Archive: Fall 2013

Archive: Fall 2013

Archive: Fall 2013

Draft of charter due Monday
November 29, 2013

   The Metro Charter Commission will almost certainly take up their work again Monday ó and Mondayís meeting could be one of the most important.
Commissioners have stood down for the last two weeks, waiting on their attorney, Michael Banks, to craft the words that deliver a draft document of their thinking so far. Banks has said most of the work is done, but writing the transition ó how the governments would move from the current operation to the new modeló has taken extra time. If voters approve the consolidated government, it wonít go in to business until 2018, according to the most recent straw poll commissioners participated in, and crafting the right words of transitioning has been time consuming, according to Banks.
Mondayís meeting will be the 17th session of the charter commission.
Chairman Christy Smith said once commissioners agree on the wording, the next step will be a series of public meeting at which citizens may comment and question the work. After the public meetings the commission will reconvene and consider the final work.
The charter commission is scheduled to meet Monday at 5.


Haywood County Democratic Part wants primary election
November 26, 2013

   If Haywood County’s election calendar wasn’t busy enough already, along comes yet another opportunity to go to the polls next year. In an e-mail sent late yesterday, Election Registrar Andrea Smothers said the Haywood County Election Commission received “notice from the local Democratic Party that they are calling a county primary for the district-wide offices.”
The primary will all voters to select democratic contenders for the offices of circuit court judge, chancellor, district attorney general and public defender, according to Smothers. Haywood County is in the 28th Judicial District. Candidates for these offices also face voters in Crockett and Gibson Counties.
The election commission set Tuesday, May 6 as the date for the primary. The offices targeted in the primary will be ultimately decided in the general election scheduled August 7. The deadline to qualify for the primary is noon Thursday, February 20, 2014.
With the addition of the primary, the Haywood County Election Commission has scheduled six elections for next year.
They are:

  • Democratic Primary for district offices, May 6
  • City of Brownsville, June 17
  • County General and Statewide Primary, August 7
  • General Election and Stanton General, November 4

A seventh visit to the polls is likely and could be set on a date separate from all the others; the yes or no decision for metro government.

Next metro meeting delayed another week
November 25, 2013

    Though the Brownsville Haywood County Charter Commission has given specific instructions to their lawyer about the features of the proposed charter, writing the first complete draft it has taken longer than thought. The charter commission wonít meet today as planned because thereís still not enough reading available.
The commission last met November 11 when they decided to give lawyer Michael Banks until today to finish the draft. In an e-mail memo to charter commissioners this weekend Chairman Christy Smith said that though Banks had made some progress, it would be best to put the next meeting off until December 2.


Main Street Brownsville Elects Board Members, Gets Rolling
November 22, 2013 – By Joe Sills (@joesills)

   The Main Street Brownsville committee elected a board of directors and adopted bylaws on Thursday night in the Haywood County Courthouse.
According to Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne, approval of the bylaws also approves the Main Street Brownsville program area which extends roughly from Grand Avenue on West Main past Anderson Avenue on East Main.
The Main Street Brownsville committee has until January 1, 2014 to file itsí application to Main Street Tennesseeóa coordinating partner of the National Main Street Center which provides admitted communities funding for revitalization of their downtown areas, as well as enhanced marketing opportunities for Main Street areas.
Currently, only Collierville, Dyersburg, Ripley and Union City represent West Tennessee in the Main Street Tennessee program, which boasted an economic impact of $82 million last year.
Thatís high cottonóand newly elected Main Street Brownsville President Sandra Silverstein says Brownsville has every reason to compete with those towns, ìIím very excited about everything thatís happening. You know timing is everything and I see so many events that are going on in this community right now. When they all come together weíre going to be the hottest spot not only in Tennessee but in the South.î
Other elected officials include Jim McAdams, Vice President; Brandon Williams, Secretary; and Betsy Reid, Treasurer.
Main Street Brownsville hopes to kick off their first fundraiser in several weeks. Theyíll be selling copies of the Thomason & Associates Historic Brownsville Survey, which was presented at the Brownsville Business Association meeting earlier this week. The group hopes to raise significant operating expenses by selling the in-depth, 450 building survey of Brownsville.
Brownsville hopes to combine a successful Main Street program with the creation of new National Historic Districts to revitalize the small West Tennessee townís economy and generate tourism.


Brownsville Historic Zoning Commission Approves Application Process for New National Historic Districts
November 22, 2013 – By Joe Sills (@joesills)

   The Brownsville Historic Zoning Commission unanimously approved to move forward with applications for three new National Historic Districts and the expansion of the townís only current district on Thursday night.
The application process is extensive, and will likely require a grant from a state organization such as the Tennessee Historical Commission.

The motion to move forward with the application process was raised after review of an extensive 450 building survey of Brownsville’s historic buildings, conducted this summer by Thomason & Associates of Nashville, Tennessee. The decision sets in motion the surveyís recommendation to expand the current College Hill Historic District along Key Corner and West Main Streets. In addition, it begins the process of creating new districts along North Washington Avenue and East College Streets, the Southeast corner of the Square, andóperhaps most notablyóa Civil Rights Historic District along Jefferson Avenue.
National Historic Districts are approved through the National Park Service, and while they provide tax credits for improvements and possible tourism benefits, the designation does not provide any protection for properties located within their boundaries.
Historic District protection can only come through the creation of local zoning overlays, which place restrictions on the types of signage, usage and construction of buildings within their borders.
“Whenever you set up (national) districts and setup local, you establish value of around 6-8% higher value than properties directly adjacent to them,” said Dan Brown, a local government coordinator from the Tennessee Historical Commission, who has been assisting the Historic Zoning Commission this year. Brown added, “Those properties also stabilize quicker than others around them when there is economic pressure.”
Currently, the Historic Zoning Commission is in the preliminary stages of reviewing new local zoning regulations that would protect the proposed districtsóa process that could take several months.
“In all cities the National Register districts are where you begin and then the community outlines what they see is important to protect locally,” stated Brown.
The Historic Zoning Commission wants to be careful when finding the right mixture of local zoning regulations to work beside the new National Historic Districts. “We want to look at putting these things on the National Register then form some strategy for forming the overlays,” added commission member Joe Barden.
Brownsville’s current zoning regulations were a source of criticism in the Thomason & Associates report on Monday night, with particular attention being paid to commercial zoning along the proposed Main Street Brownsville corridor. However, much of that falls outside of the proposed new National Historic Districts.
For Brownsville, the goal here is to triple the area of businesses and residences which are eligible for federal tax credits to improve their structures. Currently, any contributing building within a National Historic District that generates income is eligible for a 20% federal tax credit towards rehabilitation. That sort of historic rehabilitation creates jobs in the local construction industry enhances civic pride and creates a destination for affluent heritage tourists.


Historic planners meet today
November 21, 2013

   Brownsville’s Historic Zoning Commission meets today. Among the agenda items is consideration of next steps for evaluating and implementing the report delivered by Thomason and Associates Tuesday.
The report suggests adding three new historic districts and expanding the existing historic district.
Commissioners will also continue to work on development of Historic District Design Guidelines for the commercial district.
The commission meets at City Hall at 4pm.


