Hugh B. Ward Jr., an attorney running for Anderson County Charter Commission, supports term limits for county mayor and county commissioners, a press release said.
Ward is running for the District 6 seat on the eight-member Charter Commission, which will be elected November 8. District 6 includes the Oak Ridge City Hall, Robertsville, and West Hills precincts.
“Charter government has worked well for the City of Oak Ridge since November 7, 1962; the City of Clinton since 1954; Knoxville; Knox County; and other East Tennessee cities,” the press release said. “I think it’s time we modernize and allow Oak Ridge citizens to have the same level of citizen input in county government as our own fine city government. I favor a charter government, including term limits for county commissioners and the office of county mayor. For stability, I believe we need to establish staggered terms of office for commissioners as occurs in our city and surrounding municipalities.”
If elected, Ward said, his priorities will include transparency and open government, citizen participation on county committees, and ensuring charter proposals are consistent with the state constitution and general laws.
The work of the Charter Commission will be presented to voters for their approval, Ward said. When that is done, the Charter Commission will dissolve.
Ward said he has been an Oak Ridge resident for 26 years. He is married to Dr. Frances Cross, formerly of Oak Ridge Surgeons and now practicing at the Cross Care Center in Oak Ridge. They have two daughters, both students of Oak Ridge Schools. Ward is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oak Ridge, with service on the parish council and finance board, the press release said.
Ward has been in private law practice with Young Williams Law Firm in Oak Ridge and Knoxville since January 2010, the release said. He is the City of Oak Ridge’s administrative hearing officer, adjudicating violations of municipal codes, and he serves on the board of the Oak Ridge Land Bank Corporation. Ward is also an adjunct professor at Tennessee Tech University, teaching undergraduate business law and national security classes.
The press release said Ward is retired from 25 years of federal service, including 17 years as a federal prosecutor in East Tennessee. It said Ward was involved in all phases of criminal investigations of federal firearms law, white collar crimes, organized crimes, and national security issues. Ward participated in the Joint Terrorism Task Force and help a top secret SCI security clearance.
Ward has a juris doctor, or JD, degree, from George Mason University School of Law in Virginia and master’s degree from the School of International Service at the American University in Washington, D.C. Ward is admitted to practice law in all Tennessee courts and Washington, D.C., and the federal U.S. district courts for East and Middle Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and the Northern District of Alabama, as well as the Fourth and Sixth Circuits Courts of Appeals, the press release said.
Voters will elect one charter commissioner per district to the eight-member Charter Commission in the election on Tuesday, November 8. Early voting begins October 19 and ends November 3.
There are two candidates for the District 6 seat on Charter Commission. Besides Ward, the other candidate is Steve Mead. You can follow our 2016 election coverage here. You can see the November 8 sample ballot, which includes Anderson County Charter Commission candidates, here.
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