Commission to appoint new member to fill vacant 8th district seat

Published 10:31 am Monday, March 21, 2016

Carter County Commission Logoi
When the Carter County Commission meets on Monday evening, one of the items on the agenda is appointing a new member to fill their ranks following the resignation of former Commissioner Robert Gobble in February.
Four candidates turned in applications to be appointed as the newest representative for the county’s 8th District, which lies within the City of Elizabethton — Edwin C. Alexander, Kelly E. Collins, David H. Nelson and Rick Q. Richardson.
During Monday’s meeting, each candidate will be given the chance to address the Commission and be asked questions by the commissioners.
After all the interviews are complete, the Commission will vote to appoint one of the candidates to join the governing body. That appointee will serve on the Commission until the end of August.
The unexpired term for the 8th District will appear on the ballot for the county’s general election in August. Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris said so far no candidates have picked up paperwork to qualify for the August election.
In order to qualify for the August election, candidates must have their qualification paperwork turned in by Noon on April 7, Harris said.
Each of the four candidates seeking the appointment were required to submit an application to the county listing their experience and why they want to serve on the Commission.
Alexander touted his career in the Elizabethton City School system where he served as a teacher, principal and ultiamtely the Director of Elizabethton City Schools.
“As a school administrator, I was responsible for a $20-million budget, as well as the academic programs and safety of all within the system,” Alexander said.
He also referenced his service on a number of public education committees and his tenure chairing the City of Elizabethton’s Parks and Recreation Committee.
Alexander cited a desire to continue serving his community as the reason behind seeking the appointment.
“I would like to contribute in a positive fashion, in whatever manner I could for the betterment of the 8th District,” he said. “Also, that would allow me to serve the City and County I love.”
Collins is currently employed by the Carter County School System and is working at Hampton Elementary School. She began her career in education in 1992 at Doe Elementary School in Johnson County before moving to the Carter County School System in 1995 where she took a job at Valley Forge Elementary. She stayed at Valley Forge until 2000 when she made the move to Hampton Elementary.
She noted her experience in the education world as well as her service on a variety of committees in the school system and the community.
Collins said a desire to serve her community led her to seek the appointment to the Commission.
“I was taught from an early age from my mother, Helen Collins, that if you choose to be a part of a community you should also serve that same community in some positive capacity,” she said. “Whether it be through working in your community, volunteering and/or choosing to run for a particular office, everyone has a civic duty to support their local community and government.”
“I am now choosing to support my community by becoming more involved in the local government,” Collins added.
Nelson cited his experience as a law enforcement officer.
A Carter County native and 1981 graduate of Elizabethton High School, Nelson completed the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1987. His law enforcement career spanned 28 years and includes service as a Chief of Police.
Under qualifications, Nelson listed “know budget workshops as chief of police.”
His application did not include an answer the question asking why he was interested in serving on the Commission.
Richardson is a retired advertising executive.
He lists his experience serving as an executive board member and treasurer of the Elizabethton National Little League and he is currently serving his 8th term on the Elizabethton Twins Baseball Commission by appointment of the Elizabethton City Council. He also serves as a deacon and board member of Borderview Christian Church.
Richardson expresses a desire to serve his community as the reason he applied for the appointment to the Commission.
“I have always had a desire for public service,” he said, adding his previous employer’s policies prohoibited him from seeking a public office. “Now that I’ve retired, I would like to serve the citizens of Carter County.”
“I want to help make Carter County an even better place for all ages to live, find employment and see that our children/grandchildren are educated to compete in today’s job market,” he added.
In addition to appointed a new commissioner, the county’s governing body is also set to consider a policy and procedures manual for the Commission, appoint a new judicial commissioner and approve a county reappraisal plan.

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