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Warren County Commission Meeting Cancelled Due To Differences

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Differences in opinion within the Warren County government resulted in the cancellation of Monday’s Warren County Commission meeting.

The commission voted 14-7 to hold the August meeting in-person at the Administration Building. County Executive Jimmy Haley has denied the commission access to the building and said zoom is the only way to safely conduct business. Chair Commissioner Blaine Wilcher said he had no choice but to cancel.

“This is kind of an unusual situation where in my opinion, you are going with the minority vote over the majority vote,” Wilcher said. “That is one of the things I said to the county executive when we spoke the other night.”

Wilcher said meeting via zoom discourages debate and is an inefficient use of tax dollars. Wilcher is seeking legal opinion on requesting a hybrid meeting. The August meeting’s agenda will be added to September’s meeting. Wilcher said the meeting will be lengthy since the commission votes for the chairman every September.

“I am hopeful for a solution,” Wilcher said. “I have reached out to our CTAS representatives to get their opinions as far as what is legal for us what to request as far possibly having some type of hybrid meeting. There are already several commissioners that actually use the same phone at one each others house or a parking lot somewhere, and they call in on speaker phone.”

Commissioners voted 18-4 in July to meet in person. Since that vote, Haley has not offered them use of the facility. Wilcher said he understands Haley’s decision but at the same time, disagrees.

“I respect his position as far as he feels like he is doing what is best for the safety of the commissioners, but I disagree,” Wilcher said. “I still feel like the majority of us on the commission go to work everyday. We go to the store. We get gas. We are functioning in society, and to draw the line at meeting together in-person, I disagree on it.”

Haley announced on Thursday a mask mandate for Warren County.


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