Dear University Community,
On Dec. 29, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Jake Owensby, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, was elected the 26th chancellor of the University of the South by the Board of Trustees, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Robert Skirving, bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina, who served as chancellor since October 2018. Chosen from the 27 constituent dioceses for a term of six years, the chancellor is president, ex officio, of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Board of Regents.Bishop Owensby graduated from the School of Theology in 1997 and was elected bishop of the Diocese of Western Louisiana in 2012. A member of the University’s Board of Regents since 2019, he has served on the Mission Fulfillment Committee, the School of Theology Subcommittee, the ad hoc Governance Committee, and the Vice-Chancellor Search Committee.Owensby has served the Episcopal Church as a member of the Standing Commission on Governance, Structure, Constitution, and Canons; the House of Bishops Pastoral Development Committee; and the Task Force on the Opioid Crisis. He has also served as president of the Louisiana Interchurch Council and currently serves as vice president of Province VII and as a member of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice.As a result of Bishop Owensby’s election, a vacancy was created on the Board of Regents. During this meeting to elect a new chancellor, a separate election was held in which the Rt. Rev. Dr. Glenda Curry was chosen to fill the open seat for the remaining three years of Bishop Owensby’s term as a board member.The Rt. Rev. Dr. Glenda Curry was seated as the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Alabama on Jan. 9, 2021. She is the first woman elected to serve as bishop in the diocese.In addition to filling Bishop Owensby’s position on the Board of Regents, a third and final election was held to fill the seat vacated upon Bishop Trustee Regent Kee Sloan’s resignation on Dec. 8, 2022. In this election, the Rt. Rev. Brian Lee Cole was chosen to succeed Bishop Sloan for the 10 months remaining in his term.The Rt. Rev. Brian Lee Cole is the fifth bishop of the Diocese of East Tennessee. Prior to his election as bishop, he served as rector at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, Kentucky.
(NASHVILLE) – A collection of bills sponsored by Senate Republicans will become effective on January 1, 2023. This includes key legislation that provides tax relief to farmers. The law exempts farmers from sales tax on items and services used for agriculture production, including building materials, repair services, and labor, among other expenses used in agriculture production.
The tax reduction totals $2.8 million, and does not include items such as automobiles, household appliances, or fuel used in vehicles that travel on public highways in the state.
“Agriculture is the backbone of Tennessee’s economy, and I am glad we can provide assistance to hardworking farmers who are dedicated to putting food on the tables of families across the region,” said Senator John Stevens (R-Huntington), who sponsored the legislation. “By eliminating this sales tax, we can help small family farms stay in the family for generations by lowering costs and making it easier to turn a profit. I am very pleased to have had the privilege to sponsor the legislation that made this possible.”
Another new law aims to support foster youth. The law reimburses eligible relatives of foster youth to support the cost of raising the child. It also expands eligibility to ages 18-21 for foster youth transitioning from state custody to adulthood to access services.
“This legislation will help keep foster kids in family without them coming into state custody and experiencing the trauma that can occur,” said Senator Page Walley (R-Savannah), who co-sponsored the bill. “I believe this legislation is a step in the right direction for our kids, our families and our state.”
Two other new laws offer consumer and privacy protections. One of them requires businesses that allow someone to sign up for a service or subscription online to provide a clear way to end or cancel the subscription without any additional steps. If a company violates the act, then the individual who suffered a loss may bring civil action for damages.
The other law strengthens privacy protections for Tennessee homeowners who may not want their home address easily accessible. The law allows homeowners to file a written request to the property assessor to have their first and last name appear as “unlisted” in the ownership field of online databases.
“There have been instances where law enforcement officers, in particular deputies or police officers have had individuals find out where they live and literally come to their homes,” said bill sponsor Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville). “This law would help prevent situations like that from happening.”
Another new law mandates annual human trafficking training. The new law requires the Department of Correction, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and the Department of Human Services are directed to work with a nonprofit charitable organization to provide mandatory training to the appropriate personnel on the identification, intervention, prevention and treatment of human trafficking victims.
The Tennessee General Assembly will convene January 10 to begin the 2023 session of the 113th General Assembly.
The University’s Winter Convocation will be at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20. Three honorary degrees will be presented, and new members will be inducted into the Order of the Gown.
Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College, community leader Bonita (Bonnie) G. McCardell, and Vice-Chancellor Emeritus John M. McCardell Jr. will be awarded honorary degrees. Dr. Hildreth will give the convocation address.
James E.K. Hildreth is the 12th president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent historically Black academic health sciences center. Hildreth earned a B.A. in chemistry from Harvard University and was selected as the first African American Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas. He earned a Ph.D. in immunology from Oxford University and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Hildreth’s research in immunology and virology, with a focus on HIV, has resulted in more than 110 publications in top journals and 11 patents. His seven years as president of Meharry Medical College have been impactful and transformative. The College’s research funding base has tripled, a new school of Applied Computational Sciences was launched, and a number of innovative partnerships have been launched including State of Tennessee-supported training programs to increase the number of physicians and dentists serving rural communities in the state.
Bonnie G. McCardell is a community leader whose strategic vision and unwavering focus has helped the many organizations with which she has been involved become stronger and more unified. She started her career in journalism and public relations but soon turned to education and community engagement. Upon earning a master’s degree in early childhood special education from the University of South Carolina, McCardell worked in one of the original early childhood special education programs in Middlebury, Vermont, before becoming director of the Mary Johnson Children’s Center. She also served on the Vermont Governor’s Partnership for Child Care Committee. After moving to Sewanee in 2010, McCardell helped to develop Discover Together in Tracy City, which builds family resiliency through programs focused around place, community, and literacy. She was a founding board member of the South Cumberland Community Fund, where she served as chair of communications and then as chair of community development. Her work early in her tenure in Sewanee inspired the development of the Community Fund, as she organized the first community conversations to assess need and capacity on the Plateau for creating a philanthropic organization. In South Carolina, she serves as a committee member for the Beaufort Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation.
John M. McCardell Jr. is vice-chancellor emeritus of the University of the South. He served as Sewanee’s 16th vice-chancellor from 2010 to 2020 and then as a member of the history faculty until his retirement in 2022. Prior to his arrival on the Mountain, McCardell spent 34 years at Middlebury College serving as a professor, a dean, the provost, and as president from 1991 to 2004. During McCardell’s tenure, Sewanee enjoyed record applications to the College, growth in the reach of the School of Theology, and increased recognition as a leading national liberal arts university. Under his leadership, the Stronger Truer Sewanee fundraising campaign eclipsed its original $250 million goal to raise a total of $294 million to support financial aid, facilities like the Sewanee Inn, the Wellness Commons, and the University Bookstore, and programs promoting Global Citizenship and Community Engagement. McCardell also spearheaded an effort to bring dining services in-house rather than contracted, improving job security and employment conditions for food-service workers, and reorienting the food service to promote local agriculture, good nutrition, and sustainability.
Local residents will step up to serve as volunteers on the annual Martin Luther King Jr., holiday. Volunteers will participate in a bed building event, joining hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country in volunteer service. Sewanee’s Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Inclusive Excellence, All Saints’ Chapel and the SCP-AmeriCorps VISTA Project invite students, faculty, staff, and other Sewanee residents to join in serving the local community while building community with one another.
On Monday, Jan. 16, from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., volunteers will gather in the parking lot of the Fowler athletic center on Sewanee’s campus and work in partnership with the South Pittsburg chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. While SHP is a national organization, all of the beds built will go to children in our community who otherwise would not have a bed to sleep in. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. than to come together in service and unity.
For those interested in participating, sign up to volunteer by Jan. 4, 2023 at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNQvU55Huz8VkxfBzJtRKxDkCfpdCp2IwKId481lJnpUrrlw/viewform
Lunch will be provided at noon by the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the Dec. 13 meeting, the Sewanee Utility District nominated the slate of candidates for the upcoming commissioner election. The board also discussed SUD’s $1,560,000 Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) grant application.
The board nominated Ellis Mayfield and Clay Yeatman as candidates for the Marion County commissioner’s seat which comes open in January. To qualify to serve as the Marion County board representative, the candidate must be a SUD customer residing in Marion County. Board President Charlie Smith said two other individuals had expressed interest in running for the seat and asked how they could become candidates. SUD manager Ben Beavers said Marion County customers could qualify as candidates until Jan. 3 by submitting a petition signed by 10 Marion County SUD customers. Petitions are available at the SUD office.
