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Hamilton County Commission District 3 candidate and current District 3 School Board Representative Greg Martin speaks during a debate for the County Commission candidates held recently at Loftis Middle School. The debate was jointly sponsored by McConnell Elementary and Loftis Middle.

Candidate forum

* What: Friends of Hixson and the Hixson Kiwanis Club school board forum

* When: 6:30-8 p.m. Monday

* Where: Hixson Middle School

* More info: Contact Friends of Hixson at 423-875-5338.

some text Greg Martin

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin, having taken the oath of office Tuesday, soon will vote on who replaces him on the county school board.

"I'm looking forward to serving the people of District 3 and looking to have an efficient, responsive government to the taxpayers," Martin said after the swearing-in ceremony.

Martin, a Republican, leaves a two-year vacancy for District 3, which represents Hixson, Lakesite, Middle Valley and Big Ridge. Appointed to the school board in 2012, he won the 2014 election to the seat. He won a special election on the Nov. 8 ballot to fill a County Commission vacancy for the district left by Marty Haynes, who was elected to serve as the county assessor of property in August.

He has repeatedly said he is more interested in a profile than a particular person when it comes to deciding on his school board replacement, adding he wants someone who has a "a great appreciation for the value of public education," who will question matters and will not "just rubber-stamp things."

"Personally, I would want someone that is a lot like me, in the sense that it's a business-minded individual who bleeds black and gold for Hixson and our community," Martin said earlier this month.

Six candidates had filed applications with the County Commission by a 4 p.m. deadline Tuesday, including retired teacher James S. Watson, who ran against Martin for the school board seat in 2014, and long-serving YMCA Regional Director Joe Smith, who ran against Martin for the County Commission seat.

Other applicants include longtime sports broadcaster Randy Smith, financial management business owner Bradley D. Church, caregiver and former teacher Ann Morgan and Michael S. Kirk, director of operations for Boyd-Buchanan School.

Friends of Hixson and the Hixson Kiwanis Club will jointly host a candidate forum at Hixson Middle School on Monday evening.

Commissioners will be able to interact with school board applicants, organizer David Queen said recently. Commissioners may use questions submitted by the audience in addition to their own, he said.

Last week, Commission Chairman Chester Bankston told commissioners they would not conduct public interviews as a body, but they may schedule one-on-one appointments with the applicants.

Bankston has urged commissioners to attend the community forum.

The County Commission will vote on the appointment on Nov. 30.

Contact staff writer Paul Leach at 423-757-6481 or pleach@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @pleach_tfp.

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