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Wed, Dec 17, 2014

Rutherford County to consider special redistricting committee

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A new committee will likely be formed to study the proposed School and Road Board zones, as discussions remain lively after redistricting.

Members of the Steering and Legislative Committee, which is a part of the Rutherford County Commission, listened to yet another presentation Monday regarding issues of zones.

Commissioner Rhonda Allen (Dist.11) continued pushing for further analysis of the county’s School Board and Road Board zones, which she initially argued for before the County Commission voted on the new district map last year.

Despite failed attempts to have the map analyzed, Allen may finally succeed in getting a new committee formed to study alternatives.

Although the rezoning proposal for the County Commission district seats, as well as the School and Road Board zones, are absolutely legal, many La Vergne residents have said they are concerned that their voice will be watered down on both boards.

Allen explained that although there are three representatives from La Vergne on the School Board, they represent nine districts in the county, which would more than likely reduce their influence.

Allen also argued against placing Eagleville and parts of La Vergne in the same zone.

“There’s a great disparity between the La Vergne schools and the Eagleville schools,” Allen said.

Commissioner Jeff Jordan (Dist.13) supported Allen’s efforts.

“We indicated we would make some effort,” Jordan said. “I have some problems with it. Solving problems I’m not sure are problems, but I think it should be looked at.”

Allen responded by urging committee member to reexamine the map.

“All I’m asking is you put together a committee to study this,” Allen said.

Allen recommended the committee be made up of nine members, including a representative from each municipality, two representatives from unincorporated parts of the county, one Road Board member, one School Board member, and one county commissioner.

If formed as recommended by Allen, the committee would elect its own chairman and have a deadline to make its recommendation.

County Commissioner Steve Sandlin (Dist.9), who served as chairman of the Redistricting Committee, said he supported forming a committee to analyze the zones, but he recommended the Steering Committee take another month before voting on the creation of such a committee.

The issue was deferred to the next meeting.

Sandlin also encouraged Allen to nail down more details before coming back to the Steering Committee next month, such as the naming the committee, ensuring everyone is represented, and coordinating with Election Administrator Nicole Lester for guidelines.

Schott named to IBD
Members of the Rutherford County Steering Committee nominated local dentist and former Rutherford County GOP chair Dr. Nate Schott to replace John C. Jones Jr. on the Industrial Development Board for the remainder of his term, which is set to expire August 2013.

Jones, who is commonly referred to as “Johnny,” resigned shortly after being charged in December 2011 with four counts of failing to file franchise and excise tax returns on behalf of The Jones Company & Associates Inc., following an investigation by the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Four applications were received by the Steering Committee. However, only three applicants were present to argue why they should be chosen to serve on the board.

Bill Jones, a member of the hospital board, former Rutherford County Judge Steve Daniel, and Dr. Nate Schott, a Murfreesboro dentist, each made their case to the Steering Committee.

Commissioner Jeff Jordan (Dist. 13) suggested making no recommendation because the other applicant was unable to attend Monday’s meeting through no fault of his own.

Jordan also said there had been confusion as to whether an actual deadline to apply had been in place.

“This is particularly important,” Jordan said.

Commissioner Steve Sandlin (Dist. 9) argued against the idea of waiting to submit a recommendation.

“This committee would not be doing its job if we sent it to the commission without a recommendation,” Sandlin said.

Ultimately, Schott was recommended by the committee, but he will have to be approved by the full Rutherford County Commission before being nominated to the seat.

“Rutherford County has been a wonderful place for me,” Schott said.
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County Commission, IDB, Johnny Jones, La Vergne, Nate Schott, Politics, Redistricting, Rhonda Allen, RuCo, Rutherford County, Smyrna, Steering Committee
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