Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Cocke General Committee
Members of the Cocke County General Committee have been working for sometime to reorganize the county recreation department. The department currently is under the auspices of the office of Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger. Because Chair Norman Smith was the only committee member in attendance at a Monday evening meeting, no action could be taken. The committee has been considering the establishment of a Conservation Board or a Parks and Recreation Board to oversee the operations. A Conservation Board would remove virtually all control from the county legislative body, a move favored by the committee. However, County Attorney Brittany Vick said because the county has a whitewater rafting industry, such a board may not be feasible. She is working with CTAS (County Technical Assistance Service)to determine how to formulate an oversight board, that would allow the current rafting oversight to remain under the auspices of the county clerk's office. Smith said it is time for the committee to move forward with an oversight board. "This is dragging on way too long, we got parents (who have concerns), the mayor is getting alot of calls and social media messages, and it is almost like she is saying she is done. So we need someone over it, one way or another," he told the audience. And Smith addressed the concerned citizens who came to the meeting, but at which no action could be taken, because of a lack of a quorum. "I apologize to everyone who showed up. I'm sorry but I can't get a school bus and go pick them (committee members) up. They are grown people who have been elected to do a job, and they should have been here. That's all I can say about that." Also in attendance at the meeting were Commissioners Forest Clevenger and David Veridal,but they didn't identify themselves as members of the committee, and committee member Gayla Blazer arrived as the meeting was dismissed.

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