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Concord GOP club hosts candidate


Removing politics from employment within the Knox County Trustee’s office, reallocating tax dollars and making office operations more user-friendly, points of improvement L.B. Steele emphasized as a Trustee candidate in the Republican

primary.


Steele, a native Knox Countian and Central High School graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree at Carson-Newman College, gave a brief speech to the Concord-Farragut Republican Club during its monthly meeting Thursday, Nov. 8, in Gondolier restaurant.

As for why he’s running, Steele said one reason involved tax dollars. “I want to see more money put back in the county government,” he said. “We have the tax attorney that I’ve heard gets $200,000 to $500,000, I’m not sure about the amount of that.

“I’ve had discussions with our law director [John Owings] and we can do this in-house, and we can take that fee and put it back into the budget,” he added.

As for Trustee office employees, “I’d like to see them come under the Department of Human Services in the county, but it doesn’t do that right now,” Steele said. “It would make everything fair, and have the wage scale so everyone knows what they’ve got to do and what they’re going to be making.

“Another thing I would like is have protection for the employees in the Trustee’s department,” Steele added. “Right now there’s no protection for them when the new Trustee comes in. If the Trustee there gets mad at someone for whatever reason he can just fire ’em for no reason. I want to see ’em have a merit … system like the sheriff’s department has now, to where it doesn’t make any difference who the trustee is.

“They can do their work, they can be the professionals that they are and concentrate on doing a better job for the county and not having to worry about who their boss is.”

Concerning Trustee’s satellite offices throughout Knox County, “Satellite offices are great, but some of the satellite offices aren’t as busy as others,” Steele said. “I’d like to see some way where we could cross-train the individuals at those offices so we could make better use of their time. And maybe less employees at a satellite office.”

Concerning computers, “We have a lot of older people who don’t like computers, so we’ve got to have some way to get to them and work with them — not by just computers, but by the phones,” Steele said. “Be polite with them on the phones and work with the senior citizens.

“And then you’ve got other people who can’t afford a computer to do this online,” Steele added. “So that’s another reason that satellite offices are important to us.”

Running against former appointed Trustee Fred Sisk in the Republican Primary, Steele concluded: “With the help of the community, we can have a new beginning in the Trustees office. It takes your all’s help to

get there and make the changes that we need to make, and to make improvements in the Trustees office to operate more smoothly.”

A former law enforcement employee, Steele, pictured right, said he “didn’t start school until I had four children. … It was rough going. Luckily I had a family that was very considerate and helped me as I went through school.”

 

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