Lewis County Herald - Serving Hohenwald, Lewis County Tennessee Since 1898

By Katelin Carroll
Staff Reporter 

Commissioner Fite Resigns

County Appoints New Airport Manager

 


It was announced by County Mayor Jonah Keltner during Monday’s County Commission meeting that Jason Fite, Commissioner for the Ninth District, had sent in his letter of resignation earlier that day. Commissioners Robert Brewer, Ronnie Brewer and Fite were absent for the meeting.

In his letter, Commissioner Fite wrote, “After thorough thought and many prayers, I have come to the conclusion that it would be in the best interest of the voters of the 9th District that I resign my position on the Lewis County Commission effective immediately. With many conflicts with my obligations as a teacher at Lewis County Schools and my duties as a coach on multiple teams at Lewis County Middle School, I cannot fulfill the duties as commissioner as I feel my constituents deserve, as is evident in the multiple committee and commission meetings I have been absent from in the last few months.

“While I regret having to submit my resignation, I will continue to speak as a voice for my neighbors but do so in an unofficial manner. It is my hope that a replacement will be found to fill my vacancy soon as many difficult decisions continue to come before our body, and I pray that fiscal responsibility and forethought are a focus for the commission. I value the friendships I have made in my position over this term, and appreciate the dedication that all members have had during my time,” read the letter.

The County will begin the selection and nomination process immediately, so that nominees can be named at next month’s meeting on Monday, July 26, 2021. Then each individual can give their presentation to the Commission, stating why they would be a good fit. The Commission will then vote for the candidate they deem to be most fit, and the individual will represent the Ninth District for the remainder of Commissioner Fite’s term which expires August 31, 2022.

Hangar Fees Raised

Because the late Paul Bridges volunteered his time to maintain the Lewis County Airport, the County had to put new money into the airport budget and find funding for the part-time position of Airport Manager.

The Budget Committee proposed to make the Airport Manager position a part-time paid position at a projected cost of $16,640 per year, at $16 an hour for 20 hours per week.

In order to generate some funding to help offset the costs of the part-time position, it was proposed to raise the hangar fees at last week’s Budget Committee meeting. The proposed fee was an increase of $30 which would make Hangar One cost $80 per month, and Hangar Two $130 per month beginning July 1, 2021.

There are currently seven spots taken in each hangar, which would make up one third of the cost to hire for the Airport Manager position.

Senator Joey Hensley was in attendance at Monday’s meeting, and was asked his opinion on the increased fee to which he replied, “It’s not uncommon to see fees that are much higher, even fees of $150 a month. I think $130 is reasonable.”

Commissioners Austin Carroll and Brian Peery sponsored the resolution and the resolution passed in a unanimous vote.

New Airport Manager Appointed

Mayor Keltner announced the County finally found a great candidate to take over as the new part-time Airport Manager and Maintenance Technician.

The County recently held interviews to fulfill the EMA Director Apprenticeship, and among the applicants was the perfect candidate for Airport Manager/Maintenance Technician.

The applicant was none other than LCHS Alumni, David Sublett, the son of Janice Sublett and the late Harold Sublett. Sublett retired from the Army after serving from 1993 to 2019, then worked with the Air Force as an Electrical/Avionics Specialist from 2019 to 2021 before moving back to Tennessee.

The County contacted Sublett to offer him the position sometime last week to which he replied he would be glad to, but needed full-time work as he has a family to support. Sublett was then offered the position for both part-time Airport Manager and part-time Maintenance Technician.

The Commission agreed that he was the right man for the job and unanimously voted to approve his application.

Apprentice to EMA Director

Bobby “Terry” Cotham’s application for the EMA Director Apprenticeship was brought before the Public Safety Committee during last week’s County Committee Meetings, where Mayor Keltner gave his personal endorsement for Cotham as he spent 47 years developing a skill set that is directly related to the position.

Commissioners Kyle Bobo and T.J. Hinson sponsored the resolution that night, and it was unanimously passed before the full commission on Monday night.

Sheriff’s Dept. Declares Surplus

The Sheriff’s Department asked for authorization to declare a 2008 white Ford Explorer, which was a retired patrol vehicle, as surplus property.

“I talked to Mr. [Todd] Laster about it before the meeting, but our maintenance department could really use it especially now that Mr. Sublett will be hired,” said Mayor Keltner, asking the Commission to transfer it over to the Maintenance Department instead of being surplused and auctioned off.

“[The vehicle] runs good, but it has over 200,000 miles and it does occasionally leak water so you have to watch it for that,” Capt. Laster said when asked about the condition of the vehicle.

Commissioner Doug Jobbitt moved for the vehicle to be transfered to the maintenance department as requested by the mayor, and Commissioner Allison Tanner seconded the motion. The Commissioners passed the resolution in a unanimous vote.

Lewis County Public Library Board of Trustees

A resolution was brought before the Commission that sought to assign Patricia Barnett, Judy Bryson, Kathryn Workman Kozlinski and Commissioner Austin Carroll to the Lewis County Public Library and Archives Board of Trustees for a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2021, and ending on June 30, 2024.

Commissioners Tanner and Peery moved to adopt the resolution and the resolution passed in a unanimous vote.

Appointment to the Buffalo River Regional Library Board

A resolution was brought before the Commission that sought to assign Judy Bryson to serve on the Buffalo River Regional Library Board for a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2021, and ending on June 30, 2024.

Commissioners Peery and Larry Hensley moved to adopt the resolution, and the resolution passed in a unanimous vote.

The Commission meeting was recessed until next Monday, June 28, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. at which time the commissioners will discuss year end budget amendments regarding all funds, and will address any necessary new business.

 

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