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Decisions needed, not inaction

Posted Wednesday, September 8, 2010, at 12:51 PM

Shelbyville and Bedford County are becoming paralyzed by inaction.

Two issues in the news over the past week prove it.

The Bedford County Planning Commission voted 6-2 " to take no action whatsoever on the issue" of large animal feeding operations, i.e. poultry houses, Tuesday night with three other planners abstaining.

Meanwhile, the operators of Heritage Medical Center wants nearly $100,000 back it paid the city three years ago for a traffic signal that hasn't been placed on U.S. 231 North. The city council continues to talk about doing something.

Talk. No action.

Our city and county are stagnating while -- and, probably, because -- elected representatives spend too much time arguing with each other and breaking into factions rather than finding common ground. In the end, no action is taken. This happens far too often, and on more than just the above issues.

Unfortunately, problems can't just be ignored or wished away.

Today public discussion seems to be driven by the need for individuals or factions to be proven right, and to force the "other side" into submission, rather than working together to find working solutions.

I'd like to think most, if not, all, of our elected and appointed represenatives have our best interests at heart.

Over the past few months Shelbyville's gained new industries, and Bedford County is poised to pick up outflow growth from population centers to our near-north.

We're in a good position compared to many other areas of the nation. Decisions on how we handle -- and protect -- that relatively-good fortune can make a world of difference.

But it'll take people who are willing to make decisions instead of simply doing nothing. Take a stand.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Thank you so much for your post. I whole heartedly agree with you. When reading the article about "no action", I was amazed. What exactly is the role of the commission? Is it not to "take action"? Backbone is a requirement for these positions and sadly we are deficient. How embarrassing for our community.

-- Posted by style on Wed, Sep 8, 2010, at 1:10 PM

Taking no action by a government body is almost always a good thing. Especially considering one of them would be to limit the freedom people have with their own property.

Considering this issue was brought to a head because one muckety muck is having trouble selling her building lots because of a nearby poultry farm, I'd say a vote of "take no action" is a great decision.

As for the traffic lights on 231, the recent wrecks were caused by driver negligence, nothing else. Traffic lights, signs, or decreased speed limits won't fix inattention.

I say good job to the commission for refusing to offer new laws to fix problems that should be addressed by individuals.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Sep 8, 2010, at 2:39 PM

I agree with quietmike about the traffic light. There are going to be wrecks no matter if the lights are there are not. If you read the articles about the major wrecks/deaths that have happened there you will see that the

1st: was caused by a drunk driver

2nd: was caused by someone's mistake who was going the wrong way

There have also been wrecks there that I have noticed and have almost been in where people just pull of the hospital without looking or trying to turn into the hospital without looking or taking the time to sit in the turning lane until it's safe enough to cross.

None of the wrecks main reason was for speed. It was due to simple human mistakes by not paying attention.

They can make the speed limit out here to be 25 or 30 miles per hour, but there will still be wrecks that are caused by careless drivers.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Wed, Sep 8, 2010, at 3:11 PM

How long are the voters of Bedford County going to continue to re elect the councilmen & comissioners responsible for these decicions? The current mayor has announced his intention of running for re election...Should not we voters respond?

-- Posted by Clari on Wed, Sep 8, 2010, at 3:13 PM

You know what I think about the hospital thing.They were more interested in making the front of the building seen than safety.If they would have faced the access road to Walmart DC and put the emergency room on the front facing the Hwy that would have made more sense.Have an ambulance only access with nothing pulling out.The whole parking,in and out thing is a cluster bomb there.Hope they don't buy the nursing home they would put it at Davis Hill on the new 4 lane in the curve.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Wed, Sep 8, 2010, at 5:51 PM

Good points on the traffic light.

I think the city probably understands that the intersection in question does NOT meet established criteria for traffic light installation. Hopefully, anyway.

-- Posted by gottago on Wed, Sep 8, 2010, at 9:33 PM

The wreck last week was only 40 MPH per Times Gazette Sept 3, 2010 ("Mr. Landers tried to turn into the hospital, turned into the exit instead of the entrance, tried to come back out and was struck head­on," Accident Investigator Lt. Trey Clanton said. "I'd estimate her speed at 40 to 45 mph. He came into her lane before she could react.")

The only way for Bedford County to stop wrecks is to install a Red Light at every intersection in the City and County decrease the speed limit to only 30 MPH through out the entire city and county and anyone that exceeds that by 1 MPH should be arrested on the spot fined $1000 and placed in the workhouse for 99 days. That way only about 6% of all drivers would be on any road at any given time. Sounds silly it is. The only problem is that most drivers do not drive defensively. They are on the cell phone, radio, are 50 other things that people do while driving other than driving. Madison St has a wreck just about every day and its only 30 MPH. Drivers need to pratice "Defensive Driving even on a straight Hwy. Lights and speed limits will only create more wrecks. The problem is not that we need more red lights are lower speed limits we just need more "DEFENSIVE DRIVERS" Wake up and don't try and blame speed on a straight hwy.. I'd say return the $100,000 and lets pratice "Defensive Driving" first everyone. "It would be nice to drive all the way to Murfreesboro at 30 MPH" it would be a hour and sixteen minutes drive.

