published Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Hamilton County Commission sets leadership

Hamilton County Commissioners during a commission meeting in this file photo.
Hamilton County Commissioners during a commission meeting in this file photo.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

In other business commissioners agreed to consider:

• Allowing the sale of a 1985 Ford tanker truck used by Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department. The truck reportedly needs to be replaced.

• Passing a resolution to grant an easement to the Tennessee Valley Authority to place a falling water siren at the Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department No. 3, on Levi Road.

• Adopting a five-year master plan for Hamilton County parks and recreation properties.

• Appointing Alecia Poe as director of human resources to replace Leslie Longshore.

It took six votes and a weeklong recess, but the Hamilton County Commission has a No. 2 man.

With no discussion, commissioners voted Wednesday to elect Jim Fields as chairman pro tempore after breaking a three-way deadlock among Chester Bankston, Tim Boyd and Fields.

Commissioner Fred Skillern was elected chairman last week.

The first four votes for vice chairmanship -- three of which were taken last week -- were identical.

Commissioners Bankston, Marty Haynes and Larry Henry backed Bankston, while Greg Beck, Boyd and Warren Mackey supported Boyd. Fields, Joe Graham and Skillern voted for Fields.

But by vote five, Haynes changed his vote to Fields, and the District 2 commissioner from Signal Mountain was elected with five votes. Bankston, Beck, Boyd and Mackey voted for Boyd.

But some committee leadership roles still are not nailed down.

Skillern said Wednesday he would make the appointments by the end of the month, but he wants to poll all the commissioners first.

Skillern elaborated on plans announced last week to make a few changes to how committees work.

First, he wants to cap their sizes to be more equitable to other commissioners.

"I just don't think it's fair for a committee to have a majority before it comes to the full commission. I'm thinking three [members] and an alternate, where when somebody's absent [members will] know who is going to take their place," Skillern said Wednesday.

Henry, the former chairman, has temporarily taken Skillern's committee assignments and Graham leads the finance committee.

Graham said after the meeting he looks to continue leading finance.

Also announced during Wednesday's agenda session was the opening of two judicial magistrate positions which will be up for appointment in October.

Haynes said the positions currently held by Magistrates Larry Ables and Jeff Davis will be advertised this month and interviewed and appointed by the Oct. 16 meeting.

The deadline for magistrate candidate applications is 4 p.m. Sept. 23, Haynes said.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at 423-757-6481 or at

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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