published Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Lewis named Sequatchie executive

Sequatchie County commissioners appointed fellow Commissioner Claude Lewis to serve the remainder of County Executive Michael Hudson’s term.

Lewis, who retired a year ago as a right-of-way manager for TVA, said Monday’s 10-5 vote “went about the way I expected.” He said he’ll focus on new jobs, a stable ambulance service and having a viable emergency room in the county.

Lewis, 69, said he’ll bring his experience with the Tennessee Valley Authority and a combined 10 years as a county commissioner in two stints since the 1980s.

“My experience on the Budget Committee for the past six or seven years, and the fact that I’ve been a manager before with a budget in excess of $20 million (at TVA)” will help him, he said.

Lewis will assume the post after Hudson’s last day in office on April 1.

Lewis will hold the post until the August 2012 general election, and commissioners must fill the commission vacancy left by his appointment in the next 120 days.

The other nominee, Keith Cartwright, ran against Hudson in August. Hudson announced he was stepping down in February.

Commissioner David Cartwright, Keith Cartwright’s uncle, said that despite his vote, he still thought Lewis “will do a good job” and that he agrees with Lewis’ basic goals.

Ray Hobbs, one of the 10 commissioners who favored Lewis, said he had nothing against Cartwright but felt “we need a person already on board to carry the county forward.”

VOTE TALLY

Sequatchie County commissioners were divided 10-5 on the appointment to replace outgoing County Executive Michael Hudson.

Lewis votes: Commissioners Marsha Carr, Brian Farley, Bryan Harmon, Ray Hobbs, Tommy Johnson, Denise Kell, Ronnie Land, Paul Powell, Don Walker and Will Zimmerman.

Cartwright votes: Commissioners Jeff Barger, David Cartwright, Richard Harvey, Clint Huth and Barney Slatton.

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