Selmer Funds One to One

By Jeff Whitten


The Selmer Board of Aldermen approved $2,500 in funding for the One to One school technology program at its meeting Tuesday, July 12.

The funding was approved for use at Selmer Elementary and Middle schools.

The vote was 4-1 with Vice-Mayor Paul Simpson, Aldermen John Smith, Edward Smith and John Finlayson voting yes and Lloyd Tennyson voting no. 

A request by Education Department Technology Coordinator Terry Burns for the funding was rejected by the board at its June meeting.

 “I strongly feel like this is a good program for the schools,” said Finlayson in making the motion to provide the funding.

“It’s an excellent program, but I have a problem using taxpayers’money that the city pays to run the city to approve something that is a county project,” Simpson said.

Finlayson then suggested amending his motion to only allow the funds to be used in Selmer schools.

“It’s still the taxpayers of Selmer paying twice, being taxed twice for the operation of the schools,” Tennyson said.

The program provides laptops for students.

“It’s $2,500. Adamsville gave $2,000. If we can’t do that, it’s kind of ridiculous,” Finlayson said.

Simpson and Edward Smith voted  against the request at last month’s meeting.

Simpson, Smith and Tennyson told the Independent Appeal last month that they voted against the request because Selmer taxpayers were already paying taxes to support the county program.

The Adamsville City Commission budgeted $2,000 for the program for this fiscal year. They approved this budget on second and final reading at their June meeting.

In other news from the meeting:

*The board amended the personnel policy to say that it does not preclude the use of prescription drugs, but employees must inform their supervisors about the use of any drugs that would affect their ability to safely and effectively perform their duties.

Public works employee Stanley Smith was discharged for impairment of the use of prescription drugs, but the board voted at his appeal to give him another chance.

*They approved a $7,250 contract with the city of Oakland for planning services.

*Nicky Atkins of Moody Auto Sales requested that the board change city ordinances to allow fireworks tents.

Fire Chief Anthony Carr outlined requirements for these tents under state law and said he would have no problem allowing the tents.

Mayor David Robinson asked Carr to get the board copies of the ordinance and said they should consider changing it.

*Norm Sheffield suggested that the board name the Dixie park for Abb Chambers. Robinson said they would take it under advisement, and Simpson said they were not going to do anything until they had a plan.

Chambers donated property for the park.

*Public Utilities Director Richard Ashe announced that the water project is nearly complete and blacktopping the roads will get under way next week.

“After one more inconvenience, this thing will be over with,” he said.

*The board authorized Carr to apply for Tennessee Municipal League Driving and Safety Partner grants. The driving grant finances driving courses which firetruck drivers have to take, and the safety partners grant will be used to buy safety equipment. The grants require a 50 percent local match, which Carr said he will finance with a homeland security grant. Carr said in a later interview that he did not know how much the grants would be and that TML would decide the amount. 

According to the department report, the Selmer Fire Department received a Certificate of Recognized Achievement from the Tennessee State Fire Codes and Enforcement Academy to their Silver Elite Club for 1,208 hours of training.

They have also received three grants totaling $189,279 for radios, pagers, rescue equipment and training, as well as $4,561 from the Safer Grant to go back into the general fund.

*Police Chief Neal Burks announced that “The Pastor’s Wife” will be filming in Selmer. This Lifetime TV movie of the same title is based on the book about the Mary Winkler trial by Diane Fanning.