February 2020



The Hickory Withe Community Association met on February 6th at the Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 by President Becky Sue Evans. Jim Mitchell offered the opening prayer, and the pledge to the flag was led  by Phil Mitchell. There were 42 in attendance including Fayette County Mayor “Skip” Taylor and County Commissioner Jim Norton.


Discussion was held about the “Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction”. Becky Sue passed around signup sheets to volunteer for assistance during the dinner: decorations, serving, clean up. The members present  were encouraged to reach out to folks in the community to supply silent auction items. Invitations were distributed for members to invite friends and to place in appropriate venues.


Our speaker for the evening was Fayette County Mayor “Skip” Taylor. Mayor Taylor began by indicating that the first few months of the years are relegated to gathering budget ideas and requests to put on paper. He also announced the very welcome news that Hickory Withe will be receiving a new Pumper Truck for the fire department. The mayor pointed out that Hickory Withe has access, through county resources, to 24-hour ambulance service (staffed for higher daytime demand) available to transport emergent cases to emergency rooms for care. (emphasis on EMERGENT). Information is being gathered to consider a “Stand Alone” emergency room in Fayette County. Mayor Taylor’s “sweet spot” is at Highway 196 and Highway 64!  Baptist Hospital is building a “Stand Alone” emergency room in Arlington at the intersection of I-40 and 205 (Northeast corner).


Mayor Taylor discussed several “Hot Button” issues:

- City and County Taxes. Several, if not all, of the larger Fayette County cities may raise taxes this year. Close to home, Oakland is one…considering up to a one-half percent raise. Oakland has had significant population growth since the last census, as have some of the other cities in the county. With growth, comes a greater demand on city services…as well as county services. Due to the directives associated with the relationship between county and city taxes, if a city (or cities) raise taxes and the county doesn’t, the county will not receive a share of those tax proceeds; in order to share a portion of those proceeds, Fayette County would have to raise taxes also. With the same growth impacts as the cities, and with the “share” provisions of current guidelines, it becomes prudent…if not compelling…for the county to consider making appropriate increases to county taxes.  The cities are considering those tax raises this year. Depending on that outcome, the county will have time to propose potential raises in time for the start of the next fiscal year. Perhaps predictably, the discussion of taxes stimulated much interest, many questions, and an abundance of informative comments.

 - Adequate Facilities Tax – This is a “one time” tax ($1/square foot) levied on new home construction.  Our tax rate is the lowest in the state of Tennessee.

- Litter.  A corrections officer is being trained to take prisoners out on litter pick up details. Civic groups are encouraged to “Adopt a Road” in the effort to curb the litter problem.

- Voter Registration. Everyone is encouraged to register to vote in the upcoming election. Go to www.fayettetn.us for information.

- CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) – The local deer population has been suffering with CWD and Fayette County has been designated the location to bury the infected carcasses. State legislators are working to get financing to build an incinerator to appropriately dispose of the animals.


The next General Meeting and Pot Luck Supper will be held on March 5th.


Respectfully submitted,


Liz Klepko, Secretary



Note from the President




As we plan the Spaghetti Dinner and Auction, scheduled for February 29, 2020, the question arises of why we need to do a fund-raiser when there is money in the bank. Let me tell you two reasons, as I see it.


First, Hickory Withe Community Association is like a beautiful house that has been the work of many years. If we imagine this house as something we care for and are proud of, then the CD that we continue to keep in the bank is like the roof that keeps us safe from the coming storms. We don’t want to start burning the furniture, and definitely don’t want to start tearing off shingles and burning them, just because we are feeling too old or too tired to go out and chop wood, or because we already done chopped wood. If we want to see the next generation continue to enjoy the wonderful community of Hickory Withe, then we really just have to keep chopping wood.


Second, when my fellow board members and I volunteered to serve, we made an unspoken agreement with this association that we would protect and guard its assets. I have done some research about this and here are a couple of things I’d like to point out (from BoardSource.org):


1. Board members provide the critical intellectual capital and strategic resources to power nonprofit success and strengthen communities.


2. One of the primary responsibilities of the board is to ensure that the organization has adequate financial resources to carry out its mission. Nonprofits — like businesses, families, and individuals — need to save for a rainy day.


We are planning our fundraisers for 2020 in the hope that we can continue to save for a rainy day, while maintaining our support of the community and donations to local groups such as the Carl Perkins Center for Abused Children and our local First Responders. We have recently expanded our community programs to include the Joe Moore Scholarship to Fayette Leadership Academy. We can’t expand, or even maintain, our programs on a long-term basis without fundraisers.


I’m about to ask y’all to fill the various needs that we have for the Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction and to request that each of you provide something really nice for the auction. I’m going to lead out in this effort by donating a quilt I just finished, and I hope that y’all will find a meaningful way to participate in this fundraiser.


Finally, let me remind y’all that raising funds shows our enthusiasm about this organization and its programs. However, most people do not give unless someone asks them to give. We ask the community to support us because our programs are worthwhile, and our association itself is a great benefit and strength to the community.


Information Resource: BoardSource 750 9th Street NW, Suite 650 Washington, DC 20001-4793

Future Meetings





January 2nd


Laura Winfrey-Director of Fayette County Library




February 6th


Fayette County Mayor, Skip Taylor discusses tax structure for county


February 29th



Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction


March 5

Expected performance by Irish Dancers






Photos from December Meeting



Photos from September Meeting


Photos from June Meeting

Photos from May Meeting

Photos from April Meeting

For more information, please click here.

For important information concerning the emergency helicopter service available to Fayette County Residents click Here.

Hello fellow Fayette County Citizens and Friends!
Spring has finally sprung and I hope you all are enjoying the sunshine and beautiful weather as much as I am.  Our County is continuing to grow and thrive and I believe it is a place we can all be proud to call home.  The last few months have been very active and we will see increased activity over the next few months as we begin deliberating over the budgets for the County.  I would encourage each of you to get involved and attend a County Commission meeting so that you can hear first hand how your dollars are being disbursed.  
Most recently we have received numerous letters, calls, and complaints about the trash on the roads, especially in the more rural areas, and we are taking action.  Last week during Development Committee we recommended reallocating funds from the litter department to the Sheriff’s Office.  The individual who was overseeing the litter pick-up is retiring and this will give us a more active response with the Deputies and inmates running the trash clean-up efforts.  I believe you will quickly begin to notice a cleaner County and at little to no increased cost!
Our County Schools are also continuing their great work and more than just a few have taken notice.  Within the last few weeks our Governor, Bill Lee, took a tour of Fayette-Ware’s College, Career, and Technical Education programs and stated he was highly impressed with the things he saw happening.  Most recently the new TN Commissioner of Education, Dr. Penny Schwinn toured Oakland Elementary’s classrooms and had in-depth discussion with the teachers and staff there.  Having the leaders of Tennessee come to our schools just further shows that we are on the move in the right direction.  Let Dr. King know how much you appreciate his and the members of the school board’s efforts to make education in Fayette County a priority!  Great job team!
Last, but not least, Easter is tomorrow!  I know this day will be filled with egg hunts and family meals, but I hope you will all take time out of your day to celebrate the Risen Savior!
“ For God so loved the world, that he gave His only son...”. Happy Easter Fayette County!
Our next Commission meeting is Tuesday at 7:00 in the Justice Complex in Somerville.  Please reach out if I can serve you in any way. 
Robbie Sills