Survey in Brownsville Recommends Three New National Historic Districts
November 20, 2013 – by Joe Sills (@joesills)

   An in-depth survey of Brownsville has uncovered enough historically significant architecture to warrant the creation of three new National Historic Districts and the expansion of the townís existing College Hill National Historic District, which could bring tax credits and tourism to the “Heart of the Tennessee Delta.”
At least, that’s what a Nashville-based survey group presented to the Brownsville Business Association on Tuesday night.
According to Phil ThomasonóPrincipal of Thomason & Associates, a firm who specialize in historic surveysóa total of 450 individual buildings were examined during a five-month period from May to August of this year. The survey covered every street in the 9.1 square-mile town, focusing on buildings built prior to 1960.
“I found the results encouraging and astonishing and so full of hope with what we can do with this community,” Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne told the crowd gathered at the townís Backyard Barbecue. “We sell ourselves short so much of the time and we donít need to do that.”
The results yielded some uplifting information to many locals, and outlined areas for three new historic districts to compliment the College Hill Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. They are: a North Washington/East College Historic District, a Downtown Commercial Historic District located around the South and East of Brownsvilleís Square, and a Civil Rights Historic District surrounding the old Carver High School.
The group also recommends expansion of the 30-year old boundaries of the College Hill Historic District and the inclusion of a handful of individual properties. “A lot can happen in 30 years,” said Thomason, “so we like to go in a re-inventory everything.”
The findings may have shocked some local business owners in attendance, whose eyes grew wider as Thomason and historical researcher Rebecca Hightower presented an analysis of the West Tennessee cotton town’s wide variety of important buildings, including Victorian, Colonial, Greek, and Tudor Revival, as well as Art Deco and Craftsman style homesómany of which are not currently protected. Recommendations were also made for aesthetic improvements along some of the asphalt-lined gateways into the proposed districts, such as some current commercial areas along Main Street.
The survey was funded by the City of Brownsville and a grant from the Tennessee Historical Commission, and represents just a portion of government funding that may help Brownsville rehabilitate its historic buildings in an attempt to draw tourism to compete with recently revitalized towns like Covington, Bolivar and Ripley.
But to get to that funding, Brownsville will still need to actually form the historic districts, which involves the creation of zoning regulations from the Brownsville Historic Zoning Commission and an application process with the National Parks Service.
Still, the process may be worth itóespecially for business owners. Properties located within a National Historic District are automatically eligible for a 20% federal tax credit on property improvements. In addition, property values within National Historic Districts tend to rise more quickly than those located outside of them.
And the historic rehabilitation business is booming. From 1976-2010, historic rehabilitation generated over $100Bn in economic impact, from job creation to tourism. It’s an established market that Brownsville business owners may want to tap into.
Thomason says Brownsville has a lot to gain from focusing on preservation, “Heritage tourists are more affluent. They spend more, they stay longer and they make return trips. Those of us in the historic community have always been impressed with the architecture that youíve had here. Brownsville was always known as one of the true gems in West Tennessee.”
What to do with the results of the survey is now in the hands of the City of Brownsville and the Brownsville Historic Zoning Commission. Be sure to check back with Point Five Digital on the radio, Facebook or Twitter for further updates.


County commission mulling changes to county judiciary
November 19, 2013 – By Martha Lyle Ford

Two judges?
Haywood County’s Charter would have to be changed if Haywood County Commissioners follow through with action on an idea discussed Monday night. The charter amendment would move juvenile court responsibilities from the General Sessions judge to a to-be-established Juvenile Court judge. The General Sessions judge’s pay would be reduced by 25% which would help pay for the new Juvenile Court judge position.
The county commission met Monday night. Mayor Franklin Smith launched the discussion about the judgeship.
Commissioner Bob Hooper said the idea for the change had come from him and from conversations he had had with County and City attorney Michael Banks and current General Sessions judge Roland Reid.
Judge Reid, who was in attendance Monday night, reported that after considering Hooper’s idea he is “neutral.” He said, “I’ve considered the pros and the cons of it. I’m not against it, but I’m not going to carry the flag for it either.”
Mr. Hooper reported that at least 17 other counties in Tennessee have separate Juvenile Court Judges and General Sessions Judges. Lauderdale County has a similar set-up.
Reid has been Haywood County General Sessions judge since 1993, when he made a commitment to the Commission that he would not practice law while also serving as judge. Previous judges had continued to practice law while also sitting on the bench. The General Sessions judge position was changed from part-time to full-time in 2002.
Reid said last night he hopes to serve another 8-year term and will run for reelection next year.
“If the Commission determines that making the change is a good idea and is good for the community, I’m okay with it,” Reid commented. When asked if he has enough time to get all of the work done that needs to be done, he replied, “Yes.”
The Commission took no action Monday but is expected to take the matter up at its January meeting.
City’s request to expand planning region withdrawn
Brownsville has withdrawn a request that county government expand its planning region.
At the October meeting of the county commission, legislators considered a request from the City Hall to expand Brownsville’s planning region to match its urban growth boundaries.
At the earlier meeting Brownsville officials and County Planner Tom Skeehan explained that approval of the request would give zoning and permitting authority to the city planners for property south to the Hatchie River. After extensive discussion in October, the Commission unanimously voted to postpone action on the measure until last night. Mayor Smith reported that he’d received correspondence from city officials asking the county commission to disregard.
Part of Wyatt Road de-listed
The Commission unanimously approved a recommendation by the Haywood County Highway Commission to remove a portion of Wyatt Road from the County’s Uniform Road list. Two-tenths of a mile of the dead-end gravel road was affected. The request to take the road portion out of county maintenance was made by a farmer who wants to install an irrigation system through the road.
Inadequate bridge hinders farmer’s progress
Commissioner Larry Stanley brought up another road concern – a bridge on Estanalua Road, which is too small for farm machinery to cross. Stanley reported that the inadequate bridge requires farmers to drive an extra 10 miles to reach their fields. Mayor Smith promised to request that the highway commission renovate the bridge.


Historic report to be unveiled today
November 19, 2013

    Phil Thomason and Rebecca Hightower will present an historic assessment of Brownsville today. The two are with a Nashville firm hired by City Hall to review the city’s historic assets. Last week city officials said the report contains a “treasure trove” of historic wealth.
Conducted over the last several months the task included research of some 450 commercial and residential structures. This afternoon’s meeting will include photographic examples of various architectural styles and periods through the 1960s. The effort includes recommendations for heritage preservation, asset-based economic benefits and expansion ideas for tourism.
The public is invited. The meeting starts at 5:30 and will be conducted at the Delta Room of Back Yard BBQ.


Brownsville’s historic assets to be shown off next Tuesday
November 15, 2013

   A just completed survey reports that Brownsville has a ìtreasure troveî of historic assets. The results of the work, commissioned by City Hall, will be unveiled next Thursday during an event at Back Yard Barbecueís Delta Room.
Phil Thomason and Rebecca Hightower will present the appraisal performed by Thomason & Associates, a Nashville based firm. The study was funded through a grant from the Tennessee Historical Commission
Conducted over the last several months the tasks included research of some 450 commercial and residential structures. Next Thursdayís meeting will include photographic examples of various architectural styles and periods through the 1960s. The effort includes recommendations for heritage preservation, asset-based economic benefits and expansion ideas for tourism.
The public is invited. The meeting starts at 5:30.


Second safe space approved for Haywood Schools
November 14, 2013

    With the first of two tornado safe spaces completed, the Haywood County Board of Education has approved a construction plan for the second.
The shelter at Haywood Elementary is finished and, now, ground is not far from being broken on the Haywood Middle School Safe Space, which will feature six classrooms.
Taxpayers spent $1,550,000 on the elementary school structure. The middle school shelter will require $1,575,000. The school board accepted bids this week. The structure will likely be complete sometime near the start of the 2014/2015 school year.


School workers to get bonus this week
November 14, 2013

   During the 2013/2014 budget process the school board elected to give school workers a $400 bonus. School officials said this week the checks will be distributed November 15.


