Jim Cooper, a Vietnam veteran and former president of the Melton Hill Regional Industrial Association, is running for one of eight seats on the Anderson County Charter Commission in the November 8 election.
Cooper is running for the District 2 seat. District 2 includes the Clinton Community Center, South Clinton, and North Clinton voting precincts.
“The City of Clinton has had a charter form of government since 1954, and instituting a charter government in Anderson County presents our county with the opportunity to enact term limits,” Cooper said. “I support term limits (two consecutive four-year terms) for the offices of county commissioners and mayor. I also support electing commissioners for staggered terms—meaning we don’t elect all 16 in just one election year.”
Cooper is now retired. But he had a long career of local service as the president of the Melton Hill Regional Industrial Association, which is now known as ACEDA (Anderson County Economic Development Association), the press release said. He was instrumental in helping to recruit numerous local industries, such as Techmer PM, Aisin Automotive, Eagle Bend, and SL Tennessee, the release said.
“I also believe to engage generations that are coming behind us, we need more opportunities for citizen participation offered by charter government—or ‘home rule,'” Cooper said. “Younger generations are growing up under an umbrella of a faster, more diverse technological world. They use engagement platforms that my generation never dreamed of—and charter government is a positive, exciting way to get them involved.
“In addition to term limits, my career has centered on carefully listening to the ideas and plans of others—whether it was business, industry, citizens, or educators—or my chain of command in the military. I will take those skills and listen to the citizens of the 2nd district—and review all suggestions and ideas presented by any and all sources. I will support the ideas that are favored by the 2nd district citizens.”
Cooper has three children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He received his bachelor’s degree at Cumberland College and master’s at Indiana State University, the press release said. He has manufacturing experience that ranges from being a brakeman at L&N Railroad to a hopper feeder at McCall’s Magazine, a foreman at Phillips Industries, and production manager at General Motors. His professional experience includes planning for the South Carolina Department of Corrections and serving as executive director of the Cumberland Valley Housing Corporation and director of EDA University Center at the University of North Carolina.
Cooper also served as a sergeant in the 2nd of 27th infantry, 25th Infantry Division in the Vietnam campaign, the press release said. He has been a lifelong fisherman, and has donated many hours to conservation to protect the future of outdoor sports, the release said. He has served and continues to serve on numerous volunteer boards.
There are two candidates for the District 2 seat on Charter Commission. The other candidate is Anderson County Commissioner Mark Alderson. 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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