E-Mail and Internet Policies are Co. Commission Topics

The Fentress County Commission met Monday, January 16, 2017 in regular monthly session and took action on a number of items in a rather brief and routine meeting.

With all members present, the meeting was called to order by County Executive J. Michael Cross, followed by the presentation of the Colors by the Clarkrange JROTC Color Guard, and opening prayer by Bro. Mark Tipton of Cross Tie Church.

Following approval of the minutes of the previous session and approval of the Notary list, the first order of business was the appointment of Linda Smith, Clerk & Master as an Ex Officio member to the Public Records Committee.

Next, on a motion by Jimmy Johnson, the commission approved the Fentress County Highway Department Road List for 2017 as presented by Road Supervisor Scott Norris.

The Commission then discussed and passed an email policy which will be added to the personnel policy of Fentress County.

The purpose of the email policy is to ensure the proper use of Fentress County email system and make users aware of what is deemed as acceptable and unacceptable use of its email system, and outlines the minimum requirement for use of email within the Fentress County Network.

The policy covers appropriate use of any email sent from a Fentress County email address and/or on behalf of Fentress County or sent in any capacity as a public official and/or employee/representative of Fentress County and applies to all officials, employees, vendors, and agents operating on behalf of Fentress County.

Employees should understand that ALL emails sent from their county email address is subject to the Tennessee Public Records Act, and all applicable Federal & State statutes and that other regulations may apply as related to the type of information contained within the email.

All Fentress County information that may be required to remain confidential and/or protected under any Federal or State statute or regulation that is contained within an email mesage or an attachment must be secured according to the Data Protection Standard of encryption as provided by use of the county email accounts.

Each email user will be required to sign a document stating that they have accepted a copy of the policy, have read said policy, and understands the policy and terms contained within and that any questions, concerns or issues have been identified and addressed.

The Commission also approved an Employee Internet Usage Policy, which basically limits Internet access to official business, although it allows employees  authorized access to Internet for personal business after hours, in strict compliance with the other terms of the policy and the corresponding email policy.

The next item of business approved was approval of the Interlocal Agreement Cooperation Agreement for Emergency Communications.

This agreement is between Fentress County and the E-911 Emergency Communications District to reflect the current billing structure.

The Commission also approved the July, 2016 Fentress County wage scale, with the only change, being a 10% increase for EMTs, paramedics, and critical care paramedics, which should have been passed effective July 1, 2016, as that is when the raise took effect.

There were also four budget amendments passed, including one for the Senior Center, one for the Ambulance Service, and two for the Fentress County Jail.

The budget amendment approved for the Fentress County Senior Center was to accept recreation fees of $1,690.85 for the quarter ending December 31.

The budget amendment approved for the Ambulance Service was to include the salary of the Ambulance Service Director beginning with the second January 2017 payroll. This had not been budgeted in that line item for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The first of two budget amendments  approved for the jail included one of $5,000 for building maintenance and repair.

Budget Chairman Larry Cooper explained that the county had been notified by the state that they were not in compliance as the concrete dividers between the shower stalls were too low, and needed to be raised.

Cooper said that by use of inmate labor, this had been accomplished at a cost of only about $3,000, saving the county several thousand dollars.  He further said that Fentress County was currently receiving aproxi-mately $600,000 annually for housing state inmates, and if the jail was not in compliance, that the state could withhold funding.

The second budget amendment approved for the jail was in the amount of $25,000, for Medical and Dental Services.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.