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New Putnam Commission Sworn Into Office

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
New Putnam Commission Sworn Into Office

Nine new Putnam County Commissioners and re-elected incumbents from the August election sworn into office Monday night.

After celebrating their accomplishments, an hour-long orientation for the new members began. Mayor Randy Porter reviewed several items such as parliamentary procedures, the county’s status and the role of a commissioner.

“It’s going to take you probably a good year to get the full grasp of everything that goes on in county government, and a lot of that has to do with the budget process,” Porter said. “As we walk through the budget process next March or April, that’s the big deal for the county commission.

Porter said one of the most important jobs the commission holds during that process is setting the property tax rate. Porter said the body serves as the taxing authority over residents.

“Your biggest number one job is to set the property tax rate each year when we pass the budget,” Porter said. “You approve all the budgets, budget amendments. You create policy, codes, the county’s powers act. Anything to do with those areas that is the county commission’s job.”

Porter said the recently elected commissioners will take seats on several committees. Porter reviewed those bodies and asked commissioners to submit their preferences for appointments in September.

The hierarchy of the county, it’s five-year plan, projected growth, revenue and debt were among the other items shared. Each commissioner was sent home a copy to study as they please.

“You’re going to find with me full transparency,” Porter said. “If it has to do with the county and you want to know it, all you have to do is ask. I am going to bring you all the information you need to pass whatever it is before you.”

CTAS Consultant Ben Rogers spoke about the training required to be a commissioner. Rogers said each new commissioner must complete 12 hours of training and another seven for continuous training. Commissioners that served 8 years are not required to complete the continuous training.


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