ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Hawkins County commissioners voted to not give themselves the power to approve certain nuisance laws.
Tennessee’s County Powers Act allows county commissions to pass ordinances like city governments that regulate nuisances. But before they can exercise those powers, county commissions have to pass a resolution.
“The mayor said he was getting several complaints about trash and other things on people’s private property,” Commissioner Josh Gilliam told News Channel 11. “So he decided to put this forward to see if it would be something that would help the situation.”
Many Hawkins County residents spoke up during the public comment section of the meeting. Many said the County Powers Act infringed upon their freedoms.
“It was we who sounded the alarm to the community about this evil proposition from our local government,” said Danny Chism, Hawkins County resident who spoke during public comment. “UCHC [United Citizens of Hawkins County] recognizes that it is a sacred duty and a natural obligation to be an American, to identify threats to freedom, but then combat those threats at any cost necessary.”
Commissioner Gilliam introduced his own resolution, one that agrees to never adopt the County Powers Act or similar powers.
“It says that we will never adopt that code to ensure that we don’t take on overregulating folks’ private property,” Gilliam said.
However, Gilliam’s resolution, which the commission approved, does not prevent commissioners from reconsidering the matter in the future.
“Just as anything that we do, could be reconsidered,” he said. “If the future commission decides that this was a bad decision and they want to rescind it, they have every right to do that.”