Students saluted by school board
November 14, 2013

   Superintendent of Schools Teresa Russell recognized two HHS students for outstanding achievement this week.
ï Will Clinton earned membership into the prestigious 30+ Club for making at least 30 on the ACT.
ï Deonte Brown was recognized for competing on the state level in the cross-country race. He placed 39th out of 188 in a 5K.


Brownsville expected to officially become a Main Street town early next year
November 14, 2013

   At this weekís Brownsville City Board meeting aldermen and the mayor took action that moves Brownsville closer to becoming a Tennessee Main Street Town.
Brownsville Radio contacted City Planner Sharon Hayes who provided additional details about Brownsvilleís Main Street journey.
Hayes reports that the undertaking started about two years ago. And, now, Brownsville is in the final stages of the application process. †The designation first required entry into Tennessee Downtowns (TD), a program sponsored by the State Department of Economic and Community Development.
ìOur effort was spearheaded by a steering committee of dedicated local volunteers and guided by state Main Street professionals along with our Collierville mentor. †We have successfully progressed building on a series of activities and projects through goal setting under the Main Street 4-Point Approach ó Organization, Design, Promotion, and Economic Restructuring. †The culmination has been a Downtown Master Plan and a mission for downtown revitalization,î Hayes wrote in an e-mail.
The most recent actions moving Brownsville steadily along: †organization of a Main Street Board of Directors, the drafting of bylaws, and setting boundaries. The next step is to complete a lengthy application. City Hall has contracted with TD Steering Committee member Hayden Hooper to complete the documents.
ìWe plan to submit the application in early January and expect to be notified sometime in February of our acceptance,î Hayes said.
See more information on Tennessee Downtowns and Main Street including a list of State-certified cities and stats on economic development at this site:


Territories downtown and just east of square to see improvement
November 13, 2013

   When the Brownsville City Board of Mayor and Aldermen met Tuesday, they learned that work will start within a few weeks improving the Tamm lot downtown and streets and sidewalks between the square and Jackson Street. Leaders also approved application for a $1 million grant that will extend the work further east.
ìAll of the questions have been answered,î Mayor Jo Matherne said about the construction projects already funded. These include an elaborate park for the Tamm lot (just east of the courthouse). Enhancements aimed at aesthetics and pedestrian improvements from the square to Jackson Avenue are also anticipated. The mayor said advertisements for bids would be composed soon and the work could likely start, weather permitting, sometime in early 2014. Another million to be spent
The board unanimously approved a Transportation Alternatives Program grant application. The total endowment is for $1 million but city leaders say they will have to chip in local funds of up to $300,000 to qualify for the subsidy.
ìThis is to continue the development of the East Main Street corridor,î Mayor Matherne said. ìÖto make it more friendly to pedestriansî The work will include improvements to utilities, sidewalks, streets and other infrastructure. ìThis is the gateway to our central business district,î Matherne commented.
DRA Grant
The Delta Regional Authority has approved a rail spur grant. Aldermen and the mayor accepted the terms Monday. The money, $162,598, will be used to make repairs and improvements to the rail line servicing the Industrial Park.
Other news from Mondayís meeting
ï City leaders will hold a budget session Monday December 2 at noon. City Hall will present semi-annual budget amendments to aldermen and the mayor.
ï The Brownsville Energy Authorityís recommendation that George Chapman be appointed to BEAís board was approved.
ï Madeline Matheny and Julie Dahlhauser were reappointed to the Library Board.
ï The council approved application for the annual Christmas Parade (December 13) and an application for a companion event sponsored by the Carl Perkins Center that takes place the same day.
ï Most city workers will get the day after Thanksgiving off when City Hall will also be closed. City Hall will be open on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas but aldermen and the mayor provided an extra ìfloating day offî employees may take during December.
ï The board endorsed submission of an application authorizing participation in the Main Street Program.


Brownsvilleís Utility Rates compare favorably in area
November 13, 2013

   At Mondayís Brownsville City Board meeting Brownsville Energy Authority manager Regie Castellaw provided aldermen and the mayor with a bar graph comparing Brownsvilleís gas, electric and water rates to other utility rates in West Tennessee. The comparison proves that Brownsvilleís rates are among the lowest.
When compared to Humboldt, Covington, Memphis, Jackson, Gibson and Lake Counties, Brownsville has the next-to-lowest lowest rate for natural gas.
BEA has the lowest electric rates when compared to Jackson, Covington, Dyersburg, Ripley, Gibson County, Southwest and Forked Deer
Water rates in Brownsville are also the lowest when compared with Covington, Humboldt, Jackson, Ripley, Dyersburg, Huntington and the Haywood County Utility District.
Castellaw also commented that the utility has been approved for a half-million dollar wastewater improvement grant that will go a long way in renovating the cityís aging water system. ìSome of our sewer infrastructure is approaching 100 years old,î Castellaw commented. But, he said, with the continued outside financial aid, which have been coming regularly, utility workers are gaining ground on a system that would be otherwise troubled by its stage in life.


First real charter document could come near first of the year
November 12, 2013

   Holiday schedules and the tedium of writing the details of the suggested Brownsville Haywood County Metro Charter may delay the unveiling of the real first draft until the New Year. The news came at yesterdayís Committee of the Whole assembly of the charter commission.
The panel met for two hours Monday. It was their 16th get-together. They talked at length about methods for eventually getting the public involved and informed. They also made substantive decisions about previously undecided fine points.
Michael Banks, who is charged with the minutia of writing the draft, said yesterday that describing the transition ó from present to consolidated is ìtaking up more time than we thought.î
Commissioners took action on several subjects
Metro Council Pay
Under the present proposal the ten representatives of the metro council will have many responsibilities and the commission discussed, at length, the compensation of councilpersons. Finally deciding on $500 monthly, the stipend is more than Haywood County Commissioners make ($100 per meeting) and the same as Brownsvilleís aldermen. The charter will allow the council to adjust its pay at the beginning of a term of office.
Department of Public Safety
The new government would have a Department of Public Safety led by a manager. The charter will require the manager, like others, to hold a Bachelorís Degree or have equivalent experience.
Chief Of Law Enforcement
A college degree in criminal justice or equivalent experience will be required for those seeking to run the metro governmentís police department. Qualifications include POST certification. Under the present thinking, the metro council can appoint the sheriff as chief law enforcement officer. To be qualified to run for sheriff a candidate must be POST certified and have five years of law enforcement experience.
School Board members
Haywood County School Board members are presently paid a small stipend ó $50 per meeting and $25 for mid-month luncheon gatherings. The new charter will state, ìschool board members may be paidÖî
Amendments to the budget
Like Brownsvilleís government is today, the consolidated government will pass budgets by ordinance. After discussion last night, the group intends to require budget amendments also be made by ordinance. Ordinances, under the new government plan also closely mirror Brownsvilleís existing requirements, requiring two readings and sometimes a public hearing.
The agenda for regular meetings of the metro council must be published at least three business days in advance. The same regulation will apply to special called meetings except that for called summits only agenda items may be discussed.
Next steps/future meetings
Charter commissioners will take next Monday off, providing Michael Banks more time to draft. His work will focus on the transition. He describes the work as ì90% done.î
Once the final draft is delivered, itís likely certain commissioners will want to renew debate about some of the features before the public hearings commence.
Last night Commissioner Tom Archer made it clear he wants the group to talk more about the number of people who will serve on the metro council. ìIs ten enough?î Archer questioned.
The next meeting is scheduled for November 25, 5pm at the Justice Complex.


