KNOXVILLE (WATE) — Knox County commissioners voted Tuesday morning to make Tony Norman their new chairman.
Norman won by a vote of 6-5 over Commissioner Brad Anders. Commissioner Sam McKenzie cast the deciding vote.
The leadership spot was open because current Chairman Mike Hammond is term-limited and had to step down. He will still serve as a commissioner, but led his last meeting a week ago.
The commission voted on the new chair during its annual re-organization meeting. Commissioners also chose R. Larry Smith as their new vice chair.
The successor is considered the "face" of Knox County Commission. The chair acts as the moderator of the meetings and sets the agenda. The chair also meets with the county mayor and community leaders as part of the job.
By default, the chair also serves on the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Great Schools Partnership.
"There are a lot of responsibilities for the chair. It takes up a lot of time, but it's an extremely important position with Knox County," Hammond said.
After the meeting, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett released this statement:
"I want to congratulate Commissioners Norman and Smith on being selected as chairman and vice-chairman of the Knox County Commission.
Commissioners had a difficult choice to make this morning, because Chairman Norman and Commissioner Anders are both proven leaders. I look forward to continuing to work with both of them, as well as Vice-Chairman Smith and the rest of Commission, to keep Knox County moving in the right direction."
Commissioner Norman has served on commission since 2006. He has publicly butted heads with the Knoxville Chamber over how it spends money.