Friday, August 19, 2011

The Week of August 22nd

August 22 - 26, 2011

Date & Committee/Board                 Time                            Location
Monday - August 22
Special Session:
            Board of Education                6:00 P.M.                    Central Office

Tuesday - August 23
Legislative                                          6:15 P.M.                    Juvenile Courtroom
Public Hearing/Budget                 7:00 P.M.                    Juvenile Courtroom

Wednesday - August 24

Thursday - August 25
Highway Commission                        7:00 P.M.                    Highway Offices

Friday - August 26

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2011-12 Operating Budget: Heading into Monday’s Regular Meeting

Here is the most recent coverage from the Robertson County Times of the August 2, 2011 Robertson County Commission Budget Committee Meeting. The article covers some of the rates in sister counties – remember, I did the same thing back in April by looking at a good part of Middle Tennessee.

My summary can be found here.
As we head into Monday’s Regular Meeting, we will have an up-and-down vote on the 2011-12 Operating Budget.
I am still committed to not raising your property taxes. We have a long way to go, and I do not think we have adequately explored the budget in its current form.

Robertson County: Notorious?

This will likely be an unpopular post.

With that being said, I must address this story. For, as you can see here, it becomes that much more notorious (see the right-hand sidebar – this is a daily publication sent to members of the Tennessee Bar Association).
I have said it before, and will maintain that we must address the issues facing our schools. We must, because internally or externally, they will be solved by others. And, it is not just a federal investigation. We can continue to be concerned with how each of our schools performs with regard to state and federal standard.
Again, I will continue to state that there is not a silver bullet solution, so we must continue to leave all options on the table as we move forward.
It is my hope that the formation of the “Study Committee for Review and Recommendation of Educational Initiatives in the Springfield School Cluster” will go a long way to address these issues.
What this growing concerns illustrates to me is that the finger-pointing must cease and the sectionalism throughout the communities must cease.
Like it or not, this is a Robertson County issue.
Internally or Externally, something must be done, and that thing will affect the entirety of Robertson County.

Redistricting Committee & the City of Springfield

The Robertson County Times covered the last Redistricting Committee Meeting (Do not forget the Redistricting Committee meets again this Thursday at 4pm).

With that being said, the Mayor Billy Paul Carneal spoke at the last meeting to convey concerns that the City of Springfield apparently has moving forward with the entire redistricting process. I believe those concerns can be summarized in the following quote (See the full story here):
“We just think it would be a little fairer if we did not have so many representing a few, but had fewer representing a larger [city] base,” he concluded.
I am not quite sure I agree with this proposition. This is a county matter, and though I can understand the concerns that the City of Springfield may have with Robertson County Schools, I do not think that the redistricting process is the proper direction to meet this challenge. The reason-being is that if the Redistricting Committee began accommodating each and every municipality in such a way, then it would be impossible for lines to be drawn.

NOT in this environment...

I would rather not contemplate the fallout if any of our commissioners proposed this sort of resolution.

August 'Commission Packet'

Please do not forget that Robertson County Clerk Susan Atchley posts the “Commission Packets” in the weeks leading up to the monthly “Regular Meeting” of the Robertson County Commission.

You can find the packets at the Robertson County website. Here is a direct link.
Also, here is a list of the resolutions and those commissioners who will be presenting them at the August Regular Meeting:

Friday, August 12, 2011

CTAS Visulization Tools

These “Visualization Tools” offer insight on a county-by-county level and insight into economic data and population growth:

Explore Tennessee state data with one of these interactive download or visualization tools developed in partnership with the University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research, the University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) and the University of Tennessee Department of Geography.

June Unemployment Rate

This is a concerning development regarding Robertson County’s unemployment rate.

Robertson County was one of 91 counties in the state of Tennessee whose unemployment rates increased for the month of June.
Tennessee’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for June was 9.8 percent, up slightly from the May rate of 9.7 percent.
Robertson County’s unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent in June, compared to the previous month at 8.6 percent.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Upcoming Economic Development Workshops

There are Economic Development Workshops scheduled later this month presented by County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) and the Tennessee County Commission Association (TCCA).

I look forward to attending the workshop in Franklin on August 24th.

