County faces assessor, litter law and stormwater issues

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   The Carter County Commission will consider several appointments at its 10 a.m. meeting Monday, including the election of a new interim property assessor. That action, however, is likely to be overshadowed when the commission takes up resolutions for a countywide litter law and stormwater fees.
   County Executive Dale Fair said Thursday that he is not sure whether the proposed litter law has the support for passage. "I can't get a feel for how the commissioners feel about it," he said. "But if you drive around the county, which is a beautiful county, there are a lot of spots that we can clean up."
   If passed, the resolution would give the county authority to enforce cleanup within 50 feet of a county highway and would create a hearing board which would rule on any appeals.
   Fair envisions the litter law as more of a "neighbor helping neighbor" idea, rather than a demand from government.
   "If we could get that kind of concept going and have 'Cleanup Saturdays' and church groups and Chamber groups cleaning up the river," Fair believes the litter law would find plenty of support.
   Another idea, he said, would be to have "spring cleaning," and offer county residents one or two days of free dumping at the landfill to encourage them to haul off old refrigerators and stoves.
   "There is a lot of opposition to letting the county say what you can do and can't do," Fair said, but he believes the county needs to create "road appeal," which can lure tourists and industry.
   Compared to the litter resolution, the assessor vote might be anti-climactic, according to Fair.
   Out of seven persons who submitted applications for the assessor job, only six resumes were sent to commissioners. Former Carter County School Superintendent Raymond Hill withdrew his name from consideration.
   "We can take resumes Monday morning and we can take nominations from the floor," Fair said. "If they're there, I'm going to give them each two minutes to introduce themselves and say something to the commissioners."
   Candidates for property assessor as of Thursday included: Gerald Holly, Dan Birkner, Luther Grindstaff, Rick Kyte, Gregory McCracken, Teddy Weaver, and Michael Pritchard.
   Holly, who has been employed by the assessor's office nearly five years, was designated interim assessor by John Holsclaw following his resignation Feb. 21. Holly worked in real estate six years prior to his job at the assessor's office, was the state director for the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors and was the treasurer and finance committee chairman for two years.
   Also on tap Monday is the passage of a fee schedule to accompany a new Stormwater Phase II resolution passed by the commission in February. The resolution would impose a fee of $50 for any land-disturbing activity, as well as home building permit fees based on square footage. Permits for commercial, industrial, or utility type projects would be based on total value of the project.