By Iva Michelle Russell
Hello my friends, another beautiful week here on the mountain. I was told that there was 85+ cars at last weekend’s cruise-in in Tracy City, that is certainly kicking off the summer season with a bang. Congrats to the organizers and a new business opening!
Before I get into happenings for the coming week, let’s talk about local government, budgets, and elections. This is a very important time of year in local government. Budget season. The fiscal year ends June 30th and a new one begins July 1. As a citizen, this month will be one of the best times to go to your town, county, and school board meetings. You will learn how your local government handles your tax money, what they do with it, and also the challenges that they may have making “ends meet”. Unlike the federal government, state and local governments have to balance their budgets. No one really knows the entire financial fallout of the coronavirus shutdown, so there may be some surprises in this year’s budgets.
Here is the list of June meeting dates for our area. Hopefully I am successful in getting them all right!
ALTAMONT – 1st Tuesday of the month (June 2) @ 7pm, City Hall
BEERSHEBA SPRINGS – 2nd Tuesday of the month (June 9) @ 7pm, Fire Hall
COALMONT – 3rd Monday of the month (June 15) @ 6pm, Fire Hall
GRUETLI LAAGER – 3rd Wednesday of the month (June 17) @ 6pm, City Hall
MONTEAGLE – Last Monday of the month (June 29) @ 6pm, City Hall
PALMER – 3rd Monday of the month (June 15) @ 7pm, City Hall
TRACY CITY – 2nd Tuesday of the month (June 9) @ 6:30, City Hall
GRUNDY COUNTY COMMISSION – 4th Monday of the month (June 22) @ 7pm, 2nd Floor Courthouse
GRUNDY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD – This month, June 18 @ 6pm, GCHS Band Room
Now on to Elections 2020. I know we have been wrapped up with the coronavirus and now the protests, but one of the most important things we can do as an American citizen is to make educated decisions when casting our ballot in elections. As we all now know, our daily lives can be completely knocked upside down by the people we elect (or people who get elected by us not voting). Since I don’t really trust the media these days to give honest assessments, and social media is, well, social media, the challenge is real in obtaining credible information on candidates. I usually try to meet, one way or another, the people who are running for office in any given election. I want to know if their values align with mine, I want to get a feeling on where their heart is when it comes to being a “public servant”, and above all, I want to know that they will spend our money wisely, with great constraint, yet with a vision for the future. Locally, I want the very same, especially open and honest communication. The only perfect person is Jesus, so I can accept flaws, and I can accept shortcomings. It is how a person deals with adversity that matters to me. I know I have learned more from my mistakes than I have from my successes. There is always redemption. Above all else, please just vote. Elections matter.
Key things to know for August 6, 2020 Election
Voter Registration Deadline for August election – July 7
Early Voting – July 17 to Aug 1.
Last day to request Absentee Ballot – July 30
Who is on our ballot?
State/Federal Republican and Democrat Primary Candidates: U.S. Senate (1 seat), U.S House of Representatives (4th District), TN State Senate (16th District), TN State House (43rd District)
County General Candidates: Assessor of Property, School Board (3 districts), Gruetli Laager Alderman (2 seats)
Another key local date to remember is June 22. This is the first day municipal candidates can pick up their petitions for the November 3, 2020 election. Here are the seats that will up for election: Beersheba (2 councilmen), Coalmont (Mayor, finish term, 2 aldermen), Monteagle (Mayor, 2 aldermen), Palmer (2 aldermen), Tracy City (2 aldermen).
Whew. I know my eyes are glazing over at this point. Let’s talk about some fun activities coming up around the mountain! The Mountain Painting Parties at Dutch Maid Bakery are back! The first one will be held this Thursday, June 11 @ 6pm. Find them on Facebook to reserve your spot ($). There is a cool Women in the Wilderness 3-day backpacking adventure put on by the South Cumberland State Park that starts Friday, there may be a few spots left, so call the welcome center for details ($). There is also a Rock-Hop hike from Greeter Falls to Boardtree Falls on Friday from 2-4pm that looks really interesting too (free). Grundy Recovery Alliance Community Endeavor (GRACE) is offering Yoga for Recovery on Saturdays, 9am at the Harboldt Center in Cumberland Heights (free). And lastly, looking for some family fun here locally? Pop on over to Baggenstoss Farms in Tracy City, Andy has set up a top rate Frisbee Golf course, just bring your frisbees (free)!
That is all for now, if you want to send me news tips or events, find me on Facebook!