Carl Wilson, Charlie Foust, Debbie Frazier, Don Jenkins, J. Runyon, Jon Hunter, Katy Olita, Katie Gambill, Lyn Stokes, Maria Jimenez, Mark Kelly, Mark Smith, Ray Williams
Bob Yates, Keith Lampkin
James Halford, Shelly Baggett
The Charter Commission Meeting was held at the William O. Beach Civic Hall, 350 Pageant Lane, Clarksville, Tennessee.
Call to Order
Chairman Katie Gambill called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.
Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Mr. Don Jenkins to approve the Charter Commission meeting minutes dated July 13, 2017 and July 27, 2017 as presented. Seconded by Mr. Jon Hunter and passed unanimously.
Chairman Gambill introduced Mr. James Halford as a guest speaker. Mr. Halford was being considered as a facilitator for the commission meetings and members were provided a bio, see attachment. Mr. Halford spoke on these items – meeting requirements, being consistent, respect and listen, everyone contributes, set approach and agree, and communicate concerns.
Mr. Halford spoke about committees’ goals, objectives, framework, their sequence, interlink and sharing information, preparation and expectation, setting and agreeing upon the approach, communicating concerns ahead of time to avoid delays, and related committees working together and attending each other’s meetings. He thought it a good idea for all members to read the previous charter and come up with a plan on how to approach and fit it all together.
The Citizens Committee was the next item Mr. Halford addressed. He stated the Citizens Committee was critical and part of its work in getting the public to understand would be for the commission members to be present to interface and answer questions. Mr. Halford suggest starting a list of frequently asked questions and put them on the website. The commission would define and shape the Citizens Committee’s role and he suggested selecting members by profile.
Member asked about the role of the Citizens Committee regarding selling consolidation or putting out information and he further stated consolidation would change Clarksville. Mr. Halford stated the citizens were not voting whether to consolidate but actually voting on a Charter. He conveyed it had to be clear on what the Citizen’s Committee was being put together for and what they communicate; pros and cons so the citizens can make their own decision. Another member talked about being governed locally and that the average citizen was not aware of the process.
Member talked about the more the citizens were involved and give feedback the more equipped the Commission would be to address the cons, and the citizens would feel like it is their Charter as well. Another member felt the Citizens Committee had to be an advocate to communicate the benefits of the Charter knowing there will be pieces the people and Commission will not like. Mr. Halford talked about the Citizens Committee having the framework in place to serve the purpose of getting the public informed. Member suggested the group represent every segment of Montgomery County with citizens who are for consolidation.
Member stated it was the Commission’s mission to put forward the best possible Charter they could come up with. It should be conveyed to the citizens a consolidation was in their best interest and let them decide. Member felt the Commission should not have an opinion on whether consolidated government was good or bad. Another member asked how the Commission could create a document and not believe consolidation was the goal. Member voiced his opinion about pushing the charter, doing research on pros and cons, and stated it was not the commission’s position to push a Charter, but have one in case it passes. Other members disagreed.
Mr. Halford suggested developing the citizens’ profile document and map the citizens committee along with the other committees at the next meeting.
Chairman Gambill informed the committee that she would have a more detailed proposal from Mr. Halford about facilitating at the next meeting for review by members.
Developing the Citizens Committee was the next item on the agenda. Member suggested Chairman Gambill appoint 4-5 members of the Commission to select the Citizens Committee.
J. Runyon made a motion to have Chairman Gambill appoint from the commission board a committee to determine how many would be on the Citizens Committee and come up with a list of potential volunteers and then present to the Commission for a vote. Seconded by Mr. Mark Kelly and passed unanimously.
In discussion prior to the vote, member felt the citizens should be from geographic interest groups who would form opinions and give feedback as groups like the real estate industry, city employees, and county residents, as well as feedback at large. Member voiced concern with not seeing individuals from certain areas of the county attending the recent PAC event. He felt without average every day citizens from those areas the consolidation would not pass, and others agreed the committee should be well rounded with all types of citizens. A discussion took place about the PAC and its role in the consolidation effort.
Chairman Gambill reviewed the handout, see attachment, on simple ground rules to following provide by Mr. Halford. She also informed everyone a meeting had taken place with Mr. Dan Nolan about writing the Charter and he agreed. Mr. Nolan will use an associate and paralegal to reduce cost – his fee was $225/hour, and an associate was $195/hour, and he felt a paralegal could to most of the writing for $85/hour. He suggested the committees produce and provide a written word format document to reduce cost, as he could not give an estimate of the hours required to write the Charter. Plans were for the two attorney’s on the committee to assist with the process as much as possible. Chairman Gambill told the committee there was $50,000 for expenses and another reason to handle the marketing from the PAC. She also reminded the committee, as stated in the last meeting, that Katy Olita worked at the same firm as Mr. Nolan and members did not see it as a conflict of interest.
A motion was made by Mr. Carl Wilson to hire Mr. Dan Nolan to write the Consolidation Charger. Seconded by Ms. Maria Jimenez and passed by majority, with one abstention.
