Before the town of Jonesborough offers help to its community, its governing body decided that it should know what help the community needs.
On Monday evening at Town Hall, the town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the allocation of funds to pay for a community needs-assessment survey that would be conducted by East Tennessee State University.
The survey, which would be handled by Leslie McCallister and Kelly Foster of ETSU’s Applied Social Research Laboratory, would be comprised of two focus group meetings, a survey of the population of Washington County around Jonesborough and a written report.
According to Mayor Kelly Wolfe, the assessment would then be submitted to the Jonesborough Community Chest, an organization that is made up of entities like the town government, Jonesborough Kiwanis Club and Washington County Schools, which operate under a shared goal of cooperating to achieve community-based goals.
“What this proposal is tonight is for them to conduct a community survey to see what the needs are, to do it in a very scientific manner and to compile the data in a way in which we can hopefully better focus what the Community Chest is doing,” Wolfe said.
In his report to the BMA, Town Administrator Bob Browning recommended that the board approve $6,500 to be allocated toward the survey. According to Wolfe, that money had been found in the town’s working budget.
“We have identified funding in the current budget — no new appropriations — to take care of this needs assessment,” he said. “The town is providing sort of a seed or a startup amount here for the initial needs assessment. We feel like, being good stewards of the public, public trust and public interest, that that is a worthwhile goal.”
Wolfe also commended Alderman Adam Dickson for his role in facilitating the exchange between the town, the Community Chest and ETSU. During the meeting, Dickson added that donations made to United Way could also come back to the community chest.
“We want to strengthen this partnership with United Way and encourage people to give,” Dickson said. “But when you give, you designate in your donation that it come back to the Jonesborough Community Chest. The chest would then be able ... to allocate those funds to more organizations, churches and different causes that are focused on the county.”
A motion from Alderman Terry Countermine to approve the allocation of funds for the assessment was approved unanimously by the board.
Also during the BMA meeting, the board unanimously approved on second reading an ordinance implementing a $5 electronic citation fee, which would be applied to all traffic citations that result in a guilty verdict. Before the meeting, the board held a public hearing to discuss the ordinance. No one at the meeting opted to comment, however.
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