About the county commission
Bedford County Board of Commissioners is the county’s legislative body, as provided by state law (Tenn. Code Ann. § 5-5-101). The board has 18 members, two from each commission district. County Mayor Chad Graham chairs the commission.
Commissioners serve a four-year term. All 18 seats are up for election at once. There is one race in each district, with the top two finishers in each district elected to that district’s two seats. The next county commission races will be in 2022, with the general election in August and new terms beginning in September.
If you are a registered voter, your county district will be printed on your voter registration card; if not, you can contact the county election office for information about your district. A complete list of commission members, with contact information, can be found here.
The county commission approves the county budgets and sets as county tax rate sufficient to fund them. For most funds, the commission can make line-item changes, but in the case of the school budget (which is prepared and approved by the school board) and the highway budget (which is prepared and approved by the road board) the commission can only accept or reject the entire budget.
The commission also fills vacancies in elected county offices, with the appointed person serving until the next general election. The commission ratifies the county mayor’s nominees to serve on various boards and committees.
The commission normally meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the second-floor courtroom of the historic Bedford County Courthouse. Special meetings may be called as well. Meetings of legislative bodies in Tennessee, with few exceptions, are open to the public.
The commission has four standing committees:
- Financial Management, which meets at 4:15 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the second-floor courtroom at the courthouse. This committee includes four commissioners, the county mayor, the school superintendent, and the highway superintendent. It deals with budget and financial matters and hires the county’s finance director.
- Rules and Legislative, which meets at 5 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month in the second-floor courtroom of the courthouse. This committee plays a part in referring issues to the proper committee for study, for studying the commission’s own internal rules, and for considering items of general governance.
- Law Enforcement and Workhouse, which meets on the third Tuesday of each month, immediately following the Rules and Legislative Committee, in the second-floor courtroom. This committee deals with matters such as law enforcement, corrections, animal control, probation, and juvenile detention.
- Courthouse and County Property, which meets on the third Tuesday of each month, immediately following the Law Enforcement and Workhouse Committee, in the second-floor courtroom. This committee deals with the county courthouse as well as other county buildings, real estate, and property.
Most matters must go through at least one of the four standing committees before being placed on the full commission’s agenda for approval.