Cornersville to get a Walmart grant

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

By Poppy Hall

Special to the Tribune

At the meeting of Cornersville's Board of Mayor and Aldermen last week, City Administrator Taylor Brandon had the pleasure of announcing the town will receive a $2,500 grant.

This is coming from Walmart, whose new store is due to open in Cornersville on Dec. 17.

Walmart likes to give back to the communities where their stores are located in the form of grants, Brandon explained. The grant must be used by the end of the year, and Cornersville will get a similar grant next year as well.

According to Brandon, Walmart estimates their financial impact on the community will be over $100,000.

The BOMA also discussed when to hold Halloween in the Park, which has become a beloved tradition for locals and outside visitors as well. They unanimously approved the last Saturday in October, the 25th. Lewisburg, Chapel Hill, and Petersburg will celebrate Halloween on Friday, Oct. 31, so Marshall County children will have multiple opportunities for fun at the end of the month.

After Mayor Amos Davis gave his instructions, the floor was open for comments from Cornersville residents.

Tommy Upton brought up the same question as he asked last month which was answered with silence at that meeting.

According to Resolution 13-187, if the BOMA does not have an answer to a resident's question at the time of asking, it must give an answer in the following meeting.

Upton's question last month was, "Where did the board get the authority or the power to keep a citizen of Cornersville from attending the regular monthly meeting?"

He was answered by Doris Arthur that the BOMA has been operating by the same rules that have not been changed since 1937.

Upton's next question was, "I want to know what I did wrong to be blocked and threatened with jail?"

The answer from the board was, "The authority is given by the board."

It was brought up that Upton also had somebody removed from the town meeting when he was mayor. That comment concluded the three-minute limit a resident is allowed for addressing the BOMA.

This month's inconclusive answers put an end to questioning on the matter by Upton, since the ordinance states a resident may only bring up a subject twice.

After the meeting Upton admitted as mayor he did have a resident removed from one of his meetings, but pointed out this resident was "carrying on at the top of his voice" and was truly being disruptive.

Upton added, "He knows he has been wrong but can't admit it," referring to the way Davis has handled their ongoing confrontation.

The two have not been on good terms for a long time, but the current troubles started in June, when alderman Lezlie Calahan resigned and the other aldermen refused to fill her seat, opting instead to wait until the November election. Upton's suggestion to appoint Susie Boatright to the vacant seat was rejected. (Boatright tied with alderman Melisa Peters in the last election, but Peters was chosen the winner by a 3-1 vote of the other aldermen.)

Matters exploded in July when Upton was forcibly removed from a public hearing on extending the urban growth boundary, and not allowed to return to the BOMA meeting which followed it.

Upton continues to maintain the BOMA is "operating illegally" because there are only four aldermen, not five, as specified in the town's charter.

This situation will be rectified next month when four candidates for alderman are on the ballot. The three with the most votes will get seats on the board. Jimmy Wolaver and Peters were elected two years ago, so they are half way through their terms, but the seats of Arthur and Sheryl McClintock are up for grabs, along with the seat left vacant by the resignation of Calahan.

In addition to Upton, the candidates are Mary D. Johnson, Arthur, and McClintock.