Skip to Content

Putnam Commissioners Frustrations Lead To In-Person Meeting

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Frustration about electronic meetings led the Putnam County Commissioners to set September’s meeting at the county courthouse.

Commissioner Chair Ben Rodgers offered commissioners a chance to vote on an in-person meeting Monday. That came after several commissioners voiced concerns about discussing land purchases via phone.

“I think people were excited to say something, to speak,” Rodgers said. “I think people were antsy or impatient to get something done. It just wasn’t successfully done as far as the communication part. I think that’s part of their frustration, they want to be in front of each other.”

Maintaining COVID-19 safety will not be an easy task, Chairman Ben Rodgers said. Social distancing between the 24 council members and the public and mandating masks are some challenges.

“To me, you weigh those options of how much stuff you have to follow to meet in person, compared to what you have to do to meet electronically, and it’s a lot less to meet electronically,” Rodgers said. “It’s not causing other department heads to give up their employees or time to make it work in the commission chambers, we’re not spending money to bring in additional equipment.”

A scheduled Zoom meeting was considered, but Rodgers said keeping track of 24 faces virtually would be difficult. Additionally not all commissioners have high speed internet, so a virtual meeting would not be fair.

“There is a little thing in Zoom where you can raise your hand, but you don’t know who raised their hand first,” Rodgers said. “Part of the commission meeting is recognizing those that want to be recognized first and not skipping somebody. As chairman, it’s one of those things where if somebody raises their hand virtually in a Zoom meeting, then somebody else does it, I don’t know who was first and I don’t want to upset one of them because I called on somebody else first.”

The next scheduled county commissioner meeting is September 21.


The post Putnam Commissioners Frustrations Lead To In-Person Meeting appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.