State House member Tandy Darby who represents the 76th District that includes Weakley County and parts of Carroll and Obion Counties spoke Friday morning at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Capitol Talk.’ Through redistricting, a portion of Henry County will be added to his district.
He is a member of the Ag and Natural Resources Committee, Education Administration Committee, Higher Education Sub Committee and is vice chair of the Calendar and Rules Committee.
“It’s an honor to serve,” he said
He told the story about a little girl that lives in Carroll County that he noticed at a UT girl’s basketball game who had on a No. 10 uniform. He said he teared up because it reminded him of his daughter Tess who wore a uniform with the number 10 when she was about that age. She is now a starter for the Lady Vols.
As it turned out, the little girl was Livi Anne Kee, the daughter of Huntingdon Special School District Director of Schools, Dr. Jonathan Kee and his wife, Heather.
Livi Anne attended the Lady Vols vs. Vanderbilt game Sunday, Feb. 13 at the University of Tennessee. She was invited to go to the locker room and wish the team members good luck as they run out and to continue staying on the court during warmups and player introductions.
Darby said he received a text from Ron Dyer who said that Jonathan Kee wanted to meet him, but paid little attention to it at the time.
Livi Anne’s dad later said in an e-mail that she loves basketball and it was a magical day for her to watch the Lady Vols.
Tess gave her shirt to Livi Anne as she was introduced. Ironically, Tess didn’t know Livi Anne.
Livi Anne watched Tess in high school when she played for Greenfield because Tess had a high school teammate who also wears cochlear implants like Livi Anne. The Kees say they have always tried to encourage Livi Anne that despite her disability, she can pursue her dreams. Kee said he has been trying to meet Darby and it’s amazing how the experience with their two daughters brought them together to meet for the first time at Capitol Talk.
Darby said he believes that everything happens for a reason and that experience was truly one of them.
During a question and answer period McKenzie Special School District Director of Schools Lynn Watkins advised Darby to go very slowly on the new education funding formula. He said he understood that funding for the Carroll County system’s school bus transportation was about to be cut and each school in the county would have to contribute. This would take a portion of the extra funds each school district would receive.
“I appreciate your feedback,” said Darby. “I have questions about the new funding myself.”
McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland thanked him for his support of the tax bill that will give funds back to cities. She said McKenzie’s share would be $90,000 and that would eliminate having to pass a tax onto citizens.
The representative said it was looking good for passage in the House, but he didn’t know about the Senate.
The next Capitol Talk is slated for April 8 at 8 a.m. at the Carroll County Civic Center with Rep. Curtis Halford scheduled to speak.