Carol Gaddy reads from the Tennessee Code Annotated while her husband and son hold a banner.
April 15, 2019 – Carol Gaddy addressed the quarterly meeting of the Sequatchie County Commission with several complaints Monday night.
Accompanied by her husband Thomas and son Kelly, Mrs. Gaddy raised several issues in a rambling tirade that finally caused her to be removed from the meeting.
“This is the fifth year of judicial tyranny so heinous that no citizen of America should be treated this way,” Mrs. Gaddy said. “I equated it to the Nazi days.”
Gaddy referred to her family's legal issues with the city of Dunlap, which began when Mayor Dwain Land asserted that their house on Main Street was not fit to live in. Several charges and counter-charges came out of that conflict over the past four years.
Gaddy presented to the County Commission and County Executive Keith Cartwright additional complaints, including: The county's involvement with the Southeast Tennessee Development District, which she described as part of the “socialist globalist Agenda 21;” the drug problem in the county; excessive taxation; inaccessibility of representatives on the commission; Cartwright serving as both the county executive and the chairman of the commission, which she said violates the separation of powers, and the commission's decision last year to change from monthly meetings to quarterly meetings, which she said does not allow citizens enough time to address the legislative body.
When her five minutes was up, Gaddy refused to stop talking, and after several requests by Cartwright, several commissioners, and finally Sheriff Swanger, the sheriff ordered her to sit down or leave the room. When she turned to go, but continued talking to the packed chamber, Sheriff Swanger took her by the arm and escorted her out the door.
The commission also heard from Randy Reynolds, the administrator of NHC Healthcare.
Reynolds was pleased to announce to the board that NHC Sequatchie was chosen as NHC Facility of the Year.
“This is out of about 100 facilities in the country,” he said. “This is a 21-year-old facility, but it's so taken care of, so much pride in each department. And it's not me. I figure if you have people smarter than you in every place and just get out of the way, you succeed. We try to be the best stewards we can be for what's entrusted to us.”
Reynolds invited those present to visit the nursing home on Wednesday, April 17, at 11 a. m. for a party celebrating the award.
Mayor Dwain Land and County Executive Keith Cartwright present a plaque to dispatchers for 2019 Telecom Week, which is observed nationally April 14-20. L-r are: Mayor Land, Melissa Anderson, Logan McBay, Cindy Brownfield, Tiffany Phillips, EMS Director Winfred Smith, Jr., and Cartwright.
Cartwright presented five proclamations in rapid succession, recognizing April 22-26 as Healthier Tennessee/Step Up Sequatchie Week, May 18 as American Legion Day, April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, participation in the 2020 Census, and April 14-20 as Telecom Week – in honor of the 911 dispatchers.
As the commission begins the budget process for Fiscal Year 2020, there were several budget adjustments to the 2019 budget.
Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Barger presented the following transfers, which were approved unanimously by the board:
- $26,800 to sheriff's equipment – a flow-through of grant money used to purchase new metal detectors for the courtroom.
- $600 to the Beer Board.
- $10,732 to sheriff's vehicle maintenance / insurance recovery.
- $6,400 to workmen's comp. Insurance.
- $152,417 and $132,866 insurance recovery for flood damage.
- $7,000 to capital projects – contract services for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.
- $24,041 to cover repairs to the closed landfill.
- $500, $300, and $200 to part-time employment in the County Clerk's Office.
Emergency Services Committee Chairman Jeff Mackey informed the commission that Commissioner Brian Ruehling had been appointed as deputy EMS (Emergency Management Service) director, which is an unpaid volunteer position.
Mackey also informed the commission of a $53,000 increase in his committee's budget for the next year, due almost exclusively to the build-out of the repeater system, which will allow emergency communications in some of the areas of the county previously hindered by terrain.
As part of the new contract with Puckett EMS, to take effect in the new fiscal year, Puckett gave the county three repeaters. Modifying those repeaters for the county's use will cost $5,000 each, Mackey said. And it will cost a little under $80,000 to move the current Fredonia Mountain repeater to the Wolfpen Fire Tower and establish a new repeater in the valley.
Another $7,200 will cover putting nine AED's in Sheriff's Department vehicles.
Joe Winick, of Erlanger Health Systems, addressed the commission to announce that Sequatchie County had gone from being 91st of 95 counties four years ago regarding health to 33rd in the state in 2019.
“That's incredible progress,” Winick stated. “It's nothing short of amazing.”
Winick also informed the commission that Erlanger-Sequatchie now has artificial intelligence software to accelerate and facilitate diagnosis of stroke patients.
In other business, the Sequatchie County Commission:
- Approved Litter Grant Resolution #729.
- Heard Highway Supervisor Eric Higgins report that a lot of road signs are being stolen, and ask that two surplus items be added to the list to be sold.
- Heard Will Pitt of Puckett EMS state that during the first three months of 2019 the ambulance service had received 474 requests for service, with 197 taken to Erlanger-Sequatchie Emergency Department, and four transported by Life Force helicopter, with response time 10.7 minutes in the city and 17.3 minutes in the county. He also stated that any organization interested in having an AED (automatic external defibrillator) should contact him, because Puckett can provide those at cost.
- Listened to Dr. Winston Pickett provide an update on the Strategic Planning Committee, which is identifying 14 goals for Sequatchie County – some long-term and some short-term. Pickett also reminded those present of Valley Fest, which begins with a carnival April 30 and will feature a Kids Night May 3.
- Approved “Red Barn Road” as a new road name.
- Heard Budget Chairman Barger say his committee is considering two bids for medical service at the county jail, from Southern Health Partners and Dr. Jonathan Kerley.
- Voted to give Cartwright and County Attorney Jennifer Mitchell authority to sign non-binding agreements with Carbon Black Global.
- Thanked Dunlap Stone for providing 150 tons of gravel at cost for Valley Fest.
- Appointed eight new notaries public.
All members of the Sequatchie County Commission were present at Monday's meeting except David Cartwright and Terry Dishman, and all votes were unanimous.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Sequatchie County Commission is Monday, July 15, although there will likely be some special called meetings before then, to finalize the budget for FY2020.
Commission meetings are held at 7 p.m. CDT in the second floor courtroom at the Sequatchie County Courthouse, on Cherry Street in Dunlap. Meetings are open to the public.