White County commissioners have voted to rescind a controversial resolution that was titled Regulations Governing the Health and Safety Standards.
The resolution, which was passed in 2020, has been a topic of contention for county officials over the past two years.
“Due to TCA Code 5-1-115, counties of certain populations do not have authority to enforce codes of this nature,” Kyle Goff, county commissioner, said.
In December 2020, the White County Board of Commissioners passed an additional resolution agreeing to ask the state legislators to take action to amend state law to allow White County the authority to enforce the resolution.
According to Goff, the process stalled out at this stage. He said State Representative Paul Sherrell chose not to sponsor or take up such legislation on the state level, which left the resolution dormant, and there has been little movement since. Goff said that, essentially, it is on the books, but, without state level support, it cannot be enacted.
“The resolution was quite controversial when passed with many community members being vocal in their dissatisfaction with the idea of having property maintenance codes,” Goff said. “To have a resolution on the books that cannot be acted upon, let alone a controversial one, leads to a lot of confusion, frustration and questions.”
On March 6, 2023, Steering Committee B of the White County Board of Commissioners passed resolution 17-3-2023 by a vote of 5-2. The purpose of this resolution was to rescind the original resolution (40-08-2020). After passing committee, the next step was to send the resolution to the full commission for approval. However, to repeal a resolution, a two-thirds vote of the county commission is required (10 votes). At the full court meeting, on March 20, Resolution 17-3-2023 passed by a vote of 11-2, with one absent.
“White County conservatives made a stand tonight [March 20] as a super-majority of the county commission voted to rescind the resolution authorizing property maintenance codes outside the city limits,” commissioner Cain Rogers said. “Individual property rights and individual freedom are at the heart of my beliefs, and I applaud the 10 commissioners that voted with me to end this government overreach.”
Goff said he had a two-fold issue that guided his decision.
“First, I always lean on the side of smaller government,” he said. “I value personal responsibility and individual liberty. I felt this resolution was an overreach in some of the literacy and language included. Second, my constituents were clear they do not support this resolution. I always welcome their communication, and I try to vote to represent the people of District 7.”
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Property rights are one thing, but you de-value neighbors proprty because you have a pig pen or junked up place
That another thing and should be stopped
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