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Showing 4 articles from December 21, 2011.

General News

Council defers E-District resolution

By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Members of the Lebanon City Council will wait until the New Year before digging into a resolution that asks for amendments to state law to allow for the creation of an entertainment district and authority board by deferring the resolution during Tuesday nights meeting.

Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath had many questions about the language of the resolution that, if passed, would go to Dist. 17 State Senator Mae Beavers, Dist. 46 State Representative Mark Pody and Dist. 57 State Rep. Linda Elam as it appeared during Tuesday nights meeting with no changes.

"I just have some problems with the verbiage and language in the amendment, Warmath said.

She pointed out the resolution refers to members of the authority board being appointed, not nominated. The seven-member board would oversee the bonds and will capture sales tax revenues within the district to fund the proposed events center.

Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler asked why the resolution had to be sent to the Tennessee General Assembly with the composition of the board included. He asked if it could be sent separately after the capturing of the sales tax and establishment of the district are approved.

You have to have the authority or board for these revenues to go to, said City Mayor Philip Craighead.

City Attorney Andy Wright explained there were seven amendments in the resolution and six of them asked for changes to state law allowing for the capturing of state and local sales tax revenues and for the establishment of the district, as well as a change to the definition of a qualified public use facility, so the proposed events center would fit a new definition.

Only one amendment pertains to the creation of the authority board and said the language in the resolution about the board doesnt have to be specific.

The language could be as general as, a board will be created through an interlocal agreement between the city and county, period, Wright said.

The council felt the seven-member board would be immediately created as stated in the resolution if they approved it and sent it to the legislature. Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry said the resolution would provide for the creation of the board and would not allow the council to tweak requirements after it was approved.

Weve gotten a lot of information in a small amount of time, Warmath said.

She called the proposal proactive and engaging but wanted time to work out language in the resolution before passing it on to the legislature. She asked for a work session to focus solely on the language of the resolution after the holidays.

We need to send the best thing we can down there, Craighead said of the resolution.

Pody was present at the meeting and addressed the council briefly after the resolution was deferred. He told the council the deadline for receiving legislation from local governments was being moved up. Normally, local governments have until March to submit public acts.

Pody indicated there were many communities who would be in favor of the amendments proposed and asked the council to give the legislature plenty of time to work with them and have the amendments passed.

This isnt just a law for the city of Lebanon, this is a law for the whole state, said Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino.

Pody said he was supportive of the idea of the entertainment district and noted other cities and counties in the state are interested in having the same kind of facility in the events center and retail space.

The council set a work session on Jan. 4 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the language in the resolution and nothing else. Cesternino said they needed to work on that and not worry about the large picture at this point in time.

The work session will be held in the Town Meeting Hall at the City of Lebanon Administration Building at 200 N. Castle Heights Avenue.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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Cracker Barrel stockholders block Biglari bid

From Post staff reports
LEBANON -- Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. announced Tuesday that preliminary results from the Companys annual meeting, also held on Tuesday, indicate Sardar Biglari was not elected to the Board of Directors and that all of the Companys nominees were elected by a significant margin.

In recent months, Biglari, chief executive officer of Texas-based Biglari Holdings and CEO of Steak n Shake, has been vying for a seat on the board. He reportedly has a 9 percent stake in Cracker Barrel.

Over the past several weeks, we have talked with many shareholders about our new leadership, our new initiatives, and our growing momentum. Our reconstituted Board and new management team are united in their resolve to continue driving operational changes that are positively impacting our financial performance and enhancing shareholder value, Sandra B. Cochran, Cracker Barrel president and CEO, said in comments after the annual meeting.

This past week, Cracker Barrel sent a letter to shareholders asking them to support all of the Companys nominees for the board and to not support Biglari in his attempt to be elected to the board.

According to the companys proxy solicitor, preliminary results indicate that the following 11 directors have been elected: James W. Bradford; Cochran; Robert V. Dale; Robert J. Dobkin; Charles E. Jones Jr.; B.F. Jack Lowery; William W. McCarten; Martha M. Mitchell; Coleman H. Peterson; Andrea M. Weiss and Michael A. Woodhouse.

IVS Associates, Inc., the independent inspector of the election, will tabulate and certify the results, and final election results will be announced when they are certified complete.

We appreciate the time our shareholders have taken to consider the issues raised over the past several weeks. I have welcomed the opportunity to meet with many of them, hear their concerns, and discuss Cracker Barrels future. We will continue to evaluate our performance and look for additional areas of improvement, Cochran said.

Biglari reportedly left the meeting immediately after the election results were announced without making any comments. He has reportedly applied for regulatory permission to buy up to 49.9 percent of Cracker Barrels stock, which is similar to the strategy he employed in taking over Steak n Shakes business.

I also look forward to continuing a dialogue with all investors in the months to come, as we recognize the importance of maintaining an open line of communication with our shareholders, Cochran said.

Shareholders also voted against the rights plan, which was instituted in September to protect against Biglaris attempt to gain control of the company.

On Proposal 2, the rights plan, the preliminary results indicate that the plan did not receive enough votes to pass. If these preliminary results hold, the rights plan will cease to be in effect following the receipt of certified results from IVS Associates.

On Proposal 3, the preliminary results indicate that the advisory proposal on executive compensation received a majority of the shares voted.