Voting begins Jan. 3, the first business day after the holiday, and continues through Jan. 24, during regular business hours at the SUD office. The January commissioner’s meeting will be held the fourth Tuesday, Jan. 24, instead of the third Tuesday, to allow more time for voting after the holiday. All SUD customers can vote in the election, not just Marion County customers. Regulations allow one vote per household.
Reporting on finances, Beavers said SUD was “in good shape financially” and would be able to meet the 15 percent matching funds requirement for the TDEC grant. Beavers said TDEC had received over 400 applications. He has not received any news on the status of SUD’s application. The grant, funded by American Recovery Plan money administered by TDEC, stipulates SUD must spend the money to address Inflow and Infiltration into the sewer system, the only category where SUD ranked deficient in a TDEC survey. The hydro excavator earmarked for purchase with the grant money is set to be delivered and will be paid for on a no-interest lease with option to buy contract until the grant money is received. Beavers said the hydro excavator was a budgeted purchase for 2023, and SUD could cover the cost if the grant money failed to come through.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
After more than an hour-long discussion at the Dec. 12 meeting, the Franklin County School Board decided to hold a special called meeting at 8 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, to vote on awarding employees midyear raises or bonuses. “This is more urgent than anyone understands. People are really struggling, and [employees] are getting angry and they’re leaving,” said non-voting student representative Cason Orr, prompting the board to take immediate action rather than deferring a decision until January. The board could not vote Dec. 12 since the agenda only called for discussion on the raise-bonus question.
At the October meeting, North Middle School teacher Amy Smith asked the board to consider midyear bonuses, $2,000 for certified employees and $1,000 for classified employees. The discussion Dec. 12 opened with board member Sara Liechty stressing, despite raises given for the 2022-2023 school year, Franklin County starting teacher salaries fell $1,400-$1,500 below surrounding counties Bedford, Coffee, and Lincoln and several $100 below Grundy County. Board member Sarah Marhevsky insisted both teachers and classified employees should receive raises, and a retroactive raise from the start of the current school year could function as a bonus.
Director of Schools Stanley Bean said although he was “cautiously optimistic” the county would receive increased revenue from the new state funding formula TISA (Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement), he did not anticipate having figures on the amount until after the first of the year. “We give raises off growth from property tax and sales tax and TISA,” Bean said.
Board Chair Cleijo Walker said she did not anticipate the county commission increasing schools’ percent of tax revenue.
Board Vice Chair Lance Williams said a $1,400 raise for teachers alone would require drawing nearly one million dollars ($900,000) from the reserve fund balance this year and every year going forward. Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) revenue resulted in the unusually high fund balance, Williams noted, since money had been returned to the fund balance the past three years. Liechty countered the excess fund balance resulted not from ESSER but COVID. “We held school differently for a couple years,” Liechty said.
“What amount do we feel comfortable with,” Marhevsky asked, acknowledging the TISA uncertainty.
“We need numbers from TISA,” Williams said. “Raising salaries out of the fund balance is dangerous.”
Williams favored a one-time bonus, estimating a $750 bonus for all 720 district employees would cost $540,000.
Bean proposed a $300 retroactive midyear raise for teachers and $600 raise going forward and a percentage amount wage increase for classified employees. Human Resources Supervisor Linda Foster said a flat $600 raise would “mess up” the graduated pay scale based on percentage increases for years of service. Foster estimated increasing the starting teacher salary by $600 with proportionate increases for years of service, including fringe benefits, would cost $384,000. Foster will calculate the cost of a percentage wage increase for the 300 support employees for the board to consider at the Saturday meeting. Any raise or bonus authorized by the board will need approval from the county finance committee at the Jan. 17 meeting. “Ask for what you require to get where you need to be,” recommended Franklin County Finance Director Andrea Smith.
In other business the board heard an update from consultant Gary Clardy on the school district’s maintenance needs. Clardy recently circulated a survey to board members and maintenance personnel, interviewed all maintenance workers, and inspected vehicles and equipment. “I was struck by the amount of junk they’re travelling around in,” Clardy confessed. He also cited deficiencies in “buildings and material organization.” Clardy plans to interview board members and promised detailed recommendations for prioritized capital improvements in February. “It’s not all going to happen,” Clardy said, acknowledging the cost over 10 years would be in the “21-billion-dollar level.”
