Electronic meetings becoming commonplace in Carter County

John Thompson • Updated May 12, 2020 at 9:41 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Electronic meetings have become normal operating procedures over the past month for both the local governments of Carter County and Elizabethton. The special meetings were authorized by the executive orders issued by Gov. Bill Lee in the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

There will more electronic meetings taking pace over the next couple of weeks. The meetings can be observed and heard via the Zoom Internet platforms, which allow public participation.

The Elizabethton City Council will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, May 14, at 6 p.m. The public may attend by computer by going to bit.ly/elizabethtoncitycouncil or by phone by calling 1-646-558-8656 and entering Meeting ID 2666550108. A meeting of the Elizabethton Beverage Board will also be held after the City Council meeting.

The meeting will include a vote by City Council on the final proposed division of the proceeds of a $4.5 million bond sale that includes funds for the renovation and expansion of the Elizabethton Police Department, reroofing of the T.A. Dugger Junior High School, a new fire truck, and a maintenance building for the Parks and Recreation Department.

On Monday, May 18, at 6 p.m. there will be an electronic meeting of the Carter County Commission. That meeting will also be hosted by Zoom and the public may access it by going online to https://zoom.us/j/4787669850 or by telephone by calling 1-877-853-5257 and entering Meeting ID 478-766-9850.

The Carter County Board of Education will be holding two electronic meetings in the next two weeks. The first one will be a special called meeting on Thursday, May 14, at 5:30 p.m. this meeting will be held to approve the employment contract for Tracy McAbee, who is expected to become the next superintendent of the Carter County School System.

The board will also meet a week later on Thursday, May 21, at 5:30 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting of the board. Both the special and regular board meetings can be observed by the public by going to the Facebook page of the Carter County School System.

Superintendent of Schools Kevin Ward said the electronic meetings have proven their effectiveness. 

“I think they are changing the patterns of meetings for the future,” Ward said. “We are now using Zoom to hold our principal meetings and it is so much more convenient for our principals to remain in their buildings and still meet with the other principals.”

He said it has also shown its value with the regional superintendents meetings. He said they are always held in Greeneville. 

“That is a long drive for those of us in Carter County and Johnson County,” Ward said.

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