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Lafayette Housing Authority Agenda PDF Print E-mail
Friday, February 28, 2014

AMENDED NOTICE

The Lafayette Housing Authority will meet in a Special Called meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at the office of the housing authority, 613 Dycus Circle, Lafayette, TN.

Agenda items include the following:

  1. The Board will discuss and vote upon personnel actions related to Jon A. Wells.
  2. The Board will also discuss and vote upon the appointment of an Interim Executive Director and Interim Leasing and Occupancy Manager.
  3. The Board will also discuss and vote upon future meeting schedules.

This meeting is open to the public.

 
Lafayette Housing Executive Director Dismissed PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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Lafayette Housing Authority (LHA) Executive Director Jon Wells has been dismissed from his position as of Wednesday morning, February 19th, 2014. He has served in that capacity part-time for 33 years and full-time for the past 8 months.

A team from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Memphis Hub Office, was assigned to investigate Lafayette Housing Authority governance and management issues communicated to HUD by its Board and local constituents and to perform training. That visit was conducted on September 23-25, 2013.

In a public document obtained by The Macon County Chronicle, which was sent to the Lafayette Housing Authority Board Chairman and the City of Lafayette, Marcia Lewis, who is the Director of the Memphis Hub of the Office of Public Housing, detailed findings of that visit. She said:

“The team confirmed that Mr. Wells used LHA maintenance staff to move three loads of his own personal property from the law office to a room at LHA which he converted to his new office. Mr. Wells is still carrying on a limited practice of law, including work as City Attorney for Lafayette and Red Boiling Springs. He instructed Assistant Leasing and Occupancy Manager Crystal Carver to write receipts for legal fees brought to the front window by his clients out of a ledger that he produced from his office; and Ms. Carver has complied. Ms. Carver had previously turned someone away that had tried to pay an outside legal fee at the front window of LHA and was verbally reprimanded. Ms. Carver also reported that she has been required to type up leases and deeds and other legal documents for Mr. Wells’ legal practice that have nothing to do with her assigned responsibilities at LHA. Both Ms. Carver and Leasing and Occupancy Manager Lisa Gentry have been threatened by Mr. Wells with being fired for divulging any information regarding their hostile treatment or extra duties assigned outside of LHA business. The office staff says that Mr. Wells is often verbally abusive; and, on at least one occasion, called Ms. Carver a “Moron.” The (HUD) team observed the work environment to be tense and hostile.”

Ms. Lewis further commented:

“It appears that Mr. Wells has no work requiring his immediate attention. Staff informed the team that Mr. Wells worries about angry tenants getting hostile, so he has brought a hand gun to work which he keeps in his office and has said that he would shoot someone in the leg if necessary. The office employees are fearful about this gun being in the office and based on their past experience do not feel threatened by hostile angry tenants. On an infrequent basis, Mr. Wells walks the grounds writing tenants up for items on their front porch that “he says” are a violation of policy. It should be noted that no such policy could be provided to the HUD team.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development also stated in its letter that HUD plans “to do a full management review as soon as funding is approved

Wells dismissal was confirmed by two current board members and when asked if Mr. Wells was present on the 19th or if he would be back in the office, workers at the LHA stated “no” and that Wells would not be back.

 
Candidates Qualify for Upcoming Elections PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessie Williams   
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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The following candidates have officially qualified for the May 6 Republican Primary & City of Lafayette Election and the August 7 County General Election.

The withdrawal deadline for both elections is Thursday, February 27, at noon.

Circuit Court Clerk

Circuit Court Clerk: Rick Gann (R)

Circuit Court Clerk: Tim Smith (R)

Constables

Constable District 1 & 2: Loyd Hix (I)

Constable District 1 & 2: Sammy Morgan (I)

Constable District 3 & 4: Charles T. Dallas (I)

Constable District 5 & 6: Brent Alan Crowder (I)

Constable District 5 & 6: Charles A. Webster (I)

Constable District 7 & 8: Scott East (I)

Constable District 7 & 8: Tony Wayne Law (R)

Constable District 9 & 10: Barry Newberry (I)

Constable District 9 & 10: Corey Lawrence (I)

Constable District 9 & 10: Jeff Lambert (I)

County Clerk

County Clerk: Connie Blackwell (I)

County Clerk: Joe Barber (R)

County Clerk: Keith Tillman (I)

County Clerk: Terilyn L. Sloan (R)

County Commissioner (two elected per district)

County Commissioner District 1: Anthony C. Boles (I)

County Commissioner District 1: Phillip Snow (R)

