published Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Pickett fills Sequatchie commission vacancy

Winston Pickett says the many hats he has worn — as an elected public official, in the public school classroom, on a college campus and at his own business — prepared him for his stint in public office.

Pickett said the combination gives him a broad background for his service on the Sequatchie County Commission.

“Most of my experience has been in education,” said Pickett, 69.

Pickett, who was appointed in April, started out as a teacher at Dunlap Elementary School in 1965 and later was a coach, administrator and principal, he said. After the short stint in private business, he was elected superintendent of Sequatchie County Schools just a term or two before the position in Tennessee became a hired job in 1992, he said.

Pickett later worked at the University of West Georgia and Tennessee Technological University, he said. The most recent job he took was as executive director of the Sequatchie County-Dunlap Chamber of Commerce, which he still holds.

Pickett’s road to a County Commission seat started in February when former County Executive Michael Hudson resigned. The commission appointed longtime Commissioner Claude Lewis to the vacant county executive seat in a 10-5 vote, creating the commission vacancy.

Pickett said he wanted to make sure there would be no conflicts of interest between his elected position and the Chamber job.

City Attorney Steve Greer and County Attorney Jennifer Mitchell “investigated and said it was OK,” he said.

Pickett said he’ll hold the seat until the county general election in August 2012, and then “we’ll see about that,” he said.

Lewis said Pickett brings experience and “expertise dealing with the public” to the county commission.

“He’s been a superintendent, college professor and he’s got a great vision of what we need to be doing,” he said. “I think he’s well balanced and prepared.”

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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