CLEVELAND, Tenn. - On Tuesday, Charlotte Peak Jones took the oath of office and started serving the last two years of a vacant District 4 Bradley County Commission seat.
Commissioner Louie Alford also was re-elected chairman of the County Commission and Commissioner Jeff Yarber was elected as vice chairman.
"Charlotte is a shining example of honesty, integrity and humility," said 10th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Mike Sharp, who administered the oath of office to Peak Jones.
Peak Jones, owner of Kace Construction & Development and Charlotte's Wallpaper, defeated incumbent Cliff Eason, former Commissioner Jim Smith and three other challengers in the Republican primary for the seat in March. No Democrat ran against her in the Aug. 2 elections.
Howard Thompson, a 17-year veteran of the County Commission, resigned from the District 4 seat in May 2011 after facing charges that he knowingly sold stolen goods at his flea market. Eason was appointed to hold the position until the 2012 elections.
Peak Jones will serve with fellow District 4 County Commissioner Adam Lowe until 2014.
Peak Jones, an opponent of a proposed $32 wheel tax intended to fund borrowing power for $32 million in capital projects for county and Cleveland City Schools, recommended waiting for new revenue streams.
"I promised to represent the voice of my constituents, and they were 99 percent against the wheel tax," said Peak Jones.
A recent presentation by County Trustee Mike Smith to the County Commission indicated that tax revenues from Wacker, Amazon, P&G-Duracell and other industrial initiatives would give Bradley County coffers a $20 million bump between 2014 and 2016.
Eason's service was not overlooked during the County Commission transition. Fellow commissioners commended his ethics and dedication at an Aug. 27 meeting, his last official appearance as a county commissioner.
Eason will be a welcome asset to the county if he decides to pursue public service again, said Bradley County Commission Chairman Louie Alford at that meeting.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.