Knox commissioners appoint replacements for term-limited officeholders

Knox commissioners appoint replacements for term-limited officeholders

January 31, 2007

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Knox County commissioners have appointed 12 new officials Wednesday to fill the offices made vacant by the state Supreme Court's ruling on term limits.

The four county-wide constitutional offices were filled rapidly.

But the process of appointing new commissioners hit some snags. Some of the difficulties were caused because only 18 of 19 commissioners were voting.

The commission became one seat short when a term-limited commissioner, Billy Tindell, was appointed the new county clerk. After his appointment, he was not allowed to cast any votes. 

Voting for Seat B in the 4th District was delayed after it resulted in a tie between two candidates during several tallies. Voting for the 2nd District was also tied for a brief time until a new vote broke the tie.

A group swearing in was held for new commissioners and other office holders Wednesday afternoon.

In the morning session, commissioners made the following appointments:

Sheriff: J.J. Jones (replaced Tim Hutchison) 

Jones was the only nominee for sheriff. He is the former chief deputy of administration. He took the oath of office shortly after he was voted in.

County Clerk: Billy Tindell (replaced Mike Padgett)

Tindell was one of the county commissioners who lost his seat due to the Supreme Court's ruling.

"It's taken me a couple three weeks to get in there, find out who's who and who's what, but I don't plan to clean house with the boys at all," Tindell told 6 News. 

Register of Deeds: Sherry Witt (replaced Steve Hall)

"I've been very involved in the party for years. We're getting ready to roll," Witt said.

Trustee: Fred Sisk (replaced Mike Lowe)

When asked if he plans any changes at this point, Sisk said, "Not really. We've got a good office, a great operation and we've got work to do." 

1st Commission District: Josh M. Jordan (replaced Diane Jordan)

Josh Jordan is the son of the outgoing commissioner.

2nd Commission District: Charles D. Bolus (replaced Billy Tindell)

Bolus was sworn in during a recess in the appointment process after voting returned to the tie for 4th District Seat B.

4th Commission District Seat A: Richard T. Cate (replaced John Schmid)

4th Commission District Seat B: Lee Tramel (replaced Phil Guthe)

5th Commission District: Frank Leuthold (replaced John Griess)

Frank Leuthold is a former county commissioner. He joins his son, Craig Leuthold, on the commission.

6th Commission District: Sharon Cawood (replaced Mark Cawood)

Sharon Cawood is the wife of Mark Cawood.

8th Commission District: Jack Huddleston (replaced John Mills)

9th Commission District: Tim Greene (replaced Larry Clark)

Commission took nominations from commissioners, then from the floor and then they voted.

A candidate needed a simple majority to get the position. That was just 10 votes.

More than 60 people entered their names for consideration.

The meeting to make the selections was called for by commission Chairman Scott Moore earlier in January.

Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale had proposed holding the meeting to name successors on February 16.

In a public statement Wednesday afternoon, Ragsdale said the people's trust in government has been shaken to say the least.

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