Rules committee works to notify public

By Lesley Jenkins
star staff

Recent controversy over the Sunshine Law prompted members of the Carter County Rules and By-Laws committee to take action to prevent further issues with county meetings giving adequate notice to the public.
   The topic will be brought before the full commission at the meeting on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. The committee recommends that the "notice of regular or periodic meetings of boards and committees related to or of the Carter County Commission or Carter County Government... will be posted on the courthouse bulletin board located on the first floor of the county court house adjacent to the Clerk of Court's office, county Web site and published under the legal notice section in a local paper of record.
   "It is strongly recommended that every effort will be made to publish the meeting in a paper of record. An alternative to publication in the legal section would be to send an aggregate list of such meetings and their general agenda topic to the editor of the Elizabethton Star (currently Guy Austin) several times during the month with sufficient time to allow the public awareness of such meetings.
   "It is the responsibility of the county government to assure adequate notification of such meetings to the public, not the local paper of record," the document reads.
   The commission will review the recommendation at the next meeting and discuss whether or not to budget sufficient funds for the legal notifications which will include the committee meeting, date, time and place where the meeting will be held.
   Buildings and Grounds Committee convened immediately after the adjournment of Rules and By-Laws. The committee discussed purchasing a home for $1 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
   HUD's Dollar Homes initiative allows local governments to purchase qualified HUD-owned homes for $1 each to create housing for families in need and to benefit neighborhoods. The homes are acquired by HUD as result of foreclosure actions.
   The item will be considered by the full commission on Monday when commissioners will decide what organization, such as Eastern Aid or Habitat for Humanity, will renovate the home and choose the qualifying family for the finished home.
   The available home is located at 443 Rock House Road, Johnson City.