Santa makes his first stop in Brownsville Saturday, November 16
November 9, 2013

   Haywood County children are invited to visit with Santa Saturday morning during a special Breakfast with Santa at this year’s Holiday in Haywood. The pancake breakfast is presented by the Brownsville Unit of the Boys and Girls Club and will be held from 9-11 a.m., at the Haywood County Justice Center Saturday, November 16. Cost is $5 and includes breakfast and a picture with Santa.
Children who just want to get their picture taken with Santa ($3) can drop by any time before Saturday at noon. All proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club.
Letters to Santa can be brought to the event beginning at noon on Friday, Nov. 15. Letters will be published in the December 19 issue of the Brownsville States Graphic.
Holiday in Haywood is a two-day shopping mart featuring retail and specialty merchants showcasing their best holiday wares and gift ideas. This year’s event is held November 15-16, at the Haywood County Justice Center, 100 South Dupree. Friday hours are noon -7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission is free. Attendees are asked to use the north door under the breezeway.
Items that will be available for sale include clothing, jewelry and accessories, handcrafted pens, jewelry boxes, frames, wine racks, wood decor, ciders, butters and jellies, toys, pecans, Tupperware, cakes, pies and candies, purses, candles, and more.
Holiday in Haywood is sponsored by the Brownsville Business Association. For more information about this event, contact Vickie at 731-225-5683.


Metro charter commissioners have today off
November 4, 2013

   For the first time in weeks the Brownsville/Haywood County Metro Charter Commission isnít meeting. Commissioners are taking the week off because their attorney, Michael Banks, needs extra time to complete the first official draft. At last Mondayís meeting Banks said he needs two weeks to write the paper and commissioners decided they need the document before work could further progress.
The charter commissionís next meeting is set for 5pm November 11.


Start your holiday shopping at 6th Annual Holiday in Haywood
October 29, 2013 – Meeting #15

    BROWNSVILLE, TN (October 28, 2013): Those looking for unique holiday gift items will have the perfect opportunity during the 6th Annual Holiday in Haywood two-day shopping mart planned for November 15-16, in Brownsville, Tenn. “Holiday in Haywood” will feature retail and specialty merchants all under one roof and offering a variety of items perfect for your holiday gift giving.
“This is a great opportunity for people to get a head start on their holiday shopping,” says Vickie Cooper, Holiday in Haywood coordinator.
This year’s event will be held at the Haywood Justice Center, 100 South Dupree Street, and the north doors will open Friday from noon until 7 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., giving shoppers plenty of time to make their choices. Santa will be on hand Saturday to greet kids and take pictures. There is no admission fee.
Among the many items for sale will be handcrafted jewelry, all natural soaps and lotions, candles, homemade pies, cakes and other culinary goodies, ladies and children’s clothing, toys and books, wood-crafted items and much more.
Local businesses, individuals, clubs and organizations will also have a chance to win $100 for their charity by decorating a Christmas tree and entering it to be judged by attendees. Once attendees have voted, one hundred dollars will be donated to the winner’s charity.
“Holiday in Haywood” is sponsored annually by the Brownsville Business Association. For more information about the event contact Cooper at 731-225-5683, or

Shoppers at Holiday in Haywood will have lots to choose from this year, including custom jewelry pieces, wood crafted accessories, handmade and home baked items and more during the two-day event planned for November 15-16 in Brownsville.


Special deputies instead of constables in Monday Metro discussion
October 29, 2013 – Meeting #15

   The last of the elected positions in Haywood County took center-stage Monday when metro commissioners discussed constables. Constables are elected positions in each of the county’s civil districts and serve as peace officers.
Commissioners voted unanimously (there were 12 of the 15 panelist in attendance) to discontinue the positions, preferring to give the sheriff power to appoint special or reserve deputies to accomplish the same work. The special deputies can be supervised and managed by the sheriff’s department.
Early on, the commission pondered the fate of the Brownsville Utility Department in consolidation, but yesterday they passed over any action that would make changes to the utility. Attorney Michael Banks said the charter couldn’t undo the private act that separated the utility from the control of the Brownsville City Board.
During the Webb Banks administration the utility, now known as the Brownsville Energy Authority, became a separate entity by order of a private act approved by the Tennessee legislature. The change came as a result of a request by the Brownsville City Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Under the present structure, the utility’s only political oversight comes when BEA managers want to change utility base rates. They must get approval from the city board. While the Brownsville City Board can’t pick members for the three-member utility board, Brownsville Energy must win their approval for appointments.
Some members of the charter commission seemed interested in undoing the private act, but Monday Banks said changes to the utility can be made only by the current Brownsville City Board or the new Brownsville-Haywood County Metro Council. “We can only bring in (to the new government) the power the city currently has,” Banks said.
The metro charter commission isn’t tampering much with the operation of county schools, preferring to leave most everything the way it is. There is, however, disagreement about the minimum age of those who may serve on the elected school board.
At Monday’s meeting there were twelve commissioners present. Six of the twelve voted that the minimum age be 18 and the other six voted that school board members must be at least 21, though some of those would prefer an even older age. Commissioners promised to revisit the issue.
Civil Service
Civil Service rules governing employment practices in Haywood County apply only to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department. Haywood County government presently has a Civil Service Board that hears appeals for employees who have faced job actions at the hands of the sheriff.
Michael Banks told commissioners that he would draft a “framework” for the consolidated government’s employment practices but the new metro council should decide the final details.
“This is one place where less is more,” Chairman Christy Smith said.


NAACP sponsoring wellness program today
October 23, 2013

   As a part of their Childhood Obesity Initiative, the TN NAACP in partnership with the St. John Baptist Church (Stanton, TN), the Haywood County NAACP Branch & Youth Council will host a Health & Wellness session entitled (Eat Well, Move More, Live Longer) in observance of Food Day, which is today. The event is tonight from 7 to 8pm. Youth & Parents are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served. For More information call 731-660-5580.


Metro Government Frequently Asked Questions now on line
October 23, 2013

   The Brownsville Haywood County Metro Charter Commission has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions. There are 18 common questions and answers that can be found on-line at Brownsville Radio’s website, The questions range from those answering queries about the historical background of the initiative to current work being accomplished by the commissioners.
Questions and answers may be added from time-to-time as new questions arise.


34th Annual Tennessee Trash Car Show October 20
October 10, 2013

   The tradition continues Sunday, October 20, when the Tennessee Trash Car Show in Brownsville, Tenn., will present its 34th annual event. The show is one of only a few in the area that has been held consistently for over 30 years. This year’s event will take place at the WOW/Elma Ross Public Library, 100 Boyd Ave.
The club began in 1978 when Tim Sills, David Duke and Jim Mayer began fixing up old cars and traveling to areas show, some as far away as Indianapolis. Eventually these three decided they should organize their own show and the first Tennessee Trash Car Show was held in 1979. The title “Tennessee Trash” is taken from the old Tennessee Dept. of Transportation song about keeping Tennessee beautiful.
While the actual ‘club’ no longer exists, former members continue the tradition that raises money for Haywood County charities. The Multiple Disability Class has been the beneficiary of the show’s proceeds for most of the 34 years.
“This is something we love and it’s a way for us to give back to our community,” says Sills. Over the years, the event has contributed more than $100,000 to local charities. The show is held in conjunction with the annual Hatchie Fall Fest during the third weekend of October.
Participants are asked to register between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Entry fees are $25 per car and includes an event t-shirt. Judging will begin at 1:30 p.m., and winners will be announced during an awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m. There will be classes for all entries.
With 100+ cars participating, Sills estimates that crowds reach well into the thousands during the daylong event. There is no admission fee for spectators. Concessions and t-shirt sales will be available.
For more information, contact Tim Sills, 731-780-6061; Wayne McCool, 731-772-9276; or Joe W. Sills, 731-780-1356.


