BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Greene County Commission will consider on Monday -- a month earlier than originally announced -- the alleged ethics violation by Commissioner Tim White relating to work his company performed for the Greene County School System.
The commission will meet at 6 p.m. in the Criminal Courtroom of the Greene County Courthouse, following a 5 p.m. caucus meeting. The Purchasing Committee will meet after the commission adjourns.
In addition to considering the ethics complaint under "old business," on the agenda for Monday are 11 items of new business.
These include resolutions to:
* request the Tennessee General Assembly to amend state law to permit county-owned and municipality-owned asphalt plants to sell hot-mix asphalt to municipalities, and to county departments and agencies that are within the county where the plant is located;
* authorize the county mayor to execute and record a Notice of Land Use Restrictions for the wetlands in proximity to the Walmart Distribution Center; and
* amend the General Purpose School Fund to budget $700,000 from undesignated funds (savings) to capital outlay for maintenance projects.
The issue relating to the ethics concern involves construction work that A&W Farms Excavating & Hauling, LLC carried out for the Greene County School System at Chuckey-Doak High School earlier this year after winning a formal bidding process. White is a partner in the company.
Shortly after the bid opening, but prior to his company's officially being awarded the bid, White voted at a County Commission meeting to approve the transfer of funds from the school system's savings to the system's capital projects line item, to cover the cost of both site work and the sewer work that would later be done by his company at Chuckey-Doak.
No other County Commission action, including the Aug. 13 vote on the overall county budget for 2012-2013, is mentioned in the documents.
Mayor Alan Broyles filed a formal complaint on the matter Oct. 2. Commissioner White has maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing.
The ethics complaint was originally scheduled for consideration during the December meeting after the Greene County Ethics Committee recommended the matter for review by the full commission.
Broyles said on Friday that the attorney hired to advise the county for this matter, Benjamin Lauderback, of Knoxville, originally had a scheduling conflict with the November meeting, but recently contacted the county requesting to appear at the November meeting.
Letters advising commissioners of this change were mailed out on Nov. 8 or 9, Broyles noted.
According to the agenda packet made available to news media, the commission is to review documents related to the matter and ask questions of Lauderback before deciding "what action, if any, to take in response to this formal ethics complaint."
The documents to be reviewed were provided in the packets and include:
* Broyles' letter to the Ethics Committee, submitted as a formal complaint;
* the Code of Ethics for Greene County;
* bid documents dated Feb. 16 from A&W Farms, which include White's signature;
* potentially related state law;
* minutes from various meetings regarding the awarding of the bid and the authorizing by the Commission of the system's funds for the site and sewer work and completion of the fieldhouse project; and
* copies of three payment warrants from the system's capital projects to A&W Farms totaling $31,100.
In new business, the commission will consider the resolution sponsored by the Greene County Highway Committee asking the Tennessee General Assembly to amend state law to allow for the selliing of hot-mix asphalt from the county's asphalt plant because, according to the resolution:
"Other county entities including particularly the Greene County Board of Education and other municipalities in Greene County have expressed an interest and desire to purchase hot-mix asphalt from Greene County at significant savings which would endure to the benefit of the citizens of the municipalities and Greene County."
The resolution regarding Land Use Restrictions for the wetlands near the Walmart Distribution Center is in relation to paperwork that the county failed to put on record at the time the center came into being, Broyles said Friday.
"When you mitigate land, part of that property we had to actually get permission to use to build the Walmart Distribution Center," he explained.
"Then the county had to purchase some property there to actually provide a wetlands. We had to just swap.
"When you use a wetland, you have to get some more land to put the frogs in," he concluded.
In other business, the commission will consider resolutions to do the following:
* allocate a $36,000 S3 School Climate Grant related to improving high school discipline to the General Purpose Education Fund;
* budget $34,000 from the Solid Waste Fund Balance for the replacement of a truck in the Solid Waste Department;
* allocate revenues received from the sale of six properties deeded to the county as a result of delinquent taxes to the General Debt Service Fund;
* allocate $2,543 from the Capital Projects Fund to the General Fund to pay for the temporary repair of water damage along the back wall at the Greene County Courthouse;
* allocate $344 to the County Buildings budget in the Communications line item from the sale of scrap metal and paper;
* contribute $1,000 to the T. Elmer Cox Genealogical Library to purchase acid-free folders;
* allocate $2,500, respectively, in contributions received from Victory Sports Inc. and Tusculum College for ambulance standby services, to the Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services budget, where it would go into part-time personnel and related line items; and,
* allocate $1,799 in donations and other local revenue to the Sheriff's Department's budget into the law enforcement equipment and contributions line items.