To the Editor:
During the past year, I have worked continuously with a group of citizens from Anderson County to develop and implement a plan to move our county in a positive direction toward a charter county, or home rule, form of government.
After great consideration and encouragement, I made a decision to run for a seat on the Anderson County Charter Commission in the November 8, 2016, election. This committee of elected citizens will represent each district in our county as they draft a charter that will go before our state legislators for approval, and finally to “We The People” for a ballot vote in 2018.
Those running in favor of home rule are attempting to put local government more firmly back into the hands of the people where it belongs and once again establish a healthy balance to our county government.
This home rule form of government allows for changes to the current government such as: reducing from 16 commissioners to nine commissioners, establishing a two-term limit maximum for commissioners, and term limits for the county mayor. Home rule also makes provisions for referendum voting in which the citizens can have a direct say on issues such as tax rate increases and other significant decisions that affect us directly. Clinton, Oak Ridge, Knox County, and others operate under charter governments.
Let’s be very clear about what is at stake in this election. The sitting commissioners running in opposition to home rule are frantically attempting to hold onto their current power and benefits. These representatives have incrementally grabbed authority to themselves through private act to the point that citizens are now being excluded from participation in our local government. They have made open attempts to take away your right to speak in meetings and have virtually eliminated citizen participation in our local government. Rather, there is no risk in voting for this charter commission since you will have a vote on the final document. The risk is allowing the current perversion of our government to continue.
If elected, I will work hard for the people of Anderson County to help create an intelligent, functional, and transparent county government in which citizens are welcome and encouraged to participate.
Please vote for the charter government on November 8.
I am a term limit candidate!
Anderson County Charter Commission candidate
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