The Week of August 15, 2011

MEETINGS SCHEDULED WEEK OF: August 15 - 19, 2011

Date & Committee/Board                           Time                                      Location
Monday - August 15
Animal Control                                                  6:00 P.M                              Juvenile Courtroom
County Commission                                        7:00 P.M.                             Juvenile Courtroom          

Tuesday - August 16
911 Board                                                            9:00 A.M.                             ECC Building
Budget                                                                 5:00 P.M.                             County Office Building
Health and Safety                                            5:30 P.M.                             County Office Building

Wednesday - August 17
RTA                                                                        10:00 A.M.                          400 Charlotte, Nashville
GNRC                                                                    11:00 A.M.                          400 Charlotte, Nashville
MCHRA                                                                Noon                                     400 Charlotte,

Thursday - August 18
Redistricting                                                       4:00 P.M.                             County Office Building

Friday - August 19

Waiving/Waving to NCLB

Here is an interesting post by Tennessee County Commission Association (TCCA) Executive Director David Connor.
I know that those in education will likely be optimistic the news that Tennessee is apparently an “example” of a state deserving a waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today cited Tennessee as an example of a state that has "done a great job" in setting education standards and deserving of a waiver from No Child Left Behind.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Every Option on the Table: Curiosity Regarding Blount County’s HOPE Academy

Here is a story regarding a proposed charter school in Blount County.

Let me just acknowledge something at the outset of this post, I am well aware that charter schools raise ire and confusion. Frankly, you hear a wide array of positions with regard to charter schools in/out of Tennessee.

Follow-Up: School Zone Meeting

In a follow-up piece from the ‘School Zone Meeting’ where I referenced Robertson County Schools creating a “task-force” for analyzing and proposing solutions to the issues that Springfield City schools and Robertson County Schools face.
I have been selected to this task-force, and I will look forward to our first meeting later this month.
Here are the other members on the “Study Committee for Review and Recommendation of Educational Initiatives in the Springfield School Cluster:”  

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Look at the Franklin Special School District

It looks as though Robertson County is not the only County facing recognizable challenges in education – socioeconomic, ethnic and community-based schools:

It was back in October when Franklin Special School District leaders started to work on a plan to bring socioeconomic and ethnic balance to its seven schools and 3,800 students. More than nine months later, it’s still unclear what direction the district will take.
It looks as though Williamson County – yes, that Williamson County faces some of those same challenges we do here.
It will be interesting to watch much like it will be interesting to watch just what we do here in Robertson County.

All [Education] Politics is Local

An interesting report regarding Tennessee:
Officials in Georgia, New York and several other states have said they may ask for waivers, but Tennessee appears to be the first to do so. A yes would exempt the state from applying No Child Left Behind sanctions — which include offering students tutoring or transfers to other schools and firing principals and teachers — and allow it to use its own standards to hold failing schools and districts accountable. (emphasis added)
What I may humbly add on this topic: One thing that I have learned is that each of you have an opinion on education, a strong opinion; and, usually those are plural – opinions. With that being said, I think each of us could agree that a waiver from NCLB would be a positive for our teachers.

The Week of August 8th

August 8 - 12, 2011

Date & Committee/Board                 Time                           Location

Monday - August 8

EMS                                                    5:00 P.M                     EMS Building

School Board                                      7:00 P.M.                    Central Office
Tuesday - August 9

Airport Board                                     8:00 A.M.                    Airport

Law Enforcement/                              5:00 P.M.                    Jail

            Workhouse Board

Solid Waste                                         6:00 P.M.                    County Office Building 

Wednesday - August 10


Thursday - August 11

Building and Grounds                        5:00 P.M.                    County Mayor’s Office

Fire                                                      6:00 P.M.                    ECC Building

Friday - August 12


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

MY Minutes: 2011.8.2 RCC Budget Committee Meeting

Here is a summary of last night’s Robertson County Commission (“RCC”) Budget Committee Meeting (“BC”):
There were presentations from various agencies including the Gorham-MacBane Public Library; as well as discussions regarding funding for various non-profit/not-for-profit agencies.
Following this discussion, the BC considered cuts to several departments, and even considered cutting Robertson County Animal Control. However, this was general discussion and no motion/proposal was specifically considered by the BC.
After this general discussion, the BC came to the conclusion that they did not necessarily know what direction that the RCC would want to go with the Budget. Meaning, would the RCC pursue further cuts, or would the RCC consider the “needed” $.40 property tax increase. When the discussion turned to some form of both cuts and tax increses, the BC decided to send the discussion to the RCC.
The BC voted to send the $.40 property tax increase to the RCC.
This will be considered at the next Regular Meeting later this month.
I hope to have more on this issue in the coming weeks.
Robertson County, what are your thoughts?