Filed by Ian Berry
At the end of each Hamilton County Commission meeting, each commissioner is given the chance to make announcements on whatever topic they like.
Sometimes, the announcements make news, such as when Curtis Adams first questioned whether the magistrates program should be disbanded. Now that were in the midst of election season, the announcements often tend to be mini campaign speeches.
Commission Chairman Larry Henry took the opportunity Thursday to issue a forceful defense of the commissions decision last year to increase taxes and fund new school construction. He said the new high school being built in his district will be the first new high school in 68 years.
What we did was a miraculous thing, Mr. Henry said. It was something that needed to be done.
He then proceeded to talk about the successes of his children, including a son who is finishing up law school.
Im making that note to tell you this: They all went through public education in Hamilton County, Mr. Henry said. Public education works.
Commissioner Richard Casavant said he agreed the school improvements were miraculous.
I would like to add the word painful, Dr. Casavant said.
He noted that its an election season, and that the commissions vote to increase taxes by 26 cents is being revisited on the campaign trail.
Im happy it happened, he said. I have two opponents who say theyre unhappy it happened, so well see how it works out.
Dr. Casavant is running against Ken Holloway, a Republican and co-founder of The Mountain Opry, and Joe Dumas, an independent who has been endorsed by the Libertarian Party.
Mr. Henry is being challenged by Republican Red Burrows.
E-mail Ian Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org