On Proposal 4, the preliminary results indicate that one year was selected by the highest number of shares voted as the frequency of future votes on executive compensation.
On Proposal 5, the preliminary results indicate that a majority of the Companys shareholders have voted to approve the Agreement and Plan of Merger affecting an internal restructuring of the Company through a merger of the Company with and into its wholly owned subsidiary, CBOCS, Inc.

On Proposal 6, preliminary results indicate that the majority of shareholders have voted to ratify the Audit Committees appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Companys independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending Aug. 3, 2012.

Cracker Barrel said it would file with the SEC a Current Report on Form 8-K with the certified results promptly after they become available.

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New HR director addresses commission

By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
LEBANON -- Alanna Sullivan, director of the new Human Resources Department in the Wilson County government, gave members of the Wilson County Commission a report on many new and improved things she has brought to the department in the past several months.

Sullivan spoke at length during Monday nights commission meeting at the request of Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. He said Sullivan will give the commission a quarterly report beginning in 2012.

One of the biggest undertakings Ive done is job descriptions, Sullivan said, pointing out she has completed formal job descriptions of 81 county positions and expects to complete the remaining 28 by the end of the year.

Sullivan also said the department has established a webpage connected to the county website with links to applications, job descriptions, openings, training opportunities and county policies.

Its a great resource for our employees and the public, Sullivan said.

One of the largest difficulties faced by the county in the HR department, Sullivan said, was the duplication of records. She said the department is working to create online personnel records that will keep duplication to a minimum and provide easy access to them, saving the county money.

Along with those records, Sullivan is creating an access database that will allow department heads and the HR and Finance departments to gain easy access to an employees work history and personal information.

Sullivan has also created a single county application, compiling information and questions from previous applications to make things easier when people apply. She said the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency had different questions for applicants on their form and she added that to the basic form, creating one streamlined application for every department.

Sullivan also plans to start conducting exit interviews for outgoing employees, hoping to learn vital information that she says can help with existing county employees.

Often you learn how to retain the good employees that we have, she said.

Also during the meeting, the commission unanimously approved a resolution to extend water lines into target areas outside of municipalities, using a Tennessee Small Cities Community Development Block Grant of $500,000, which will be matched by the Water and Wastewater Authority of Wilson County contributing another $500,000.

District 9 Commissioner Sara Patton, who presented the resolution, said the county is not spending any money since the Water and Wastewater Authority is providing the match to the grant.

Patton said the money will help run water lines to areas of the county that do not have access to public water, but with the high cost of water lines, she said it would run about 6 miles of line.

The commission also struggled with rules issues as two resolutions were deferred back to the Rules Committee. One resolution proposed to change the Rules of Order of the County Commission so that minutes of the Wilson County Road Commission would be included in the squires monthly packet.

Another resolution proposed including the minutes of the Wilson County Planning Commission into the monthly packet for county commissioners. Both resolutions were deferred because they were not approved by the Rules Committee.

The Rules Committee met this month but only I and (District 13 Commissioner) Clint Thomas were there, said District 23 Commissioner Bernie Ash.

Ash said he recommended the resolutions be brought to the full commission anyway, and several commissioners asked that the measures be sent back to the Rules Committee.

Both resolutions were sent back by a vote of 13-10 on the first and 14-9 on the second. Commissioners Adam Bannach and Fred Weston of Districts 18 and 3, respectively, were absent from the meeting.

Commission also presented special recognition to Paulette Dorris, the sister of the late Edsel Floyd, recognizing Floyds vast contributions to Watertown and Wilson County as a whole. Floyd, a former mayor and alderman of Watertown, was long involved in the community and served for many years as a public address announcer at Watertown High School football games. He was also the Postmaster in Watertown.

Also, the Friendship Christian Schools football team was recognized for its achievements en route to winning the Class 2A state football championship, which was the first state football title by any high school in Wilson County.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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General Sports

FCS, Watertown players honored at Region 4A banquet

From Post staff reports
The Region 4A football post-season awards banquet was held Wedneday evening in Hartsville.

Jordan Harper and Devon Turczyn of Trousdale County have been named Co-Most Valuable Players. Quarterback Payton Watson of Gordonsville was named Offensive Player of the Year.

Two athletes will share the Defensive Player of the Year award, including: Friendship Christian linebacker Kyle Wood and Mr. Football finalist defensive lineman Tyler Coen of Gordonsville.

Friendship Christian punter Cale Mitchell was named Special Teams Player of the Year.

The following athletes were named to the all-region team:

Friendship Christian: Dekolas Reeves, Tallon Mehlhoff, Connor Gaines, Aaron Johnson, Mitchell Lester, Tanner Martin, Ian Putman, Austin DeFevers and Dalton Patterson.

Watertown: Maricus Gaines, Antonio Huddleston, KeAnDre Bates, Logan Grantham, Quis Bates, Cody Hamlet.

Trousdale County: Jordan Holder, Hunter Murphee, Michael Harper, Steven Turner, Baylor deLasomme, Mack Sanders and Kenyan Harper.

Gordonsville: Vincent Escobedo, Brandon McCoy, Tyler Coleman, Jared Randolph, Gage Harrelson, Cody Payne, Austin Taylor, J.T. Swaim and Nic Payne.

Red Boiling Springs: Matt French, Landon Hassard, Cody Dickens, Eathan Carnahan and Dakota Dickens.

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