Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Burchett talks 4-year achievements

Chancellor Weaver, Burchett, Kelly & Isabel
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett began his second and final term as mayor on Tuesday.

Here is his speech:

"Thank you all for being here, and congratulations to each of the elected officials seated behind me.

The past four years in Knox County have been good, and I look forward to working with all of the newly elected officials and those already in office to continue operating in a conservative, fiscally responsible manner. We will remain focused on providing high-quality, efficient service to our citizens, while also saving taxpayer dollars.

In 2010, I stood here and jingled the keys to a county-owned vehicle and promised a new direction in Knox County. Today, in 2014, I’m proud to say that we’re heading in the right direction.

By the end of the current fiscal year, we will have reduced the county’s debt my more than $65 million dollars.

We have saved, or will save more than $10 million dollars in interest by refinancing some of our existing county debt.

We’ve increased school funding by $46 million dollars since I took office, and we were able to pay cash to build a brand new school for the Carter Community – all without raising your taxes.

By taking a conservative, common-sense approach to county government, we’ve also been able to maintain a very strong bond rating. This further ensures that we can get the best interest rate possible when we do have to go to the bond market.

We also continue to improve programming at our Knox County senior centers, and will open our new Karns Senior Center later this year.

Improvements to our Veterans Service office make it easier for local servicemen and -women to access the benefits they’ve earned by serving our country. We’ve taken our commitment to veterans a step further – and now, thanks to the support of the Knox County Commission, we are proud to guarantee a job interview to any veteran meeting the minimum qualifications for an open position.

Since 2010, we’ve undertaken some important road projects and we’ve seen several outstanding economic developments – the largest of which was the $140 million Fresesenus Medical Care investment that is expected to create approximately 660 new jobs in Knox County.

These are just a few of the things we’ve been able to accomplish over the past four years. With the help of the men and women on this stage, and those already serving in elected office in Knox County, we’ll continue to see great things happen in the future for our community. Thank you."

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