|Squires want less intrusion from state|
|Tuesday, April 17, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
Wilson County Commission passed a resolution Monday night opposing legislation at the state level that would limit the local government from making its own decisions on what they feel is best for the county.
District 13 Commissioner Clint Thomas proposed the resolution, providing it to the commission last month. Thomas said the state legislature has proposed and passed numerous bills that limit the county’s authority over local issues.
“I think we can run Wilson County better than the people in Nashville,” said District 14 Commissioner Jeff Joines, who agreed with Thomas’ resolution.The resolution passed 22 to 1 with District 11 Commissioner Jim Bradshaw abstaining. District 16 Commissioner Jason Brockman and District 24 Commissioner Paul Abercrombie were absent.
Bradshaw abstained due to his absence from the previous meeting, noting he had only received the resolution Monday night and did not feel comfortable voting on the matter.
Thomas said a lot of proposed legislation during the current session is getting in the way of local issues that local governments should be left to handle. He likened the situation to the General Assembly wanting the Federal government to stay out of state issues.
The resolution states that legislation would “limit (the county’s) ability to make and enforce zoning and land use issues and will limit its authority regarding other matters generally left to local governing bodies.”
Thomas referred to Senate Bill 2492 and House Bill 2639, which according to Wilson County Attorney Mike Jennings, prohibits local governments from adopting more stringent requirements about sprinkler systems in one- and two-family dwellings.
The bills remove the present authorization for counties to adopt mandatory sprinkler requirements.
“Minimum statewide building construction safety standards do not include mandatory sprinkler requirements for one- and two-family dwellings,” Jennings said.
Also, Thomas referred to SB 3648 and HB 3696, which Jennings said would “greatly change our existing zoning regulations.” Many other bills Thomas felt stood in the way of local governments were in relation to zoning regulations, planning and land use issues.
“I think if they hear from other bodies like us, they’ll rethink some of these things,” Thomas said.
Also during the meeting, commission unanimously approved a resolution requesting the state to name a stretch of Hartmann Drive between Baddour Parkway and Coles Ferry Pike in honor of the late Danny Evins, founder of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
District 23 Commissioner Bernie Ash, who said Evins “probably would not approve of what we’re doing,, presented the resolution. Ash noted Evins never wanted to be in the limelight, but said he was a great citizen of Wilson County.
The national headquarters for Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores Inc., is located on the stretch of Hartmann Drive to be named after Evins.
Ash said that Evins helped more than 67,000 people nationwide obtain jobs due to his founding of the restaurant chain.
Evins passed away on Jan. 14, 2012, following a battle with bladder cancer. He started the first Cracker Barrel restaurant at the intersection of Leeville Pike and Highway 109, just off Interstate 40 in 1969. Today, the company owns more than 600 restaurants in 42 states.
Ash noted the resolution incorrectly asks permission of the state to dedicate the street to Evins. Hartmann Drive is a City of Lebanon road and Lebanon City Attorney Andy Wright said the council has domain over naming and dedicating city streets. The resolution is expected to be revised.