Haywood County School Board manages routine business in October session
October 9, 2013

   The Haywood County School Board met in regular session on Tuesday, October 8, and talked about the HHS Golf Team’s success, the new flagpole at the stadium, out of state travel trips for several groups at the high school, policy changes, adopting textbooks, budget amendments and the Tornado Safe Space at Haywood Elementary.
Superintendent Teresa Russell in her monthly celebration of schools, talked about the HHS Golf Team.
The Haywood High School Golf team just completed a very successful season that included sending one player to the state contest. Team members were Lauren Markowski, Kayln Emerson, Ethan Riddell, Trevor Lott, and eighth grader, Timmie Fredrick. Out of 13 matches this year, the team had five first-place finishes and five second-place finishes with two teams from our district, JCS and TCA, both qualifying for the state tourney as teams in both boys and girls.
On Monday, September 23, Ethan Riddle and Lauren Markowski played in the Regional Golf Tournament at the Tennessee River Golf Club. Both did very well. Ethan scored an 88 and Lauren scored a 94. Lauren advanced to the State Tournament that took place October 1-2 in Manchester, Tennessee.
Out of 56 individual girls in the A-AA State Tournament, Lauren placed 31st. “Lauren is an exceptional student and a good golfer who will only get better,” said Coach Frank Chapman. “She is just a junior, so we are looking for bigger things out of her next year, as well as the others I have coming back.” The last Lady Tomcat to travel to the state golf tournament was Leah Taylor in 2006 and 2007.
“All members are returning next year so we are looking for another stellar year,” Coach Chapman added.
Mrs. Russell and Board member Greg Vanstory also reported that at 5:30 on Friday, October 11, Grayson Robinson’s Eagle Scout project will be completed when he will raise an American flag, a Tennessee flag, and a Haywood County Schools flag at the stadium. He received approval from the school board and others in the community earlier in the year, and has raised money to have the flagpole installed near the sign on the home side of the stadium. Everyone praised his efforts for getting this done. Grayson is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Craig Robinson.
In other business, board members approved six out-of-state trips for the HHS AFROTC, the HHS DECA Club, the HHS Marching Band and The Family Resource Center for a trip for students at East Side. The HHS groups will perform fundraising projects to raise money for their trips.
Board members also approved a Textbook Adoption Committee and several budget amendments.
Mrs. Russell reported that the Tornado Safe Space at Haywood Elementary is very close to being completed and that there should be an open house there soon.
The next board meeting will be held on November 12 at 6 p.m. at the Central Office.


Constitutional offices win almost no favor with Metro Charter Commission
October 8, 2013 – Meeting #12

   Grinding through a more that two-hour session Monday, the Haywood County Metro Charter Commission took on the thorny questions of how to accomplish the work of government offices that, until about two weeks ago, were thought to be required to be managed by elected officials. The commission deliberated the operation of the offices of the trustee, register of deeds, county clerk and assessor of property.
The duties of the county government departments now headed by elected administrators are clear, but how they will get their jobs in a consolidated government is the subject of dialogue. A lawsuit decided in 2007 provides new governments in Tennessee with the option of doing away with the elected positions and, apparently, allows the charter writers to decide how the managers are hired – and fired.
The majority of the metro charter commissioners attending Monday (11 of the 15 member charter commission were in attendance) were in favor of consolidating many of the offices in departments as follows:


    • Finance would include the work of the trustee’s (William L. Sonny Howse) office. Responsible for collecting the government’s monies, paying bills and making payroll the office would consolidate similar work presently done at city hall.


    • Road and sanitation functions would be run by a consolidated public works department. Parks and Recreation would likely be included in public works. The elected highway commission would be dissolved.


    • Election of an assessor of property (Dare Simpson) and register of deeds (Steve Smith) would be ended and the manager of this department hired. The property department would include the work of the assessor, code enforcement and the register of deeds.
    • The county clerk’s office (Sonia Castellaw) is also likely to be reorganized and the elected position discontinued.
    • Operations of departments currently not run by elected officials


    • Public Safety includes the ambulance service, emergency dispatch and the fire department but not law enforcement. Currently there isn’t one manager for all of these services and the charter commission did not discuss how these departments might be run under consolidation.


  • The charter commission is taking the advice of several current county leaders and is considering including a Human Resources Department in the new government, the manager of which would be hired and not elected.

Other important details:


    • The metro mayor would be responsible for hiring and overseeing the government’s department heads. The mayor would make hiring and firing recommendations to the metro council where the final decision would be made.


  • The office of the circuit court clerk (Mary Margaret Bond Lonon) will be unchanged. It is not a constitutional office but is governed by separate state law.

Commissioners started talking about the future of the sheriff’s department and how the school system might work under consolidation but left substantive discussion for a future meeting.
The charter commission meets again Monday at 5.
Special note: The Haywood County Charter Commission is presently conducting business as a Committee of the Whole (See Robert’s Rules of Order). The procedure means decisions made are not yet final. Eventually the panel will reconvene as the Charter Commission and officially vote on the various questions currently under discussion.

Metro charter commission considers new information about constitutional offices
October 1, 2013 – Meeting #11

   “As long as their duties are performed by somebody…” Michael Banks said last night, “they (constitutional offices) don’t have to be elected.” Banks is the lawyer for the Haywood County Metro Charter Commission. The news came last week that a Tennessee Supreme Court decision issued in 2007 made it apparent that the offices don’t have to be included in a new government. Yesterday, in a two-hour session, the commission began considering the new information as they deliberate the finer points of the consolidation.
There are some on the panel, including John Duckworth, who expressed doubt that doing away with the elected offices will give it any chance of passing when considered by voters. “I don’t think we’ll have a chance if we change from elected to appointed offices,” Duckworth commented. Still others, like Vice-Chairman Joe Barden, see it as a potential benefit. “This isn’t radical,” Barden pointed out. “It’s just like the city government has now.”
Committee Chairman Christy Smith said, “Our job is to write a charter that enhances our county.” Pointing to the results of other consolidation efforts in Tennessee she said, “Some of the traditional charters haven’t passed. I can’t second guess the electorate.”
Last night the group studied a three-page draft of articles written by Attorney Banks. Some of the important points in the draft that were edited last night:

    • The metro mayor would be elected to four-year terms. The mayor would not be term limited.


    • The metro mayor cannot serve as chairman of the metro council but is empowered with veto. While the council, the members of which are popularly elected, may pass resolutions and ordnances with a simple majority (6), it would take 2/3 (7) votes to override a mayoral veto.


    • In a change from their earlier position, a person would be qualified to run for office if they are at least 21 years-old and a resident of Haywood County and a resident of the district. In an earlier discussion the group seemed intent on requiring persons be Haywood County residents for at least three years before they could run for council seats.


  • Passage of ordinances requires two readings. In all cases the two readings must be held at separate meetings but the group created circumstances and rules that allow special meetings to be called. Resolutions may pass with one reading.

So far, the fate of the constitutional offices still hasn’t been vetted. But last night Vice-Chairman Barden unveiled one idea that he placed on a new white board installed in the meeting room. His idea depicted a diagram with suggestions that the mayor, sheriff and county clerk be elected positions. Other jobs, including those found in the elected offices of the register of deeds, the trustee and assessor, would be rolled up under hired supervisors. In Barden’s example the school board would no longer be elected but appointed by the metro council. The highway commission did not appear on the chart. The group took no action.
The metro charter commission meets again next Monday at 5.