-- Posted by RGeneW on Thu, Sep 9, 2010, at 3:08 PM

I agree RGeneW.

I would also like to that I rarely see anyone doing 30mph through the city now anyways, even though that is the speed limit. So how are they going to enforce a lower speed limit out here, when they can't even enforce it in town??

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Thu, Sep 9, 2010, at 6:18 PM

Looks like I was wrong about the city understanding traffic light installation guidelines. At this point I'm even debating whether these imbeciles can even read - must less understand anything as complicated as the rationale behind guidelines. Geez.

-- Posted by gottago on Thu, Sep 9, 2010, at 8:11 PM

I thought that if the speed limit was to be lowered that it would have to come from the state of TN since it is a highway and not a city road. I may be wrong, but isn't that the excuse the county used when people were asking for a red light at the other intersection (I can't remember the road sorry). So, I can't wait to sit in traffic waiting to actually be able to get out onto 231 because of people who don't know how to drive or need to drive!

Thank you city officials for not using common sense.

I guess money does talk.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Thu, Sep 9, 2010, at 9:10 PM

PrpleHze,

I think the state only gets involved regarding traffic signals. They will run 'traffic tests' and, unless they fudge a little, I'm guessing the activity of this intersecton won't meet guidelines.

This particular stretch of Hwy is technically inside the city limits so the city had the jurisdiction. on the speed.

I agree with you completely.

-- Posted by gottago on Thu, Sep 9, 2010, at 10:14 PM

I don't believe that the decision to "take no action" by some of the Planning Commission members was understood by the general public. Should our county government go against regulations, State & Federal EPA, that currently exist?

The T-G discussed the law, but lead us to believe that NO ACTION TAKEN meant the Commission members aren't doing their duties. This blog even begins with the same thought.

The article also said, "There's a 1999 attorney general's opinion stating that local governments have no right to restrict CAFOs." My understanding is that NO ACTION TAKEN means that Bedford County doesn't have the authority to go against the current regulations. So fellow readers...how would you have voted?

-- Posted by VOLFAN63 on Thu, Sep 9, 2010, at 11:08 PM

I don't believe that the decision to "take no action" by some of the Planning Commission members was understood by the general public. Should our county government go against regulations, State & Federal EPA, that currently exist?

The T-G discussed the law, but lead us to believe that NO ACTION TAKEN meant the Commission members aren't doing their duties. This blog even begins with the same thought.

The article also said, "There's a 1999 attorney general's opinion stating that local governments have no right to restrict CAFOs." My understanding is that NO ACTION TAKEN means that Bedford County doesn't have the authority to go against the current regulations. So fellow readers...how would you have voted?

-- Posted by VOLFAN63 on Thu, Sep 9, 2010, at 11:10 PM

I don't believe that the decision to "take no action" by some of the Planning Commission members was understood by the general public.

Should our county government go against regulations, State & Federal EPA, that currently exist? The T-G discussed the law, but lead us to believe that NO ACTION TAKEN meant the Commission members aren't doing their duties. This blog even begins with the same thought.

The article also said, "There's a 1999 attorney general's opinion stating that local governments have no right to restrict CAFOs." My understanding is that NO ACTION TAKEN means that the Commission members made an informed decision, that Bedford County doesn't have the authority to go against the current regulations.

So fellow readers...how would you have voted?

-- Posted by VOLFAN63 on Thu, Sep 9, 2010, at 11:15 PM

I've never seen anything wrong with the entrance to the hospital or the parking area in front of the hospital...if they were building a miniature golf course. The entrance and exit from and onto four lanes of invite problems at any speed.

-- Posted by bomelson on Fri, Sep 10, 2010, at 2:49 PM

Should have voted to restrict CAFOs

-- Posted by kjp437 on Sat, Sep 11, 2010, at 7:15 AM

I would like to see them explain why they chose to not take action when that is their decision.

As for the large feeding operations, my guess is a lot of decisions and opinions would be different if the farm was slatted to be next their homes and it is their home value that will be slashed. It is interesting that most often operations such as these are placed in low income areas where the investors know that there is little chance of the residents to being able to fight against them. Like the guy above said money talks, and when you don't have enough of it your voice is limited to a whisper at best. I would like to see one of these operations put next to each persons home who votes to allow it, let them suffer the smell, flies and rodents, let them have the value of their homes drop to near nothing.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Sun, Sep 12, 2010, at 9:57 AM

You vote them out, what will you put back in place of them. There are some on the council that have been there too long and others that have been there too many times. They make it seem as though this is a full time job, but if they could get past trying to get the pay up to what they think it should be and how they can get reelected again, they could plan their work at the study sessions and go out and talk to the people in their area and get a feel for what should be done. Folks that can think through what needs to be done with city business are very busy people and don't want to take the time to do this little bit of work. The county commission is just as bad. Until people that can think and plan and get beyond their petty grievances come forward we will always have a bad situation. And as for the entrance to the hospital, if the concrete dividers had not been there, at least one accident might not have happened. That entrance would be confusing to some folks. The other accident would most likely have happened anyway. The fallacy of any law or ordinance as the case may be, is that you can't fix or regulate stupid.

-- Posted by megalop on Sat, Sep 18, 2010, at 7:25 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.