there were any more nominations and no further nominations were made to fill the seats. The commissioners then voted to cease nominations.

Since there were four commissioners nominated to fill the four seats on the committee, the Commission then voted to appoint the nominated members to the Financial Management Committee.

The motion to place the four commissioners on the committee passed by a margin of 20-3, with Lews, Culler, and Commissioner Al Meehan casting votes against approving the appointments.