Metro Charter Commission is “committee of a whole”
September 24, 2013

   Only a very small handful of people have attended and watched as the Metro Charter Commission plods along with its work. And so far the gallery has seen commissioners participate in very few real issue-settling votes. Still, the process they have adopted is helping build what is likely consensus on many issues that include important features like the name of the government and term limits.
The commission’s attorney, Michael Banks, explained the process in an e-mail to Brownsville Radio. “The Metro Charter Commission has voted to operate as a “committee of a whole” which is found in Section 52 of “Robert’s Rules of Order”. It allows the body to discuss matters freely, much like a committee, and make recommendations that are not final decisions. When all the issues have been decided, there will be a report from the committee as a whole, the committee will then cease to exist and the Commission comes back to life and must make a decision on the recommendation of the committee of a whole.”
The metro charter commission meets again Monday when commissioners will likely discuss next steps after learning this week that they may be able to exclude the so-called constitutional offices.


No mayor, no sheriff, no constitutional offices … could be no problem
September 24, 2013 – Metro Government Meeting #10

   Stunning might best describe the news that metro charter commissioners got last night. They learned that it may be possible to create a new government that does not include what previously was believed to be required elected positions.
According to Michael Banks, who is the attorney for the charter commission, a lawsuit decided by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2007 (click here to see lawsuit opinion) appears to say that a consolidated government doesn’t require the so-called constitutional offices. Those positions include the trustee, register of deeds, county clerk and assessor of property. Even the offices of the mayor and sheriff aren’t safe under the ruling. “You can throw just about everything you know about constitutional offices out of the window,” Banks said.
“There may be a lot more creativity than we have here-to-fore considered,” Chairman Christy Smith said.
Consolidated governments in Tennessee aren’t new and there are three currently in operation. A handful of other counties have tried but failed to consolidate when voters rejected the new charters. All of the three currently in operation include the constitutional offices, but that may be because the lawsuit was settled well after the last consolidation effort took place in Tennessee. “We have an opportunity to make changes that have not been written into any of the other charters,” Smith said during last night’s two hour session. The group has been studying several Tennessee charter documents – some that passed and some that failed.
Banks cautioned there is still much to be learned. During conferences he had last week with the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS) Banks said there seemed to be as many questions as answers about the result of the lawsuit. “We don’t know where the landmines are,” Banks said.
Vice-Chairman Joe Barden may have summed it up by saying that the news could mean that “the only elected officials are the (metro) council – all the others work for the council.”
At last night’s meeting Lyle Reid became the group’s unpaid legal consultant. Reid will assist Michael Banks. The two attorneys are charged with assuring the proposed charter is legal. After last night’s meeting both told Brownsville Radio they must further study the decisions reached by the 2007 Knox County lawsuit. Banks and Reid confirmed, however, that a new government could do away with an elected school board and highway commission.
The board continued last night to work on details of the government but did not take up the questions resulting from the lawyer’s news.


Brownsville/Haywood County Metro Government ó likely name of consolidated proposal
September 19, 2013 – Metro Government Meeting #9

   The Metro Charter Commission met in a near 2-hour long session Thursday and made substantive progress in their quest to write the proposed charter. While last nightís decisions arenít final, more than two-dozen questions were tackled.
Highlights of discussion ó

Name of government: Brownsville/Haywood County Metro-Government

Number of Legislative Districts: 10 with no geographical changes from county governmentís present districts

Name of legislative body: Brownsville/Haywood County Metro Council

Number of members of the council: 10

Qualifications for those seeking election to the council: Must be at least 21 years of age and have resided in Haywood County for at least 3 years

How elected: Plurality of voters

Term for council members: 4 years with no term limits. The council members will be elected in staggered terms (not all members are on the ballot in the same election)

Filling vacancies: If a council member canít serve his entire term, the council will appoint a replacement that will serve until the next election

Meetings: Held monthly. The chairman or a consensus of 5 council members may call special meetings. Special meetings require an agenda and at least three days notice.

Quorum: Simple majority (6)

The charter questions taken up yesterday are relatively simple when compared to other, more complex issues. At future meetings the group will have to take on more controversial questions like the role of the metro mayor.
Also on the agenda, and with Stanton in mind, will be how to make rules for special or other urban districts. There are decisions to be made about law enforcement and the judiciary there are sure to spark lively debate, too. The group has until April of next year to write the charter and it will be put to voters sometime in 2014.


County commission reelects leadership
September 17, 2013 – by Martha Lyle Ford

   The Haywood County Commission held its regular monthly meeting last night at the Haywood County Courthouse.
Meeting highlights: Solid waste rates will increase for some Ö Mayor Smith and Commissioner King re-elected to leadership positions Ö and No Texting while Driving efforts endorsed.
Commission Leadership
Each year the County Commission elects a chairman and chairman pro tem to serve for the coming year. Last night County Mayor Franklin Smith was re-elected Chairman and Commissioner Allen King was re-elected Chairman Pro Tem. There were no other nominees and both votes were unanimous.
New audit committee
A 4-person audit committee was appointed by the Commission Ö itís a committee suggested by the State of Tennessee, but not requiredÖ yet. According to Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith, the state Comptroller is encouraging every county to appoint an audit committee to help county government address any findings in its annual state audit. The County Commission approved the appointment of Steve Correa, Joey Jeter, Pam Deen White, and Leonard Jones Jr. to serve. Correa is and executive with Haywood Company, Jeter is a local CPA, White is former County Clerk for Tipton County, and Jones serves on the Commissionís Budget Committee. Committee members will be paid $50 per meeting, the same rate County Commissioners are paid per meeting.
No texting while driving
A resolution to support no-texting-while-driving received unanimous support from the Commission. Commissioner and Brownsville Police Chief Chris Lea presented the resolution — which is part of the It Can Wait National Day of Action — naming Thursday, September 19th ìNo Text On Board ñ Pledge Dayî. Lea reported that students at Haywood High will be encouraged to sign pledges saying the will not text while driving. He also told Commissioners that it is illegal to text and drive in Tennessee and, if caught, a driver will be fined and charged court costs.
Landfill rate increase
The Commissionís Solid Waste Committee reported that it had approved a rate increase for commercial users at its recent meeting — raising the rate for dumping at the countyís landfill from $17.50 a ton to $19 a ton. Commissioners unanimously passed the increase last night. This increase is for commercial users only and wonít affect residential or industrial users. The increase is expected to generate an additional $9,000 a year.


Regional gospel favorites perform on the porch
September 16, 2013

   Southern gospel takes center stage during this month’s Concert on the Porch September 21, at the Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. Local and regional artist including David Smith, Amy Barcroft and The Gospel Stars will perform their favorite hymns beginning at 7 p.m.
The Gospel Stars will open the concert and feature local musicians who have been performing together since the 1990s. Known for their versions of the old gospel spirituals, the group features the talents of M.C. Cliff Jr., Mary Maclin, Felicia Walker, Evelyn Wellington and Jerry Miller.
Performing for the first time “on the porch” is Fayette County native Amy Barcroft, who now calls Brownsville home. Barcroft has been singing since she was a child and her mother played the organ at their family church in Braden, Tenn. She has released two CDs, “First Fruits” and her most recent “God’s Promise” a collection of bluegrass style recordings that include five original songs written by Barcroft.
David Smith, known throughout the mid-south as the “Singing Firefighter,” loves to sing the old gospel hymns like “How Great Thou Art” and “In The Garden,” mixed with more modern tunes such as “What Kinda Car.” Smith has released multiple CDs and continues to spread his ministry of hope through his music. “I’ve been singing since I was big enough to stand and hold a song book,” says Smith. “I have always loved Southern Gospel music.”

