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Johnson City Commission approves plans for events, hears report on SROs

W. Kenneth Medley II • Feb 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Johnson City commissioners approved plans for events throughout the year during their meeting on Thursday along with hearing a report from the police chief on the status of school resource officers and advocating for high school students.

The commission proclaimed February as Black History Month and heard from Carver Recreation Center Director Herb Greenlee about the center’s plans to observe the month. Greenlee, who thanked Mayor Jenny Brock for the proclamation, said the center will host a taste of the community program on Feb. 28. He said there will also be a history program to honor the region’s black law enforcement officers.

Atlantic Ale House received a permit to conduct Winterfest on Feb. 23. The event will involve the closure of Commerce Street.

“We are going to celebrate all things winter,” Jacob Grieb of Atlantic Ale House told the commission. “We are going to have some craft beer and a band to celebrate winter and the coming of spring.”

In other planning actions:

• Approval was given for a road closure on May 11 for the 12th annual Girls on the Run 5K. The race, for girls in grades 2-8, helps raise money for a scholarship benefiting girls.

• Road closures were also approved for the Bunny Hop, a part of the Blue Plum Festival, and for the Dec. 7 Christmas parade.

Police Chief Karl Turner told commissioners there are five officers undergoing training and vacancies for six more. He said two positions for SROs need to be filled. Turner said that while all schools in Johnson City have an SRO, there is a need for two more. He said that when the road force is complete, the SRO positions can be filled.

Commissioners also backed a resolution in support of students who do not want to use the retake option to improve their score on college entrance examinations. The resolution urges the General Assembly to allow students to use the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate Examination in lieu of retaking the ACT or SAT. Statistics cited stated that students possessing an NCRC have better employment opportunities in the region.

In others matters, City Commissioner John Hunter was appointed to the Tax Increment Funding Board. Brock recommended, and the board approved, the appointment of James Smith to the BrightRidge board of directors.

The reappointments of Hank Carr and Tommy Burleson to the Industrial Development Board were approved. The mayor nominated Robert Cox and Stacy Torrent to the same board.

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