Next agenda item was a review of the committees and who would serve on each one. Chairman Gambill talked about all the meetings the committees would need to have with the current governing bodies, elected officials, stakeholder, departments, etc. and suggested electing a chair of each one. It was felt each committee should have a consensus before bringing it to the Commission. The addition of members and Chairman of each committee were elected as follows:
1. General Provisions (Katy, Mark K., Katie, Bob, Maria)
A motion was made by Maria Jimenez to elect Bob Yates as Chairman. Seconded by Katy Olita and passed unanimously.
2. Montgomery County Governing Body (Lyn, Mark K, J., Katy, Katie, Debbie, Jon)
A motion was made by Debbie Frazier to elect Jon Hunter as Chairman. Seconded by J. Runyon and passed unanimously.
3. Departments and Boards (Lyn, Don, Debbie, Jon Charlie)
A motion was made by Don Jenkins to elect Charlie Foust as Chairman. Seconded by Lynn Stokes and passed unanimously.
4. Public Safety (Carl, Mark S, Ray, J., Jon, Don, Katie)
A motion was made by Carl Wilson to elect J. Runyon as Chairman. Seconded by Jon Hunter and passed unanimously.
5. Budget and Financial Matters (Maria, Debbie, Lyn, Mark S, Bob, Mark K)
A motion was made by Debbie Frazier to elect Lynn Stokes as Chairman. Seconded by Mark Smith and passed unanimously. Mark Kelly was added as a member.
6. Schools (Katy, Katie)
It was the consensus that Katy Olita and Katie Gambill would present this committee.
7. Utilities and Franchises (Carl, Mark K, Charlie, Don, Maria)
A motion was made by Don Jenkins to elect Carl Wilson as Chairman. Seconded by Charlie Foust and passed unanimously. Maria Jimenez was added as a member.
8. Administrative Boards, Agencies and Commissions (Keith, Mark S, Charlie, Bob, Ray)
A motion was made by Ray Williams to elect Keith Lampkin as Chairman. Seconded by Mark Smith and passed unanimously. Ray Williams was added as a member.
9. Personnel Management System (Mark S, Maria, Ray, Bob, Katy, J., Debbie)
A motion was made by Mark Smith to elect Debbie Frazier as Chairman. Seconded by Katy Olita and passed unanimously.
10. Judicial (Mark K, Katy, J., Charlie)
Katy Olita would meet with judges and present back to the commission.
11. Elections (Katy, Carl, Don, Ray, Lyn)
A motion was made by Lynn Stokes to elect Don Jenkins as Chairman. Seconded by J. Runyon and passed unanimously.
12. Constitutional Offices and Like City Offices (Debbie, Katie, Maria, Carl, Lyn)
A motion was made by Carol Wilson to elect Maria Jimenez as Chairman. Seconded by J. Runyon and passed unanimously. Lynn Stokes was added as a member.
13. Transition and Effective Date (Charlie, Katie, Jon, Keith, Maria, Debbie)
A motion was made by Katie Gambill to elect Jon Hunter as Chairman. Seconded by Maria Jimenez and passed unanimously. Marie Jimenez and Debbie Frazier were added as members.
For clarity, member confirmed that only the committee members were voting members. Chairman Gambill also confirmed that just because the committee voted and agrees, it does not mean that is what would go into the Charter until the full commission agrees. While reviewing the timeline, members briefly discussed the possibility of committee meetings overlapping, and possible members having more than one meeting taking place at the same time. After reviewing and discussing the committee timeline it was determined to move Elections from January to June to minimize conflicts.
A motion was made by Jon Hunter to accept the amended timeline (Elections moved to June). Seconded by Mark Kelly and passed unanimously.
Chairman Gambill spoke briefly on the PAC to support consolidated government and its goal was to raise money for marketing to avoid using taxpayers’ dollars. Bob Yates was handling the financial end and Chairman Gambill asked for volunteers to help oversee spending and Don Jenkins volunteered. Member questioned with members of the commission being on the PAC were the PAC meetings subject open meetings. It was stated the PAC was its own separate entity and its goal was to market and pass consolidated government, and would not be conducting or voting on business of the commission board.
Member questioned the placement of Building & Codes in the committees and asked for members to consider issues concerning Building & Codes with the Public Safety Committee also.
It was determined the committees would meet the second week of the month and present their information to the full commission the fourth week of the month. Then the commission would vote the following fourth week meeting of the next month. Members were reminded to have meetings posted on both the county and city public calendars. Committee decided minutes were not necessary for the working group subcommittee meetings. Chairman Gambill talked about the timeline being used to let the public know what was being discussed so they could provide ideas and feedback. She briefly touched on a recent town hall meeting held by Commissioner Jason Hodges.
In conclusion, Chairman Gambill will select and notify five members to serve on the Citizens Committee, and that committee will present their suggestions on August 22.
The next Charter Commission meeting was scheduled for August 22, 2017.
With no further business before the committee the meeting was properly adjourned.
Katie Gambill, Chairman
Shelly Baggett, Administrative Assistant
County Mayor’s Office