Overton County News

Posted November 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Overton County Legislative Body soundly rejected the County Powers Act during the regular meeting held Monday, November 10.

A public hearing was held at 5:30 p.m. to give residents an opportunity to comment on the act, which, pursuant to T.C.A. 5-1-118, would give the County Commission the authority to create ordinances.

County Executive Ben Danner opened the floor for comment and the first seven residents to speak were opposed to the act, saying they want to keep their freedom from being told what they can and cannot do on their property.

Then Tim Rapp, owner of Honey Do Handyman Service, warned about not having building codes in the county.

Executive Danner explained, “The County Powers Act and the building codes are really not connected. The county can apply building codes if they so choose without doing the Powers Act. We just opted out of it every year, but we could pass that without the Powers Act being in place.”

After three more residents spoke in opposition to the act, Rickman area resident John Cook walked up and mockingly said, “I’d appreciate if we can do away with all the speed limit signs that’s infringing upon my freedom. I really enjoy going 90 miles an hour. I enjoy driving fast. Let’s do away with the speed limit signs.”

He then went back to the analogy of the act being a toolbox, which had been brought up in the September 10 County Commission work session on the Powers Act.

“It is very clear that dealing with excessive things in this county is a struggle,” he continued, “let alone the crazy idea that someone’s going to tell you how high you can cut your grass. That’s never going to happen. What we’re looking for is help dealing with the excessive problems.”

He again went into speaking against the noise created by the Monroe operation of Cooper Recycling, which he had also brought up in the September work session.

“I’m all with you that I don’t want big government,” he went on, “but I want responsible government.”

He then spoke about the noise from the race track off of Highway 111 in the Rickman area.

He looked out and saw some in the audience shaking their heads and he addressed them by saying, “Perhaps if they had a blazing car going at 11 o’clock at night and their children couldn’t sleep, they would perhaps apply some Biblical principles, Live peaceably with all men.’ ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ “We live in a community. We can’t just do what’s best for a few.

“Nobody’s going to tell someone they can’t build a chicken coop around here. If you don’t want to pass the Powers Act, that’s fine, but we need protection.”

He continued on and later said, “Yes, I would have freedom on my property, but my freedom should not infringe upon the freedom of another person. When I’m doing things to excess that infringe upon the freedom of other people, there’s a problem. People are going to make noise on their property, but if I’m making excessive noise, I am infringing upon the peace of people on their property and that’s not right. What are you guys going to do to protect us?

After all who wished to address the commissioners had their say, 10 residents had spoken in opposition to the act, and four had asked the commissioners to vote for the act.

The regular monthly meeting then began at 6 p.m. and, after a few other items were considered, Resolution #2014-0822-01 for the Overton County Commission to adopt the County Powers Act Pursuant to T..A. 5-1-118 was brought up for consideration.

County Commissioner Phillip Talley made the motion to adopt the resolution, and Commissioner Jordan Danner seconded the motion to bring it to a vote. On the vote, Tally was the sole commissioner in favor of the act.