County Commissioner District 1: Pleas Ford (I)

County Commissioner District 1: Raney Morgan (I)

County Commissioner District 2: Jerry Ray (R)

County Commissioner District 2: Mike Jenkins (R)

County Commissioner District 2: Scott J. Gammons (R)

County Commissioner District 3: Benny Bartley (I)

County Commissioner District 3: Charles Porter (I)

County Commissioner District 3: Wanda L. O’Donoghue (R)

County Commissioner District 4: Fred Jeff Kirby (R)

County Commissioner District 4: Justin Dyer (R)

County Commissioner District 4: Mchelle Phillips (R)

County Commissioner District 4: Michael Wayne Bransford (I)

County Commissioner District 5: Kenneth Witte (I)

County Commissioner District 5: Kimmy L. Warf (I)

County Commissioner District 6: Bryan T. Carter (I)

County Commissioner District 6: Chris N. Wix (R)

County Commissioner District 6: David L. Brewington (I)

County Commissioner District 7: James Brandon Killmon (R)

County Commissioner District 7: Jeffery M. Hughes (I)

County Commissioner District 7: Stacey A. Williams (I)

County Commissioner District 7: Terry E. Atkins (I)

County Commissioner District 7: Troy L. Brawner (I)

County Commissioner District 8: Bobby Ray King (R)

County Commissioner District 8: Chad West (R)

County Commissioner District 8: Don Stevens (I)

County Commissioner District 8: Tim Freeman (I)

County Commissioner District 9: Anthony Bullington (I)

County Commissioner District 9: Barry W. King (I)

County Commissioner District 9: Tom Roberts (I)

County Commissioner District 9: Wendell T. Jones (R)

County Commissioner District 10: Daniel Griggs (I)

County Commissioner District 10: David R. Gunter, Sr. (R)

County Commissioner District 10: Helen Hesson (R)

County Commissioner District 10: Shannon K. Wix (R)

County Mayor

County Mayor: Christopher Guy Grant (I)

County Mayor: Steve Jones (R)

County Trustee

County Trustee: Diane Cook (R)

General Sessions Judge

General Sessions Judge: Ken Witcher (R)

Register of Deeds

Register of Deeds: Cynthia (Cindi) Jones (R)

Register of Deeds: Jane Hesson Wooten (R)

Register of Deeds: Kim Carnhan (R)

Register of Deeds: Pam Cothron (R)

Register of Deeds: Randy East (I)

Sheriff

Sheriff: Mark Gammons (I)

Sheriff: William ‘Butch’ Avera (R)

Lafayette City Council (three open seats)

Lafayette City Council: Jerry Wayne Wix

Lafayette City Council: Marcus K. Smith

Lafayette City Council: Ron Morey

Lafayette City Council: Steve Turner

 

Note: Last Day to Register to Vote - April 7, 2014; Last Day to Request Absentee Ballot - April 29, 2014; Early Voting - April 16 through May 1.

 

The qualifying deadline for the School Board and State Election is April 3, 2014 at noon. That election will determine school board members for Districts 1 & 2 (currently Jimmy Cook) and Districts 3 & 4 (currently Billy Wilmore) along with State offices.

 

 

 

 

 
Three Contenders for Director of Schools PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessie Williams   
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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Macon County School Board members met in regular session last Thursday evening, February 13, narrowing down their search for the next Director of Schools to three contenders – Tony Boles (current Macon County commissioner and RBS High School science teacher), Shawn Carter (current Supervisor of Instruction for Macon County Schools) and Matt Eldridge (former Overton County Director of Schools).

Board members arrived at these three candidates by each naming three of the nine interviewed contenders they would like to re-interview and tallying the three most listed names.

Boles, Carter and Eldridge will go through a second round of interviews on Tuesday, February 18, before a final Director of Macon County Schools is selected by the board.

Three Macon County High students – Ryan Minchey, Michelle Smith and Rachel Underwood – and the parents of Michelle Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Jody Smith, spoke to board members concerning the way that GPA’s are calculated in order to rank the top ten students of the graduating class.

According to those students and parents, the current GPA calculations reward those students who take an easier academic path and unjustly discriminate against students choosing to take a more academically challenging path.

It was also stated that students who received at least one B during their high school career were ranked higher than students with straight A’s due to pass/fail classes (fourth block sports and teacher’s aids).

“I’m asking the board to change this policy... So that current juniors’ and sophomores’ class ranks and GPA’s are evaluated fairly,” said MCHS senior Minchey. “Unlike us. Which I personally feel like we’ve been discriminated against for choosing the more academically challenging path.”

