Overton County Commission has replaced the chair of its Budget Committee with County Executive Steven Barlow.
That, after Barlow and CTAS Representative Ben Rodgers made a discovery in the county’s by-laws. Rodgers said Overton County is one of some 15 counties in the state operating under the County Budgeting Law of 1957.
Rodgers said if adopted by the county, that act provides for a budget committee of five members including the county executive. That individual serves as chair.
“Under ’57, the county mayor could appoint four citizens along with themselves as county mayor and then the commission confirms that,” Rodgers said. “But most of the time in a 1957 commission, it’s made up of four county commissioners and that county mayor.”
Barlow said once the discovery was made, they made the change to be in compliance with their county’s provisions.
Rodgers said other counties in Tennessee operate under general law or the Centralized Financial Management Act of 1981. He said Putnam County operates under general law, which means the county commission can structure the committee however it wants.
“I’m guessing they just saw a need where they can help the highway department out,” Rodgers said. “And put somebody with maybe a little more experience in budgeting and accounting over their general ledger and their books as well.”
Some county commissioners have asked Overton County Lawyer Lille Sells to investigate changing the law and expanding the committee to have a representative from each district.