Weaver and Pody Support Bill to Reduce Size of UCDD and UCHRA Boards

February 28, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ryan Williams
Terri Lynn Weaver
Mark Pody

A state lawmaker from Cookeville is proposing legislation to create a sunset provision for the Upper Cumberland Development District and Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency and to reduce the number of members who serve on those boards.

The legislation, sponsored by State Representative Ryan Williams, would apply to all development districts and human resource agencies throughout the state. State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody, who represent DeKalb County, and Cameron Sexton of Crossville are co-sponsors of the legislation. State Senator Charlotte Burks is sponsoring the bill in the Senate although she is waiting for more public input before moving forward with the legislation.

Representative Williams said the purpose of the legislation is to make the boards smaller and more accountable while still providing services to the poor. Adding the sunsetting provision, he said would give the state comptroller the power to cut off funding to these agencies and shut them down if he feels they are not running efficiently. By sunsetting the agencies, the comptroller's office would look at them every three years by requesting audits from the past three years, according to Williams. Human Resource Agencies are already in the sunset cycle. Williams said the legislation could still be amended to address issues not covered by the bill.

The legislation would place the following agencies in the governmental entity review cycle, with a June 30, 2015, termination date: East Tennessee development district; First Tennessee development district; Greater Nashville regional council; Memphis area association of governments; Northwest Tennessee development district; South central Tennessee development district; Southeast Tennessee development district; Southwest Tennessee development district; and the Upper Cumberland development district.

Under present law, the membership of development district boards consist of the county mayor of each county within the district, the mayor of each municipality within the district, the chief executive officer of any metropolitan government within the district, one representative from a local agency in each county dealing with problems of industrial development or promotion appointed by the county mayor, and one (state senator and one state representative whose senatorial or representative districts lie wholly or in part in the development district.

This bill revises the board membership to be the county mayor of each county within the district, or an appointee of the county mayor of each county with knowledge of problems concerning industrial development or promotion; the chief executive officer of any metropolitan government within the district; and one state senator and one state representative whose senatorial or representative districts lie wholly or in part in the development district.

Similarly, the membership of the governing board under the Human Resource Agency Act consists of the county mayor of each county within the district, the mayor of each municipality within the district, the chief executive officer of any metropolitan government within the district, one representative from a local agency in each county knowledgeable of and dealing with the problems concerning human resource agencies appointed by the county mayor or chair, and one state senator and one state representative whose senatorial or representative districts lie wholly or in part within the development district.

This bill revises the membership of the governing board to be: the county mayor of each county within the district, or an appointee of the county mayor of each county with knowledge of problems concerning human resource agencies; the chief executive officer of any metropolitan government within the district; and one state senator and one state representative whose senatorial or representative districts lie wholly or in part within the development district.

Currently, the executive committee of the UCDD is made up of 32 members: 14 county mayors, 14 city mayors, two state representatives, and two industrial representatives. The agency's board of directors is made up of the 14 county mayors, 30 city mayors, an industrial representative from
each county, a legislator and a state representative. The board of directors only meet once a year.

UCHRA's board is made up of the same members, except there are consumer representatives instead of industrial representatives.

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