Each of the speakers stated that while they didn’t want to take away from any of their fellow classmates’ achievements, they believe that some students should’ve had higher rankings than others.

“Even the students who benefit from this ranking system – the students in the top ten – have truly been punished because they had to choose as freshman whether they wanted to pursue academically challenging courses or whether they wanted to be ranked in the top of their class,” said MCHS senior Smith.

Smith’s mother urged board members to amend the current policy in order to prove that education matters.

The only board member to comment on the topic was Rebecca Tuttle, who stated that these students will go on to accomplish great things ‘without regard to a number or placement assigned to them right now.’ No further discussion was had.

The current formula for calculating GPA’s affects this year’s senior class, the 2014-2015 senior class and the 2015-2016 senior class. The school board voted some time ago to change the GPA policy beginning the 2016-2017 school year.

Also during last week’s meeting, Supervisor of Attendance Brenda Eller informed the board that Macon County has exhausted all of its ‘stock piled’ days up until parent/teacher conferences. In order to make up some of those days, Eller suggested that students and teachers attend school on February 17 (President’s Day) and February 26 (parent/teacher conferences). Otherwise any other missed days of school due to weather will have to be taken off of Spring Break.

Board members agreed with Eller’s suggestion, voting to approve the revision of the 13-14 SY calendar to include attendance on those two days.

If no more snow days are accumulated, or if more snow days are accumulated, the school calendar will have to be revised again to be sure students are in attendance for a total of 180 days.

In other business:

  • School board members voted to approve the consent agenda (leave requests, trip requests, minutes from previous meeting).
  • The board voted to approve a resolution honoring the Macon County High School Marching Band. The resolution applauds the band’s accomplishments for the 2013-2014 School Year under the direction of band director Joey Wilburn and assistant band director Jennifer Holmes. The MCHS Marching Band received the title of 2A State Champions during the 13-14 SY.
  • Red Boiling Springs High School principal Don Jones requested that RBS science teachers be able to design the floor plan for the school’s science lab. Board members agreed to his request.
  • The revision of Policy 6.4031 (head lice) was approved on second and final reading.
  • Board members tabled the approval to donate a metal building to the Lions Club until the March meeting so that Maintenance Supervisor Randy Robinson could be in attendance.
  • Board members voted to raise the pay for substitute bus drivers from $40 a day to $45 a day in order to try to get more hired. It was explained that many full-time bus drivers have been sick and more subs are needed. The sub positions are also offered to teachers.
  • Board members voted to drop discussion of the CTE position, leaving the position information unchanged.
  • The board voted to approve the school calendar for the 2014-2015 School Year. The approved calendar was voted on by Macon County teachers, who opted to have school on Veterans Day (175 yes, 30 no).
  • Board members voted to declare library items in the Macon County Junior High School storage to be ‘surplus’ so they can be auctioned off.
  • Am 8th grade dance fundraiser to raise funds for the MCJHS cheerleaders and tennis teams was approved by the board. The dance will be held March 1, 2014. 

 
Two Fires in Willette Last Week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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Members of the Willette Volunteer Fire Department were exhausted last week after fighting two raging fires on Monday and Wednesday, February 10 & 12. Chief Danny Dozier was in charge of both fire scenes.

Chief Danny Dozier spoke with the Macon County Chronicle over the weekend and said the first fire was at the residence of Jean West at 7299 Union Camp Road, which originally came in at 6:40 p.m. Monday night, as a car explosion. “Evidently a 1999 Cadillac blew up in the garage and two buildings were destroyed and one heavily damaged,” said Chief Dozier. “The fire was about 25 feet from the house and we were able to keep it from spreading that far, ultimately saving the home.”

The cause was undetermined. The 13 firefighters utilized two engines and a tanker, leaving the scene a little after 9:00 p.m.

At 12:38 a.m. Wednesday morning, the Willette firefighters were dispatched to the home of Rocky Wright located at 621 Willette Road. “When we arrived the house was a fully involved blazing inferno and part of the roof had already fallen in,” said the Chief. “We have determined that the cause of the fire was the old flue that went through the roof which had broke and fell in the house.”

The home was a total loss. Ten members of the fire department were at the site along with two engines and a tanker.

Chief Danny Dozier would like to thank all his men for a job well done in saving Jean West’s home. “I would also like to thank my squad for the hard work at the second fire where we battled cold temperatures as well as the blaze.”

Also responding to both scenes were the Macon County Sheriffs Office, Macon County EMS, and Tri Count Electric.

 
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