On Bean’s recommendation, the board voted to move forward with the TRANE project for lighting upgrades, which will reduce operating costs.
Reporting on the search for a new director, Walker said the deadline for applications was Jan. 31. The timeline proposed reaching a decision in March.
At a recent elective chapter meeting, Sr. Hannah, CSM was elected the next prioress of the Community of St. Mary. The prioress serves as the leader of the Community and is elected to a five year term. Sr. Hannah’s installation will take place on Sunday, January 22, 2023 with a Eucharist at 8:30 a.m. in the Convent Chapel. Sr. Hannah joined the Community in 2015 as a postulant and made her life profession in 2021.
Reflecting on her election, Sr. Hannah said: “My favorite words of wisdom from the Rule of St. Benedict are “Never lose hope in God’s mercy.” Since the humble beginnings of our Community in 1865, led by our foundress Harriet Starr Cannon and four other Sisters – Jane, Sarah, Mary and Amelia – God’s mercy has created, sustained, and strengthened our Order for almost 157 years. Being a part of the oldest women’s religious community in the Episcopal Church means that we stand on the shoulders of unknown and unheralded women whose service quietly enriched the areas they ministered to, and whose lives of prayer benefited all of the world. As leader, Sr. Madeleine Mary worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the past ten years for the good of the Community throughout its joys and sorrows, challenges and successes. Her work enabled us to continue on this history, and to thrive and expand our work, ministries, and connections to the world. I am deeply honored to be elected as the next prioress, and I ask your prayers for guidance, as I, with our Community, strive to discern where the mercy of God guides us in this next chapter of our history.”
Following a resolution passed at General Convention 80, January 22 will also mark the renewed observance of Religious Life Sunday sponsored by The Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in the Americas (CAROA). They explain: “This observance focuses our efforts to tell all Episcopalians and Anglicans about our monastic and Christian Communities and what we offer the church,” and thus it is a fitting day to mark such a transition in the life of our Community. Learn more about Religious Life Sunday by visiting <religiouslifesunday.org>.
After a decade serving as prioress, Sr. Madeleine Mary, CSM will enjoy a sabbatical period before returning to the Community. On Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, the Community will celebrate Sr. Madeleine Mary’s leadership with a reception in the Convent following Evening Prayer at 5 p.m. “We have much to be grateful for. God has supported our community both through great trials and deep blessings in the last 10 years. Our friends, Associates, and Oblates, likewise, have supported the Community and continue to partner with it in extending its ministry. I look forward to this new chapter in our history as Sr. Hannah becomes Prioress and leads us into new directions and new growth. May God bless her as she undertakes her ministry as Prioress and may she be a blessing to others through her leadership,” said Sr. Madeleine Mary.
Cooperative weather observations began at the University of the South in Sewanee, on March 1, 2000. Since that time, more than 8,300 observations have been recorded, with quite a wide variety of wild weather in those 20-plus years. Here are just a few of the notable weather tidbits over the last 20ish years:
More than 1,455 inches of rain have been measured during this time, which equates to over 121 feet of rain if it had all fallen at once. The wettest year on record was 2020, when 99.09” fell. The driest year on record was during the widespread drought of 2007, when only 34.17” fell. The wettest day measured at Sewanee occurred on April 27, 2011 when 5.16” fell. Conversely, regarding snowfall at the site, over 90” of snow have been measured since 2000, which equates to just over 7.5 feet if it all fell at once. The snowiest year on record was this year (2022), when 15.8” of snow fell (12.8” of that fell in January 2022 alone). The snowiest day on record occurred back on Jan. 10, 2011 when 7” fell.
A wide array of temperatures have also been observed since the site began in 2000. The warmest temperature recorded occurred in June of 2012 when 101F was observed. Conversely, the coldest morning low temperature recorded at Sewanee was in January of 2003 when -4F occurred.
