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Newly elected speak out

In the Aug. 7 general election, 46,000 County residents voted, overwhelmingly electing Republicans, incumbents and front-runners.

Voters elected twice-appointed Jimmy “J.J.” Jones for sheriff over Randy Tyree, who campaigned under the slogan, “This time you decide.”

Jones plans to work with Farragut Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III to increase the number of patrol units in Town limits.

“I think that some time in the near future we will be talking with the town of Farragut. They’ve expressed their wishes to have more officers patrolling that area,” Jones said.

“So I’ll probably be getting with Mayor Ford and sitting down and seeing how we can move forward with that,” he added.

“I’ll just continue to provide the professional law enforcement that Knox County has come to know,” Jones said of his other plans for the County, mentioning downtown intake center issues and the presence of the mentally ill in County jails as points for improvement.

Richard Briggs, appointee to County Commission seat 5-C, retained that post, defeating Independent challenger and Farragut resident Don Sproles.

Briggs said he also hopes to help increase law enforcement patrols in Farragut.

“We’re starting to have some car break-ins and I want to be certain that if that is indeed a trend we’re going to see, that we make certain that the sheriff’s department is out giving us the coverage like they do the rest of the County,” Briggs said.

“We’ve always had a fairly low crime rate out in Farragut, so we haven’t had the same police presence … but if we are seeing an increase in some of these car break-ins, we [need to] have adequate coverage for that or any other police issues,” he added.

In addition, Briggs hopes to put more emphasis on school funding.

“The top priority we have is being sure the schools get the funding they need and the school teachers have enough funding that they can get the pay raises they deserve,” he said, adding that teachers in Oak Ridge, Maryville and even Roane County are paid more than those employed by Knox County schools.

“We need to make sure we keep the best teachers in Knox County for our children,”

he added.

Briggs also said the Knox County budget must continue to be closely scrutinized to avoid dipping into the “rainy day” fund.

Finbarr Saunders, County Commissioner for the fourth district, seat A, is one of few Democrats elected to Commis-sion.

“Try to restore some trust and civility to this whole governance process,” Saunders said of his goals in Commission.

“Certainly we want to make sure services are delivered and that the citizens are well-served by all of us … people like me and several others are hopefully going to be able to begin to rebuild that trust,” Saunders said.

“I’m delighted with the folks that have been elected. I think it’s a good class and I think we will fit in well, and I know we will be able to make some real positive changes,” he added.

Ed Shouse won the other fourth district seat. Also elected in Commission were Sam McKenzie in the first district, Amy Broyles in the second, Brad Anders in 6A, Mike Brown in 9A and Dave C. Wright, who had no opposition, in 8A.

As of press time, it seemed likely that Commissioners replacing appointees or caretakers would wait until Sept. 2 to be sworn in.

In the state election, 23-year-old Ryan Haynes defeated Tom Baer by about nine percentage points for the 14th House District seat in the Tennessee General Assembly, where he will represent Farragut and Hardin Valley.

Haynes is a graduate of Farragut High School and The University of Tennessee and a former banker. He could not be reached for comment.

In other offices, Foster D. Arnett Jr. was elected Knox County Clerk over opponent Amy Henley-Vandergriff.

Sherry Witt, who like Jones is another two-time appointee, was elected to the Register of Deeds post.

Fred Sisk defeated Democrat and Knox County Board of Education representative Robert Bratton for Trustee.

County Commissioner Phil Ballard was elected to the post of Property Assessor and Bob McGee was elected Criminal Court Judge for Division II, ousting Ken Irvine, who was appointed by Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen last year.

Ballard’s commission seat will be filled in the Nov. 4 election, as will the Knox County General Session’s judge seat vacated by McGee.


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