(Left to right) David Smith, Amy Barcroft, and The Gospel Stars.
Bleacher seating is available or bring lawn chairs or blankets for the outdoor concert. Drinks and snacks will be on site. You are also welcome to bring a picnic or visit the surrounding restaurants.
Concerts are presented free to the public each month on the third Saturday, through September, at the Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. For a complete schedule of upcoming concerts,
The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center is home to three regional museums depicting the history and culture of the West Tennessee people. Inside visitors find the West Tennessee Cotton Museum, West Tennessee Music Museum and Hatchie River Museum. Located on the grounds is the Sleepy John Estes Home and Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner. To learn more about the Center, visit or call 731-779-9000.


School Board reelects Garrett and Jarrett-King
September 13, 2013

    The Haywood County School Board has unanimously reelected Harold Garrett as school board chairman and Robbie Jarrett-King as vice chairman. The election came at Thursdayís meeting of the board. Committee appointments remain the same as the previous year. Greg Vanstory serves as the TLN Representative, Allen Currie and Mrs. King serve on the Scholarship Committee, Mrs. Hess and Mrs. King on the Collaborative Conferencing Committee and Mrs. Hess and Mr. Garrett on the Budget Committee.
Health insurance going up
Schoolís CFO/Associate Superintendent Vincent Harvell told the school board that the cost for the stateís health insurance plan is going up. Rates increased 5.6 percent. Harvell won board approval to his proposal that the system pick up the increase of $72,795. The rate hike was anticipated and already was included in the budget. The stateís insurance plan offers employees several new options that will have higher deductibles and lower premiums. The plan meets the requirements of the Affordable Healthcare Act.


BPD actively seeking and winning grants
September 13, 2013

   Police Chief Chris Lea says the Brownsville Police Department has been cashing in on grants made available by the state and federal government. The news comes on the heels of big news about the BPDs success in national and state police department competitions.
ìThis year alone, the department has received over $65,000 in grant money from the Governorsí Highway Safety Office,î Lea told Brownsville Radio. The money is used to supplement overtime pay, equipment and training. The BPD also received $12,000 from a federal grant that will upgrade car video systems to the latest state of the art.
Lea says other grants are in the works, ìWe are hoping to hear by the end of September if we were awarded two additional grantsÖ the School Resources Officerís grant for over $220,000 will allow us to place two additional officers in our schools, as well as $7,000 to provide new bullet proof vest for our officersî.
Lea gives credit to Captain Barry Diebold. Because of ìhis tireless efforts of seeking and applying for grant funding, we have been able to save taxpayers approximately three quarter of a million dollars in the last 3 years.î


Brownsville City Board meeting
Tuesday, September 11, 2013 – by Martha Lyle Ford

Brownsville rezones commercial tract
The Brownsville City Board approved the rezoning of a significant piece of property on Anderson Avenue when they met Tuesday. The property next to the Pictsweet facility had been zoned General Commercial a couple of years ago, when it was believed that a hotel and restaurant were going to be built on the site. Those plans changed and so the property has now been rezoned back to General Industrial. This was the second reading of the ordinance. It was first approved at the Boardís August meeting. There was no comment at the public hearing held on the matter at Tuesday nightís meeting. The vote to rezone was unanimous.
Big Grant for Safer School Route
Mayor Jo Matherne announced that the City of Brownsville has received a $188,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportationís Safe Routes to School program. The funds will be used to improve sidewalks, crosswalks and signs in the Haywood Middle School area, specifically Meadow Street to Key Corner.
Dozens of students use the Meadow Street route between the Middle School and Banks Park, especially after school.
Currently the route is unmarked and has no sidewalks or caution signs. According to Governor Haslamís office, the Safe Routes to School project is intended to encourage more students to walk and bike to school for health and practical reasons.
Cityís Human Relations Council
Brownsvilleís newly formed Human Relations Council had a productive first meeting on Monday night, according to Mayor Jo Matherne. However, one member of the appointed council has resigned, and a new member will be coming on-board. Mr. Larry Douglas, a Council member nominated by Alderman Reverend Thomas Averyheart, resigned due to previous commitments and conflicts.
Tuesday, Reverend Averyheart nominated Mr. Abdulaziz Jobeh (Ab-DU-la-ziz HO-bay) to the vacant seat. The Board approved the nomination. The Human Relations Councilís next meeting will be Monday, September 23 at City Hall.
Mark your calendar for upcoming events
3 event and parade permits approved
The Brownsville City Board has approved permits for 3 upcoming events and parades:
Brownsville Baptist will host its 6th Community Friend Day on Sunday September 29 at the church on West Main Street, featuring games, food and rides. The Board approved blocking North Russell Street from West Main to North Franklin Street for the event. Church representative Carl Gruenewald challenged the Aldermen to come out and ride the mechanical bull that will be part of the festivities.
The March of Dimes will hold its annual bike ride and walk on Saturday, October 5th beginning at College Hill. The Board approved police escorts for the event.
And the Haywood High School Football Homecoming Parade will be held Friday, October 11 beginning at 1:15. Floats, bands, pick-up trucks and marchers will make their way up West Main Street, around Court Square and on to the L.Z. Hurley Memorial Stadium. Schools will dismiss at 11:30 that day. The Board approved having car traffic re-routed from Main Street during the parade.
Delta Heritage Centerís final 2013 Concert on the Porch will feature local Gospel singers on September 21st. Scheduled to appear are the ìsinging firemanî David Smith, the Gospel Stars, and Amy Barcroft.
Tina Turner Heritage Days will be September 27 & 28th. Visit for a full schedule of events.
National Night Out will be Tuesday October 1 at East Side School practice fields from 6 ñ 9 pm.
Brownsville-Haywood County Fall Fest will be Saturday October 19th.
The Brownsville-Haywood County Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, December 14 at 6 p.m. The theme is ìThe Music and Magic of Christmas.î Anyone or any organization interested in participating the in annual Christmas Parade should contact City Hall.
The Chamber of Commerceís 2013-14 Leadership Haywood County class has 13 class members
Commerical and residential building projects underway in town
This week Brownsville Building Inspector Jerry McClinton updated the Brownsville City Board on several construction projects going on around Brownsville:
The steel building frame for Family Dollar Store will be going up at the corner of Park Avenue and East Main Street in the next few days;
Phil Mosesí Brownsville Mini Warehouses will soon add units to its North Washington Avenue facility;
Burger King will be temporarily closed within the next few weeks to undertake a $500,000 renovation;
Valley Irrigation has moved into its new facility located on Dupree Avenue near Tennessee Tractor;
And there are 2 new residential constructions and 6 remodels underway in the city.
What to do if there is trouble in schools?
Brownsville Chief of Police Chris Lea says that staff members at each of the Countyís six school facilities have undergone training and drills on what to do in the event an armed intruder enters a school building. The drills were led by Brownsville PD and were in compliance with a new state law which requires every school in the state to have an intruder plan and drill within the first month of classes.


BPD wins 1st place in Law Enforcement Challenge
September 11, 2013

   The Brownsville Police Department has been awarded First Place in the Tennessee Law Enforcement Challenge. The Governorís Highway Safety Office sponsors the Challenge. The Tennessee Lifesavers Conference and Law Enforcement Challenge was held in Murfreesboro September 4-6. This is the fourth consecutive year the Brownsville Police Department took top honors.
The Brownsville Police Department was also recognized for placing third in the United States in its department size for the National Law Enforcement Challenge. The Police Department will receive this honor at the International Chiefs of Police Conference to be held in October in Philadelphia.
The Law Enforcement Challenge program is an incentive/ award program designed to award law enforcement for outstanding achievements regarding highway safety enforcement and education.

