For photos see the current issues of The Seymour Herald

Beecher Baker
candidate for County Commissioner

I like to do things for my county like schools, roads, and to help people when they need help. I love my county and I like to see it grow.

I have been a county commissioner for 20 years. I think we have done a good job in our county. I ran a business in Seymour for 25 years (Bakers Transmission Service) and was successful. I think the county government should be run like a business. I want to keep our property tax rate low, but we need to keep our county in good shape.

I would like to see zoning on the agenda in the near future. There are a lot of people in the county who live in a flood plain and they need flood insurance.

We have a traffic problem in our county. We need turn off lanes on Chapman Hwy. in Seymour. Also, the way our county is growing we need more school space.

Darryl Kerley
candidate for County Commissioner 6th District

I have served the community for 21 years as a volunteer firefighter, fire department training officer and currently, assistant chief. During this time I have been employed in engineering services both for the government and private sector. Community service is the most rewarding work I have been involved in and I would like to use my experience in engineering and emergency services to make our community the best and safest community possible. I have the experience and desire to do so.
I have 12 years of experience at the TVA materials engineering laboratory where I was trained as a construction inspector and materials tester for the power industry. After leaving TVA, I became a manager for a private engineering firm, where I was responsible for supervising the field operations for foundation investigation, environmental investigations at hazardous waste sites and testing TVA dams as a part of the federal dam safety program. For the last 9 years I have been serving as the office manager for a local civil engineering firm. In this position I was responsible for employee payroll and benefits, invoicing and accounts payable, computer network operations and data control, plus my regular engineering duties related to subdivision design and development. I feel these skills along with my 25 years of emergency services training provide me with a very well rounded background needed to operate and manage our local government. My background and training fall in line with the services, which our local government provides, on a daily basis.
In the first 100 days I will meet with as many department heads, elected officials and local government managers as possible to get a feel for their vision of our community. I will meet with community and civic groups to get to know folks on a closer more personal basis. I will begin to prioritize the wish list of local residents so we can begin to develop a vision for our community.
A. Adopt and implement countywide regulations which protect residents lives and property, such as building codes and fire safety regulations.
B. Stabilize local revenues with industrial and technical jobs so we are not so heavily dependent on the tourist industry for local funds.
C. Make sure we keep our school and emergency response personnel fully funded and trained.
4a. The lack of safety codes and building codes in Sevier County while rapidly developing is a dangerous combination. As fast as our community is changing and with the higher density of new development it will be only a matter of time until someone is injured or their property is destroyed because of poor construction practices. I feel the county has an obligation to local residents and visitors who use rental properties to make these buildings as safe as possible.
4b. We depend on tourists in Sevier County to keep our property taxes some of the lowest in the state. In our changing world and especially in light of September 11, we need to diversify the work force in Sevier County. I feel we need to recruit more technical, industrial, and service-type companies to Sevier County. With the explosion of tourist related construction in Sevier County, along with our inability to move traffic through our county, many folks are becoming frustrated sitting in traffic for hours while trying to get to their motel or just moving about the community. Although there are more things to do and see, motorists can’t get to these attractions without sitting in traffic for an hour or more. I also fear the changing economy along with state budget problems could affect local revenues.
4c. For our community to remain safe and healthy, we must continue to train our teachers and provide them with state of the art resources to make sure our children can compete in today’s job market. Nice classrooms are good, but we must fund continuing education for our teachers and make sure our children have today’s technology available in the classroom.
Since 9/11, I feel the public has a greater respect for all of our emergency service workers. These law enforcement officers, paramedics, EMT’s and firefighters place themselves in harms way each day. Most residents will never know the risk our emergency service personnel experience each day. We must train, equip, and pay these folks at the highest level possible. It will be these men and women who will respond to our home, school, business or motor vehicle emergency during our moment of need. How well do you want them trained and equipped when they respond to your emergency?

Ralph Whaley
1. I have a great love and respect for the Seymour community and consider it a great honor to represent it.

2. I have served Seymour’s 9th district previously as a Commissioner, which part of it now is in the present 6th district, in which I am running. I feel I was an effective commissioner. One of the reasons I was effective was that I enjoyed a good working relationship wit the other Sevier county Commissioners, I stayed abreast of my community’s needs by working hard. I am qualified by prior service and I have a desire to help the Seymour Community.

3. My agenda will consist of doing my very best to represent the needs of the citizens of Seymour and Sevier County during my first 100 days as it will during the last day I spent in office. Public office is a great trust given to an office holder by the people the office holder represents. I take the responsibility very seriously.

4. Sevier County has some problems that are also problems for Seymour as follows:

Turn lanes for Chapman Highway, a turn signal for East Macon lane, just to mention a few things we need done to Chapman Highway. We’ve had far too many accidents and deaths on Chapman; it’s time we got something done.

