discuss ordinance
banning advertising
items of any kind
on courthouse lawn


Donnie Hacker voiced his concerned at the Washington County Commissioners’ meeting May 10 about a building located on the north side of the courthouse lawn. 

Hacker’s concern, among other reasons, prompted the commissioners to begin discussion about an ordinance banning signage or buildings of any kind on the courthouse lawn.

According to the Commissioners’ attorney, Dustin Howard, as it is written now the ordinance bans all signs and buildings at the courthouse other than US flags and the flags currently on the flag pole.

He said the commissioners are still discussing the terms of the ordinance.

The only exception would be the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Santa House, which is actually setup on the street.

Commissioner David Brown said he has always been an opponent of advertisement type items at the courthouse.

“I am the one who made the suggestion of taking a look at not putting anything at all on the courthouse lawn,” Brown said. “There were so many different issues that kept popping up.”

Brown said there have been debates over whose sign is more important and organizations expecting the county to store the signs and be responsible for putting them back up.

“The biggest problem I have with the building is the sidewalk,” he said. “Part of it is on the grass and part of it is on the sidewalk. We need to do away with it all and be done with it!”

Hacker said the building had several signs advertising a business, which sells the buildings. The company is a director competitor with the type of buildings Hacker sells.

“I’ve been in that type of business myself since 2002,” Hacker said. “I was concerned when I saw the building and it brought questions. The first is what presents the opportunity to be able to put that kind of building on the courthouse line. They have the granddaddy of locations on the courthouse lawn.”

The building was there as part of a raffle for the upcoming Relay for Life.

Hacker said at that there was nothing posted about the Relay raffle and the only thing visible to those passing by were the company name.

“I know them and they are very fine people, but in the future if there are situations that occur, the company that I work for, would be more than happy to entertain something like that as well,” Hacker said. “It wasn’t an issue for me until I saw there was nothing on it but advertisement for the business.”

Brown said all of the organizations that want signs put up for their events are important, but not allowing any takes away any debate over priority.
In other business

The commissioners passed a resolution, along with the Washington County Building Commission to sell bonds for the court expansion project.

Washington County Clerk Shirley Batt got permission from the commissioners to hire a full-time employee and a part-time employee.

She said a full-time employee is resigning and a part-time employee has been ill and is not able to keep the position.

Batt noted that these positions are not new and were already part of the county’s budget.

The commissioners also gave permission to Daniel Cleghorn and Amar Domini Productions permission to use the county government building to shoot a scene in a teen outreach video.

Cleghorn said the film is about two teenagers on a special needs orphan and the other a 17-year-old who was arrested for shoplifting.

Cleghorn used the outer hallway by the health department on May 11 to shoot the scene.

Jeff Quyle, the new president of Radius, introduced himself to county commissioners.

Radius is the regional economic development group that works with eight counties, one of which is Washington.

Quyle said they work with Sabrina Burdine, who is the executive director at the Washington County Economic Growth Partnership.

The commissioners accepted the resignation of Steve Anderson from the Washington County Weed Board and also appointed David Weaver and Morris Lee Day to the weed board.

The commissioner’s next meeting will be Tuesday, June 7 at 9 a.m. in the Washington County Government Building.