Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Potential picks to replace Duncan

With John Duncan III out as trustee, you know folks are going to come from all around the woodwork, looking for that good $110K-a-year (or so) job. Heh.

Anyhoo, at this point it looks like the county commission will meet some time in the upcoming weeks to hash out the rules and then start taking resumes.

I know board Chairman Tony Norman would like to appoint a caretaker to the post rather than someone who intends to run for the seat. From what I’ve heard, though, not everyone is on board with the plan, so we’ll see.

So far, I’ve heard six names getting kicked around.

Sooooo, in alphabetical order: 
  • Ann Acuff: Former longtime Knox County finance worker and high up on the bean counting team's totem pole before retiring about a year or so ago.
  • Mike Hammond, a Knox County commissioner, former board chairman and someone who’s been rumored as a candidate for the criminal court clerk post.
  • Craig Leuthold, a former Knox County commissioner, former trustee office employee, currently with the property assessor’s office.
  • Ed Shouse, a Knox County commissioner, member of the pension board, chairman of the county’s investment committee and all-around sharp guy.
  • Fred Sisk, former Trustee and all-around nice dude. 
  • R. Larry Smith, a Knox County commissioner, the board’s current vice chairman and someone who’s been rumored as a candidate for a number of seats.
Now, I’m also hearing that of these potential picks, only Sisk  is interested in seeking the spot in the caretaker capacity. (I've heard the same also about Acuff although I haven't talked to her and I'm not absolutely sure she wants the job or if folks are just floating her name.)

“Whoever wants to run, can run and start fresh,” Sisk told me. “I don’t want to use the appointment as a leg up.”

Fred said he’d be able to start immediately and “that there are a number of things that need to be done.”

He noted that the county just wrapped up its fiscal year, so that means the annual audit is right around the corner. After that? Tax season. 

Sisk also said he’d be willing to stay on board to help mentor a new trustee through the transitional process. (This in fact should have been done under Duncan, but he opted not to keep Sisk.)

Say what you will, but the idea makes a lot of sense.

Duncan’s term expires Aug. 31, 2014.

As for Kristin Phillips, who is serving as the interim trustee, I don’t expect her to run. She’s served in a manager capacity for quite some time, however, she also lives in Anderson County. Or Blount County. Or whatever county that isn’t Knox County.

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