published Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Bradley County's 5th District gets new constable

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Bradley County's 5th District will have a new constable next week.

On Monday, Bradley County commissioners appointed Steve Anderson to complete the unexpired term of Constable Ira Cox, who died in November. Anderson will be sworn in Monday.

"The time was right, and I want to do service for the community," said Anderson, a 10-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps who has managed the Athens Eyear Optical store since 2004.

Anderson was nominated by Jeff Yarber and Bill Ledford, both 5th District Bradley County commissioners who said they had received responses from four good applicants.

"If we could have had four, I would have nominated all four of them," Yarber said.

Monday also marked the first meeting appearance of Lorri Moultrie, recently appointed by the commission to serve as its executive assistant. Moultrie, a marketing professional, replaces Amy Moore, a 15-year veteran of county service who resigned to work with the Tucker Foundation.

In other business, the commission voted to send a letter of thanks to Gov. Bill Haslam for the support he provided the county after the catastrophic storms that swept the region in April 2011.

Commissioners also agreed to send a letter in support of a Blount County Commission initiative protesting the recent implementation of a $4 backcountry camping fee for the Smoky Mountains. The new reservation permit charge is part of an improvement rollout of the park reservation and services system, including a new online interface, according to the National Park Service website.

The new fee, said Commissioner Adam Lowe, amounts to double-billing taxpayers who already pay to maintain the national parks.

While no similar fees have been charged for the Cherokee National Forest, Lowe said he considers the new permit fee a "gateway" and a "slippery slope," stating it would be no different than the Tennessee Department of Transportation charging a toll for motorists to use Interstate 75.

Commissioner Jeff Morelock -- who abstained from the vote -- and a couple of other commissioners said they would have liked to be more familiar with the issue before voting.

As a prelude to the annual budgeting process, Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis recognized the achievements of Bradley County Finance Director Lynn Burns and her staff.

The Bradley County Finance Department recently received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for fiscal year 2011-2012 from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, Davis said.

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