Sorey challenges Budget Committee, wife wins husbands vacated commission seat

By BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post

How to fund a new Lebanon High School was once again a topic of discussion at Monday night’s Wilson County Commission meeting with one commissioner telling a committee chair to figure out how to pay for a new school.

Wilson County voters went to the polls on Oct. 1 to vote on whether to raise the wheel tax by $25 to fund the construction and purchase land for a new Watertown High School. Voters turned down the increase.

District 2 Commissioner Chris Sorey told District 23 Commissioner Bernie Ash, who is also chairman of the Budget Committee, that he and the panel need to start thinking outside the box on funding for the new LHS.

“It’s not a question of do we want a new LHS or even if we need one,” Sorey said. “We need one, but the public has told us loud and clear that they don’t want a tax. We could cut the budget 2 percent across the board or even give up our salaries. We just need to do something.”

Ash said the Budget Committee had done all they could to remedy the funding issue and that if Sorey or any other commissioner had any ideas on how to raise the money to come to the Budget Committee meeting and tell them about it.

“I would rather you just do it,” Sorey said. “Another thing, we don’t know when to come to your meetings because you don’t put your agendas up on the County Commission’s website, even though we passed the resolution a few months ago that required you to do so. I’ve already given you a resolution and nothing happened, so just do it.”

In other business, Georgia Franklin, wife of former District 7 Commissioner Don Franklin, was elected to complete her husband’s term. Her opponent, Wilson Emergency Management Agency employee Terry Scruggs, received one vote.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their vote,” Mrs. Franklin said. “I will try to continue the traditions of this office and serve my district well.”

Mr. Franlin was in attendance as District 6 Commissioner Kenny Reich read a resolution honoring him for his years of service in government and education. State Sen. Mae Beavers also read a resolution passed by the state legislature honoring Franklin.

“I’ve got a long haul,” Mr. Franklin said, “but we’re making it. Thank you for this and for your support.”

Mr. Franklin recently resigned his seat after suffering a stroke in May.

Director of Schools Mike Davis said in his report that the repairs to Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School had been made and that the cracks in the foundation were as though they had not existed. He also said that the new science lab at Watertown High School was also finished.

Staff Writer Ben Dudley may be contacted at