The vote was 5 YES, 6 NO, and 1 ABSTENTION. [Commissioners Paul LeBel and Herbert Harville were not present. Commissioner Tim Goins abstained]
The vote came after spirited discussion about the very nature of non-profits and donating public money to non-profits.
Commissioner Doyle Fullington commented that he wanted to hold on to the money for county needs--particularly with the economy in the shape it is. He said he would be voting against the donation of $100,000 to the Helen Ross McNabb Foundation for a McNabb building project and the donation of $125,000 to the MH Hospital Foundation for a Foundation building project.
Commissioner Tim Dennison reminded everyone that the county already has specific needs on its plate with a decertified jail and road maintenance and repairs. He wanted everyone to look at using this money wisely.
Commissioner Doe Jarvis led the push to donate public money to the McNabb Center for a McNabb construction project. He thinks there are "answers" for the jail.
Commissioner Fullington made it clear that it was never his intention that money from the Hamblen County endowment would be donated to non-profits. In referring to the request for $125,000 from the Morristown-Hamblen Hospital Foundation, Fullington noted that the hospital directors sold MHHS hospital to Covenant precisely because of Covenant's ability to fund improvements and operate the hospital. He added that the term non-profit can be misleading since non-profits may make a profit--they just don't give it to shareholders.
Voting against donating public money to McNabb for the McNabb building project were Doyle Fullington, Tilman Goins, Tim Dennison, Larry Carter, Rick Eldridge, and Nancy Phillips.
Voting to donate public money to McNabb for the McNabb building project were Doe Jarvis, Stancil Ford, Larry Baker, Howard Shipley, and Dana Wampler.
[Previously, Helen Ross McNabb obtained a donation of up to $51,000 of "round-up" funds from the Morristown Utilities Commission for the proposed McNabb building project. Click here for video of the MUC vote, and click here for video of the initial McNabb request for $148,000 from MUC.]