The NWS is thankful for the teamwork of observers through the 20-plus years at the University of the South, and appreciate their hard work and service to provide the National Weather Service with observational weather data. From NWS Director Ken Graham, NWS Southern Region Director Mike Coyne, NWS Huntsville Meteorologist-in-Charge Todd Barron, and local Observations Program Leader at NWS Huntsville Chelly Amin, we congratulate Sandy Gilliam, Nathan Wilson, Nicole Nunley, and everyone else along the way on receiving this 20 Year Length of Service Award.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the Dec. 6 meeting, developer Tom Kale asked the Monteagle Planning Commission to consider a downsized version of a 50-acre residential development the commission rejected last May. The commission revisited a proposal for a convenience store and restaurant. Both projects would be in the I-24 exit 134 vicinity.
The proposed Hideaway of Monteagle residential development bordering Wrens Nest Avenue and Highway 41 (behind the Quality Inn and McDonald’s) calls for 83 single family homes, 800 square feet minimum, and 10,000 square feet minimum lot size (average 0.4 acres). Kale’s rejected proposal asked the commission to approve rezoning the property from R-1 to R-2 to allow for 105 vacation-rental units, 600 square feet in size. Based on development in the area, the new project predicted 33 full-time residential units and 49 recreational use rental units. Kale estimated the cost of home ownership in the gated development as an “affordable $300,000.” The project calls for three parks and a trail buffer surrounding the property.
A resident expressed concern about traffic from Wrens Nest entering West Main Street. Civil engineer Tran Walker said traffic studies at peak-congestion hours showed traffic “not noticeably worse.” Another resident objected to the small lot size and large number of lots and pointed out cutting trees from the forested tract would increase interstate noise. Landscape architect Brad Brackett said the site would “not be clear-cut.” Kale added the proposal limited the number of trees lot owners could remove. A Homeowners’ Association (HOA) will eventually assume governance of the development. Mayor Greg Maloof recommended the HOA limit the number of rentable units, noting renters were often “people who don’t care about the appearance of the property.”
The commission tabled the proposal for further review and for input from city engineer Travis Wilson on water and sewer capacity.
Two issues troubled the proposed convenience store and restaurant bordering West Main Street and Parker Street. The 0.7 acre project fell 10,000 square feet short of the 20 percent landscaping requirement. In addition, city ordinance requires 30 feet in the rear of the building for loading and unloading. Project architect Pat Neuhoff suggested “pervious” turf stone in the parking area contributed to landscaping and helped control stormwater runoff. Property owner Jignesh Patel said plans called for landscaping the substantial right of way area if the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) would grant approval. Neuhoff noted TDOT did not want to maintain the right of way.
Planning commissioners Ed Provost and Dorraine Parmley observed neighboring commercial properties had no landscaping. “The whole area is a dog,” a resident commented. “Let’s bring up the level of what we expect.” Commission Chair Iva Michelle Russell concurred, “It [the project] should be a showpiece.” The commission tabled the project to allow Patel to investigate TDOT’s response to landscaping the right of way. Patel will seek a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals on the loading area requirement.
Going forward into 2023 the commission will consider adopting an ordinance regulating electric vehicle charging stations. Town planner Annya Shalun said she received two requests for EV charging stations and had nothing on which to base recommendations. The commission will also consider charging a fee for repeated site plan review. Shalun said she had reviewed one project seven or eight times, and the developer had not responded to her recommendations.
Two related unfinished business items will be before the commission in 2023: one, whether the town needs more storage unit facilities and should allow storage units as a special exception in C-3 commercial zoning; two, whether the town needs property zoned I-1 industrial. Currently no property has that designation. I-1 zoning allows storage units, but also toxic waste storage and adult entertainment establishments.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
The Community Action Committee of St. Mark and St. Paul Parish has long epitomized the Sewanee angel tradition of safekeeping. The CAC recently welcomed new wings tapping Sarah Edmonds to serve as director. “We sought someone with a passion for and commitment to serving those in need,” said the Rev. Rob Lamborn, rector of St. Mark & St. Paul. “We want each client to feel not just served but cared for.” Said Edmonds about stepping up to the challenges of that role, “It’s what I came here to do.”
