Landfill Committee to meet next week to discuss replacing Lyon’s after his resignation

Published 4:51 pm Thursday, July 6, 2023

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Star Correspondent
The Carter County Landfill Committee will meet next week to discuss replacing Benny Lyons, who submitted his resignation this week.
During the committee’s monthly meeting this past Monday, Lyons said he was resigning due to recent stress and other issues.
The committee will hold a special called meeting on Tuesday, July 11, to discuss the next steps in filling the position, Landfill Committee Chairman Gary Kemp said Wednesday.
“I believe with all the stress of his everyday dealings and everything that has been going on with audits and some commissioners and his health, Mr. Lyons finally made his decision to bow out and have some peace of mind.”
The county’s landfill has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.
Lyons partially blamed Commissioner Angie Odom for the stress. He later shared his thoughts on Odom and critics on Facebook. Lyons was on medical leave in June due to the stress he was under, but he said it continued after returning to work.
Odom said she had sought financial information about the landfill after becoming commissioner in an effort to “look at ways to come up with more money.”
Odom said she had gone to the county’s Finance Department to obtain information on the landfill. She said there were “red flags” that could not be answered.
The commissioner said she then approached the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office for advice.
“I had to make a report of my concerns,” Odom said.
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office subsequently opened an investigation, which continues today, Odom said.
“I didn’t know Benny,” Odom said. “I have no personal vendetta against him.”
Odom said she has “no intentions” other than to seek the landfill’s financial information on behalf of taxpayers. She noted that commissioners can obtain finance information on departments from the Finance Department.
“I have no ill feelings of Benny,” Odom said. “I was looking at ways to come up with more money. My intention was to see if I can help out there.”
Odom said Lyons is a hard worker and she appreciates his years of service to the county.
Kemp said he still supports Lyons, but he is “very upset with his decision. But everyone has to do what’s best for themselves and their family.”
“Mr. Lyons has been there and done that job for 15 years and has ran it to the best of his abilities with what they have,” said Kemp, who added that he has only been chairman of the committee for one year.
The current landfill leadership structure was created by a Tennessee private act.
The Carter County landfill director is appointed by the committee, according to the act, which was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2013. The committee has the power to oversee “all aspects of the operation of the Carter County landfill.” That power includes the power to hire and fire the landfill director, the power to directly supervise the director, oversight of the landfill budget and oversight of all day-to-day operations.
In addition to the ongoing investigation, the committee also discussed a recent incident between two employees at the landfill. One employee has been charged with aggravated assault.
Committee members shared their concerns about both employees continuing to work at the landfill. Both have since said they were also leaving.

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