Garbage and trash relief is not only a Sevier County problem but is a Major one for Seymour. It Is my position that compactors at our existing Convenience sites may be a workable solution. Seymour residents are tired of going to our “convenience” centers and finding them shut down although the posted hours indicated they were supposed to be open.

Funding a new Seymour/Boyd’s creek school is high on the list of Things to get done. Affordable Sewer is a Sevier County/Seymour problem that needs to be addressed. These are critical in most of the affected Seymour residents minds and need no further explanation.

Commission candidate for District 9 Sevier County
Ray Godfrey
Seymour is my community and I feel honored to be able to represent the citizens of Seymour.
My campaign slogan “Working Today For a Better Tomorrow” represents my qualities.
Being an elected official is a four-year commitment to serve Seymour and Sevier County and be a voice of the people.
Growth-Growth-Growth! Sevier County is the fastest growing county in the state. We must maintain our goal to provide quality education, road upgrades and maintenance, emergency services, jails, libraries, water quality, health services, senior citizens needs, and all of the community services that will continue to make Sevier County a desirable place to live for our citizens.

David “Buster” Norton
As a lifelong member of this community, I feel it is my duty and honor to give back to Seymour as a representative of the people.
I am qualified to represent the 9th District because I have lived here all of my life. I’ve experienced the changes in Seymour as growth has occurred and I have successfully been a part of committees that have smoothed the transitions of this growth. I’ve represented the 9th District for two terms as my grandfather had also represented the Seymour community. I’m familiar with the process of governmental interactions and have an open-door policy to listen to the constituents.
The agenda for my first 100 days of office will include maintaining the continuous business at hand for the commissioners so the transitions following the election will not delay any actions. I will also listen and collect the needs and concerns of the constituency so that I can represent Seymour and its best interests.
The three most crucial issues are:
Overcrowded schools – The future of Sevier County relies on the education our students receive and with overcrowded classrooms we undermine the quality of education the students receive. Overcrowded schools weaken the infrastructure of Sevier County. A strong infrastructure is the ground on which many businesses base their decisions for placement.
Roads – the roads in Sevier County were not initially built for the numbers of people using them. The county commissioners will address this.
Growth – So that Sevier County maintains a healthy infrastructure to support its citizens, the county commissioners can assist in planning smooth transitions to adjust for growth..

Commission candidate for District 10 Sevier County

Steve Brenner
I am running for county commission because I know I can help my community. I have become increasingly involved in local issues and how local politics can help or hinder progress. I have seen how our busy lives makes getting involved difficult for many people. I have been asked by many friends and neighbors to consider this effort. I have a desire to serve my community, to make life better for all my neighbors, wife, daughter, son-in-law, and now my grandson.
My qualifications are a history of local community involvement with issues related to zoning, water and sewer, and bringing issue information to our community. By working with Citizens for Community Involvement I have held meetings with our elected officials to discuss reapportionment, the new Boyds Creek School, road improvements, and issues affecting our community on the state level. I have attended most county commission meetings for a few years and I am acquainted with the people presently in power. I feel certain that I can step in and work effectively for the 10th district.
My first 100 days would be dedicated to learning about the system, the methods, and the people I will have to work with on commission. As a newly elected commissioner I will seek out the other “rookies” and see if we share opinions on issues. I would also seek to meet with the other 5 commissioners of the 6th, 9th, and 10th districts so that we can work together and speak as 6 voices working for Boyds Creek, Dupont, Whites, and the Seymour Communities.
The three crucial issues are:
A countywide plan for growth and zoning. This is crucial because as the fastest growing county in Tennessee we are being impacted by new building, increased traffic, and new residents who add to the burdens on our schools, roads, and public services. This will also address the county participation in the FEMA Flood insurance program.
The ability to maintain and increase education funding. This is crucial because of the increase in the number of students in Sevier County Schools, the need to try to increase teacher pay, and the looming budget problems in Nashville.
The continuation of well funded public services such as police protection, road improvements, and solid waste facilities. These government-funded requirements affect our quality of life. It is essential that we as a growing population have a government that keeps up with those quality of life requirements. Steve Brenner

James Dykes

What is my personal reason for running for office?
I am a previous Commissioner of the 10th district and represented the citizens of this district for eight (8) years. I want to continue several projects that we started in the previous years such as building better schools, roads and utilities for the 10th district and all of Sevier County. I have lived in the 10th district all my life and want to see that we continue to receive our share of county services and help make it a better place to live now and in the future for our children.

What qualifies you to be in the position of representing Sevier County in the office that you seek?
As I mentioned before, I am a previous Sevier County Commissioner serving the 10th district for eight (8) years. I feel that my prior experience and my lifelong residence in the 10th district more than qualifies me to represent the citizens. I am also very interested in the current issues that we face in Sevier County and the Seymour area and want to be a positive voice in helping address these concerns and will give of my personal time and effort in doing so.