Edmonds arrived on the Plateau in January of 2021 as an AmeriCorp VISTA tasked with overseeing the hunger relief effort, working mainly with the South Cumberland Summer Meals program, as well as area food banks and food ministries such as the CAC. But her year of service ended too soon to suit her. “I fell in love with the area. I was not ready to leave,” Edmonds said. She took a position with the Monteagle Inn and Retreat Center and became a member of the CAC board, expanding her VISTA-tenure connection with the program. When she learned CAC was seeking a new director, she gathered her courage and decided to apply for the position. “I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t take the chance,” Edmonds said.
David Goodpaster, CAC Director for much of the pandemic, stepped down to embrace parish ministry full time. During his tenure, Goodpaster served as minister at Christ Church in Tracy City and will now serve at St. James Church in Midway, as well. Goodpaster became the CAC director immediately after completing seminary. “There’s an element of service in being ordained,” Goodpaster said. “The CAC job threw me right into the mix of the community, church, and University. I really thrived in cultivating those connections.” Leaving the CAC “was not an easy decision,” Goodpaster said, but he added, “I went to seminary to be a parish priest. I love parish ministry.”
As with Goodpaster, Edmonds came to know the CAC during the pandemic. “I learned the CAC at the level of safety and caution,” Edmonds said. “The hardest part was no contact. Getting to talk to people really makes a difference, the human connection.” Edmonds cherishes the CAC’s multi-pronged approach to helping people — food ministry, utility bill assistance, short term lodging. But what she loves most about the CAC is the organization’s capacity “for bringing people together. The CAC is open every day and there to help whoever walks in the door.”
Edmonds hopes to bring back some “pre-pandemic era” CAC programs, host more fundraisers, and bring people together for more community events such as the once monthly community meal.
Before moving to Monteagle, Edmonds called Portsmouth, Va., home. She came to AmeriCorp directly on the heels of graduating from Christopher Newport University with a degree in Environmental Biology. The search committee consisting of Lamborn and four parishioners faced the tough task of selecting a director from among three highly qualified candidates. “Sarah is great,” said Goodpaster applauding the committee’s choice. “The CAC is in good hands.”
“I’m excited to get started,” Edmonds said. “Good things keep happening for me here. I feel at home and connected.”
Southern Tennessee Regional Health System (STRHS)-Winchester/Sewanee is pleased to announce the expansion of services through the reopening of the STRHS-Sewanee Skilled Nursing Facility.
STRHS-Sewanee’s Skilled Nursing Facility will officially reopen on Dec. 6. An open house and ribbon cutting will be 9–11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 9.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to expand our services at our Sewanee campus. We understand that this reopening comes with much anticipation, and we look forward to bringing this service back to the community,” said Adam Martin, STRHS-Winchester/Sewanee Chief Executive Officer.
In 2021, a long-term lease renewal agreement was executed with the University of the South, allowing STRHS to continue to operate the hospital located on the campus. This ongoing partnership with the University of the South demonstrates STRHS’s commitment to providing high quality patient care, close to home in the communities it serves.
Located on the beautiful campus of the University of the South, STRHS is proud to be a member of the tightknit community of Sewanee. The campus location offers 24/7 emergency care, diagnostic imaging, skilled nursing, outpatient therapy services, and outpatient lab services. The nursing and support staff strive to provide individualized care directed to the specific needs of each patient.
Part of LifePoint Health, STRHS-Winchester/Sewanee, provides inpatient and outpatient services to Franklin County and the surrounding area at their 198-bed acute and skilled care facilities and 24 physician practices. For more information, visit <SouthernTnSewanee.com> or <SouthernTnWinchester.com>.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
More than 40 people attended the Nov. 28 Monteagle Town Council meeting where the new mayor and recently elected alderpersons were sworn in. One of the new administrations first actions was to deny a recommendation by the planning commission to rezone a tract from commercial C-3 to industrial I-1.
Following the swearing in of Mayor Greg Maloof, returning alderpersons Jessica Favaloro, Dorraine Parmley, and Nate Wilson, and newly elected alderman Dan Sargent, the council turned to three zoning amendments recommended by the planning commission. Wilson took exception to the C-3 to I-1 rezoning requested by property owner Dean Lay for a tract in the vicinity of the Red Roof Inn near I-24 exit 135. “Industrial zoning allows for the establishment of adult oriented businesses, junk yards, and toxic waste storage,” Wilson said. “It’s not clear what Mr. Lay wants to do with it [the property].” Wilson requested “further conversation,” pointing out nearby property was recently rezoned “away from industrial for an RV resort.” Wilson and Sargent both voted against the rezoning, blocking its approval.
