Give him this: Fred Skillern was true leader

Give him this: Fred Skillern was true leader

May 12th, 2014 in Opinion Times

Fred Skillern

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

Tuesday's vote marked the end of an era in Hamilton County.

After some three decades of service on the school board and the County Commission, longtime local politician Fred Skillern fell a handful of votes shy of retaining his seat.

At 77, he said he ran again because he still had more to do and he wanted to continue to serve the people of Soddy-Daisy, Mowbray Mountain, Dallas and Sale Creek.

No stranger to controversy, Skillern has been known as a cagey, thrifty, unfailingly conservative and empire-building politician who could make or break other political careers, including those far from his northern corner of the county.

Love him or hate him, it's likely no one would say he does what he does for selfish reasons. Skillern has and does truly care about Hamilton County, its people, its schools and its businesses. He was in it for Hamilton County. Neither editorial page here endorsed him, but that wasn't because he failed in his duties. It was -- and is -- simply time for change and new ideas.

Thank you, Mr. Skillern, for your years of strong service.