Commissioner Joy Bishop originally contacted The Democrat on Friday at about 6:30 p.m. to have the work session scheduled, which is required by law for government entities to publish meeting notices. Sondra Dowdy, the commission’s deputy clerk, followed with notice of the work session, which was scheduled for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Wilson County Courthouse. Dowdy said the work session was “to discuss available revenue sources for funding of needs and other topics of interest.”
Dowdy sent an email Saturday at about 7:30 p.m. to notify commissioners and the media the meeting was cancelled. She said Bishop cancelled the meeting.
“The attendance was not going to be as expected,” Bishop said in an email to The Democrat. “Three or four commissioners are sort of under the weather. One of the more influential commissioners wanted to wait until after Aug. 20. I was told [finance director] Aaron Maynard could not be in attendance when he had thought earlier he could be there. We knew the mayor was going to be away but was OK with us having a work session without him.”
Bishop said the meeting was to discuss potential funding options for the proposed new high school in Mt. Juliet. The Wilson County Budget Committee passed on a recommendation on how to fund the new school at its last meeting and instead left it up to the full commission to decide at its next meeting Aug. 20. Also up in the air is a proposed 4-percent pay raise for Wilson County teachers.
“The idea of the workshop was to discuss some of the proposals prior to the Aug. 20 voting to find a permanent revenue source for the school funding and other projects, which will be coming soon,” Bishop said. “It was not about budget. This is basically all I know about the situation. I did not know an explanation had to be made when meetings were cancelled, but I think this is a good policy.”
Bishop said the work session’s cancellation was something she didn’t want to be involved in again.
“I was the one trying to get it publicized in order for everybody to prepare over the weekend,” Bishop said. “It has been postponed, but please be assured that I won’t be having anything to do with trying to get anything published. Committee meetings are called off fairly often after being published in the paper. I realize this is different, and an explanation is needed.
“I assure you I will not be involved in this type thing again but cannot help this situation.”
The commission will meet Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.