If elected, detail what your agenda will be in your first 100 days of office.
I will first get to know the newly elected commissioners and commission as a whole as I feel it is very important to develop a working relationship with all 25 commissioners. I will then begin to address the issues of the 10th district in the sub-committees as well as the commission body. I will bring myself up to date on the budget status and current issues so that I can quickly and actively get involved in the discussion and process of representing the 10th district and Sevier County.

What are the three most crucial issues that need to be addressed in Sevier County (and the 10th district)?
(Education and Roads) We are growing throughout Sevier County and especially in the 10th district and with growth comes opportunities and issues. We need to keep up with our growth by building more classrooms and schools for our children. We also must continue to make our roads better and safer for our citizens. I feel these issues can be addressed without further taxing our citizens by reallocating funds during the budget process.
(County Services) We must continue to provide better overall services to our citizens such as police, fire and ambulance service, solid waste collection disposal, parks and recreation/community centers and utilities such as water and sewer. Again, all of these services come with a cost, but I feel our current tax base is sufficient to provide most of these services at the level we need.
(State and Local Revenues) We must work hard on a local level to spend our tax dollars more efficiently and effectively for our citizens and county. We should always question every expenditure and classify it as a want or need as we do in our personal lives. We need to keep the state of Tennessee out of our local revenues and encourage the state to question their own spending and budget process.
Thank you for this opportunity to express my thoughts on some of the issues that face Sevier County and the 10th district. If elected, I promise to give my best in representing the citizens of the 10th district and all of Sevier County. I am proud to call Sevier County home and will serve our citizens with honor and respect.

Jim Keener

I decided to run because I believe that I will be able to help the residents of our district. I think the people who live in Whites, Dupont and Boyd’s Creek want a county commissioner to represent them who has the experience and the ability to get the job done for them. I have established a good working relationship with other county officials and I can work cooperatively with them to serve the best interests of our district.

Again, I work regularly and will continue to work with other county commissioners and other elected officials to bring all the services I can to our district. I am a life-long resident of Sevier County and am familiar with the district and the people who live in it. I have been elected to public office twice before and currently serve as chairman of the Sevier County Tax Equalization Board. I have the experience and the ability to get the job done.

I will actually begin to prepare the day after election to take office on Sept. 1. I will familiarize myself with the current county budget and meet with the Director of Schools to learn more about the School Board’s budget and building program. I will seek information from the County Executive about current issues facing the county. I will also meet with individuals and community leaders to seek a better understanding of what the needs are within each community and I will make sure that citizens are aware of how they can reach me by telephone to discuss their needs.

First would have to be how we can continue to provide needed county services without increasing taxes or being overly intrusive in peoples’ lives. Schools, roads, law enforcement and fire protection will have my support and will be top priorities for me. Utility water services and sewer as well as solid waste collection and disposal and other matters that are the result of growth. Growth in Sevier County has provided wonderful opportunities for our people and the county commission must continue to take positive steps to keep stride with the growth.

Bobby Stinnett

As a resident of the 10th District for twenty-five years I have observed many changes to our community. Some of them have been very beneficial to the citizens and some of them have detracted from our pristine countryside. The changes that have occurred are just a small taste of what I think the future will bring. I believe I have a fairly good understanding of what most residents in the 10th District are for and what they are against. With over thirty years of government experience at the Federal, State, and Local levels, I believe I am qualified to represent our community. That experience includes twelve years as a Human Resource Manager, eleven years in construction, and four years developing, administering, and accounting for a twelve million dollar budget.

Regarding the budget process, one of the most important revenue sources in Sevier County is that gained through property taxes. It is my understanding that a primary duty and high priority of a county commissioner is to establish the tax rate for residential, farm, and commercial properties. A qualified candidate should know something about appraised value, assessment level, effective tax rate, tax rate and their relationship to the county budget. I have made a conscientious effort to gain some knowledge in these areas. As a candidate I have two primary objectives – to see that every penny of those tax dollars are spent wisely and that each resident is treated fairly and consistently.
Sincerely, Bobby R. Stinnett, Sr. 2703 Boyds Creek Highway, Sevierville, TN 37876, Telephone 428-5108

Freida Widner
Commission candidate
I don’t have a personal reason for running. And because I don’t have a personal reason, I will be able to make unbiased decisions on any issues that are put before me.
I will be able to make it my full time job. I have recently had a child in the school system then home-schooled her the last two years. I love talking to & listening to people.
The first 100 days will be used to notify voters of anything coming up in front of County Commission.
Schools – more & how to pay for them.
Zoning – it’s what everyone is worried about.
Traffic – how to move tourists around better.

Comments are closed.