The council approved R-3 to C-2 rezoning next to a tract zoned C-2 on Highway 41 across from the National Guard Armory. The council also approved R-3 to C-2 rezoning for six Katherine Avenue parcels behind CVS Pharmacy. Wilson noted most of the neighboring property was commercial. Tony Gilliam, who owns a neighboring property zoned residential, had no objections.
The council elected Wilson vice mayor.
Prior to the swearing in, the retiring council and Mayor Marilyn Campbell Rodman held a public hearing on a proposed Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) ordinance and addressed other old business. Due to issues raised at the ADU public hearing, the council deferred a second-reading approval vote. Among concerns expressed, a resident asked what prevented the property owner from using both dwellings as Airbnb rentals. Wilson said, the ADU ordinance required the owner to live in one of the dwellings as a safeguard. The new administration will revisit the ordinance. The council approved a budget amendment drawing funds from the Capital Improvement budget to purchase a vehicle for the fire chief.
Utility manager John Condra reported Laurel Lake had dropped to 7 feet 7 inches. Monteagle had 98 days of water supply remaining. The pump at the Cooley’s Rift lake had been inspected in the event an alternate water source was needed. “I don’t think we’re going to [need it],” Condra said.
Favaloro explained cardboard recycling was temporarily on hold since the bins needed modified to accommodate the new truck. Meanwhile, residents can recycle cardboard in Sewanee.
Monteagle’s Dec. 3 Christmas parade begins at 5 p.m. at the VFW Post, with line-up at 4 p.m. Free cookies, cocoa, and photos with Santa will follow at Harton Park.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the Nov. 21 special called meeting, the Franklin County School Board voted to engage the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA) to conduct the search for a new director of schools and adopted a slate of qualifications and criterion for the position. Current Director of Schools Stanley Bean will not request renewal of his contract which ends June 30.
Board Chair Cleijo Walker recommended engaging the TSBA to conduct the director search. She stressed the demands of reaching a broad audience with a call for applicants and “weeding through” myriad documents. The TSBA offered three packages, Walker said. The board had used their services before. Package three included services the board could do itself. The board chose package two which includes recruiting candidates, responding to inquiries, scheduling interviews, providing a guide for interviews and sample questions, and assisting with developing and negotiation of the contract.
The board drafted the following job description: “The Franklin County Board of Education is seeking a visionary leader that is highly qualified and has significant experience in education as its next director of schools. The person selected will assume the role July 1, 2023. Minimum qualifications are a master’s degree with preference for a doctoral degree and a professional educators license; three-years experience in successful school administration preferred.”
Turning to qualification specifics, the board used a Knox County director search for a template, with several additions and modifications. The board emphasized the importance of the applicant having a sound knowledge of instruction, curriculum, and educational programs that meet the needs of a diverse student body; being a good listener; speaking and writing effectively and communicating the districts needs; ability to work with the county commission; the ability to budget and manage fiscal affairs; and skill in developing long-range goals and strategies.
Board Vice-Chair Lance Williams observed, “The chance of someone having all the qualifications is very slim.” Walker noted this might be especially true in the case of budgeting. Board member Sarah Marhevsky concurred, that unless a person had previously served as a director of school, they would likely lack budgeting experience.
Board member Sandy Schultz insisted it was important “to look at the person,” not just their qualifications.
Marhevsky suggested further emphasizing the importance of an applicant having experience with “diverse” populations and welcoming “diversity.” Williams pointed out several of the qualification points mentioned “diversity.”
The deadline for applications is Feb. 15, 2023.
The board welcomed new board member Erik Cole, appointed to fill the seat of Chris Guess who stepped down to serve as county mayor. Cole has worked at Nissan for 20 years, originally in engineering and now in management. He and his wife have five children and three foster children and co-serve as Director of Children’s Ministries at First Baptist Church. Cole also coaches boys’ and girls’ basketball at Cowan Elementary School.