Officer tapped
In addition to these awards, Lt. Mark Covington was the recipient of Tennesseeís ìBeyond the Traffic Stopî award. This award was based on a traffic stop that started as a minor speeding violation and concluded with three suspects from Texas being charged with over 80 criminal counts including identity theft and fraud from victims in three different states.


Philosophically ó what does the metro charter say?
September 10, 2013

Meeting #8
The Haywood County Metro Charter Commissionís first meeting was in July. Now, two months and eight meetings later, little has been decided and nothing has been written. Itís not because the commissioners havenít been diligent, itís because crafting a charter, as Chairman Christy Smith says, is a lot like being one of the founding fathers of the country ó you start from scratch. The commissionís latest guest, Judge Lyle Reid, echoed that sentiment at yesterdayís meeting.
Reid is a lawyer who oversaw Haywood County legal matters for 23 years and has served on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court. The group asked Reid for his comments because of his background in constitutional law and with government.
ìYou have a unique opportunity. You can write anything you think will work. I challenge you to use your most creative intellect,î Reid said.
For about two hours Reid and members of the 15- person charter group chatted. Much of the conversation focused on how the new charter might distribute power between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government. Reid suggested that the ìallocation of power to governî and the ìphilosophy of governmentî are two areas of thought where most of the groupís energy should be focused. The charter should make government efficient, visionary and transparent, Reid said. Lawyers will work out the technical language, he commented.
Using existing charters as a template is not a good idea, according to Reid who is a vocal proponent of consolidation. ìA good charter is the best way to get it passed,î Reid said.
Metro members agreed yesterday to let Judge Reid and their attorney Michael Banks draft ideas including a document that will suggest ìthree approaches to county government.î
It is also clear the charter commission is eager to get on with their work, which has on it a nine-month deadline. Some have suggested ramping up the meeting schedule to twice weekly though no action on that proposal has yet been taken. The next meeting is Thursday September 19 at 5pm


City fathers and school board meet today
September 10, 2013

   The Brownsville Board of Mayor and Aldermen hold their regular meeting this afternoon at 5:30. The board will hold a public hearing on a rezoning issue. The agenda is otherwise light.
The school board meets tonight at 6.


TN Employers To Pay Lower Unemployment Insurance Premium Rates
September 5, 2013

   Tax surcharge removed by state fund reaching target balance
NASHVILLE ñ The TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development today announces most employers will pay a reduced amount on their quarterly unemployment insurance premium rates.
Unemployment insurance rates will decrease because the balance of Tennesseeís Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund on June 30 was more than $650 million, triggering the permanent expiration of the .6% additional fee in premium rates. Additionally, the trust fund trigger temporarily shifted the Premium Rate Table from table three to five, further increasing potential savings for employers for the next two calendar quarters.
Legislation enacted in June 2009 created a temporary additional fee of .6% on all unemployment insurance premium rates. This provision became effective January 1, 2009 as the trust fund became nearly insolvent, causing the state to take a $20 million interest-free loan from the federal government to continue benefit payments. The state paid back the federal loan within a month, and the measure has steadily improved the health of the fund to its balance of $817,606,274 as of August 23, 2013.
ìTennessee has shown a tremendous amount of fiscal responsibility managing the fund into which employers contribute,î said Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips. ìThis announcement is good news for both employers and the citizens of our state.î
Employers were mailed notifications of the changes to their individual accounts at the end of August showing their revised premium rate for the third and fourth quarters of the current year.
Eight Employer Accounts offices are located across the state and are staffed with auditors who answer employersí questions. They can assist Tennessee employers who are starting a business understand premium and wage reporting and the payment of premiums. The directory below lists the Employer Accounts office locations in Tennessee.


County commission OKís new budget
September 4, 2013

   Haywood Countyís budget predicts a near $1 million deficit and it was approved last night during a brief, called county commission meeting. Most county insiders think the year-end cash count could actually be much better than anticipated ó and thatís supported by historical results. County budget committee projections have typically been bested by more income than expected and less spending than forseeable.
The budget approved Tuesday comes just over two months after the end of the fiscal year. All of the county commissioners present voted for the spending plan. Commissioner Larry Gene Stanley passed when asked to vote on the tax rate. Budget Commissioner Allen King was absent, recuperating from illness.
County government will cost $45,165,012 during 2013/2014 according to the budget. The budget year started with an estimated $12 million in government accounts and is predicted to end the year with just a little over $11 million in fund-balance.
County workers can expect raises or bonuses, depending on the department in which they work. Taxpayers, except for farmland owners, can anticipate writing property tax checks for about the same as last year. The wheel tax will remain unchanged. The county jail will add three new jailers. The new jail employees are expected to reduce overtime charges.
Mayor Franklin Smith says commissioners can expect, sometime later this year, to hear that the county commissionís solid waste committee will recommend a raise in select commercial rates for disposal of waste in the landfill.


Charter to propose four year-terms for officials ó no limits
September 4, 2013

   Meeting #7 Tuesday, September 3, 2013 – by Martha Lyle Ford

During a meeting yesterday, Metro Charter Commission members proposed four-year terms for elected officials in a consolidated government. Like the present governments in Brownsville and Haywood County, the elected officials would not be limited to the number of terms they serve. At yesterdayís meeting the group talked about the number of representatives that would sit on the metro commission, but did not reach conclusion.
To help them with their work, the panel has been referring to drafted charters for three other Tennessee counties who have gone through the metro charter process: Hartsville/Trousdale County, Lynchburg/Moore County, and Columbia/Maury County.
There was general consensus among Commission members at yesterdayís meeting that the Columbia/Maury County charter is the preferred document to use as a template (guide) for writing the Brownsville/Haywood County charter.
Most of the two-hour meeting centered on discussion about provisions regarding county and city employeesí benefits and jobs under combined government. The two governments have significantly different pay scales and benefits. It was agreed that more discussion and research is needed before the Commission can write this section of the proposed charter. Michael Banks, who serves as attorney for all three governments in Haywood County, will present additional information as part of the discussion at the next meeting.
Once drafted, the public will vote the charter on. In order to be enacted, the charter will have to pass in both Brownsville and rural Haywood County.
The next meeting will be Monday, September 9 at 5:00 p.m. at the Haywood County Justice Complex.


Your vote needed: Ernie Jackson up for Titansí Coach of the Week!
September 4, 2013

   New Tomcat Football Coach Ernie Jackson is among four Tennessee high School Football coaches nominated for Tennessee Titans Coach of the Week.
The voting is simple. Click on the link below and vote for Jackson.


Metro committee ìgetting down to workî today
September 3, 2013

   When the Metro Charter Committee meets this afternoon itís likely they may be asked to vote for the first time on language for the proposed charter. Last week Vice-Chairman Joe Barden IV said the group would consider Articles 1 through 4 of the charter.
The first four sections of other charters the group has reviewed include
1) Consolidation, Territory and Powers
2) The Metropolitan Council
3) Metropolitan Executive
4) Metropolitan Executive Departments and Boards
The Metropolitan Charter Commission meets this afternoon at 4. The links below include the charters of metro governments located in Hartsville and Lynchburg, Tennessee.


Haywood County Commission poised to approve budget
September 3, 2013

   The county commission meets tonight at 6. Itís a special session with only two items on the agenda. The primary purpose of the meeting is to adopt the 2013/2014 budget. (See additional story here)
If last weekís budget hearing is any indication, the budget should easily pass.
Haywood County Government will require $45,165,012 to fund operations through next June.
Commissioners will also consider the purchase of equipment for the county landfill operation.

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