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Greg Martin
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Chester Bankston

County Commission highlights

› Commissioners on Wednesday voted 8-0 to approve a $150,000 repair for the Red Bank High School track. The unbudgeted project will use bond money from the county’s line of credit.

› Commissioners voted 8-0 to postpone several short-term vacation rental permit requests while the county attorney researches the possibility of beefing up enforcement tools to combat potential nuisances.

Candidate forum

What: Friends of Hixson and the Hixson Kiwanis Club have tentatively planned a school board forum

When: 6:30-8 p.m. Monday

Where: Hixson Middle School

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

Applications

Hamilton County Commission will advertise for District 3 school board applicants on Nov. 18.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Nov. 22

 

Hamilton County Commissioner-elect Greg Martin will get to vote on his replacement on the county school board as soon as he takes office on Nov. 30.

He has announced his intention to resign from the school board today. Two years remain of Martin's term as the school board representative for District 3, which encompasses Hixson, Lakesite, Middle Valley and Big Ridge.

On Wednesday, Commission Chairman Chester Bankston announced the commission would advertise for District 3 school board applicants beginning Friday. Applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. Tuesday. The commission as a whole will not interview applicants, he said.

Commissioners Greg Beck and Joe Graham both recalled the commission had conducted public interviews to fill a school board appointment in the past.

"We'd have to make a public announcement if more than one of us was meeting," Bankston said. "Any commissioner can interview any of the candidates any time they make available."

Bankston encouraged commissioners to attend a candidate forum "somewhere in Hixson" hosted by an unidentified "committee" on Nov. 28, adding he would notify commissioners as soon as he had more information.

"Choosing a school board representative for other districts has always been a strange occasion for me," Beck said. "The people usually know who they want to represent them and if there's a straw poll at that forum, I'll probably be voting for the person that the people want at that forum."

David Queen, Friends of Hixson board member and Hixson Kiwanis Club president, confirmed in a phone interview the two organizations would co-host the forum, tentatively scheduled to take place at Hixson Middle School from 6:30-8 p.m. He said he still needed to file paperwork to use the facility.

A few years ago, Friends of Hixson hosted a similar event to fill a vacancy left when board member Everett Fairchild resigned because of health reasons.

The format will entail letting commissioners interact with candidates who submit applications. Commissioners may use their own questions and others submitted by audience members, he said. The forum will not use a straw poll.

"The audience may not be reflective of the whole community," Queen said. "If we use a straw poll, we could be doing a disservice to the community."

Martin, a Republican, began his service on the school board as County Commission appointee in March 2012, replacing Fairchild. Martin recently defeated independent Joe Smith in a special election to fill a vacancy left by Marty Haynes when he became the county's newly elected assessor of property.

Unlike its County Commission seat, District 3's school board seat will remain vacant only for a few weeks unless the County Commission does not appoint Martin's replacement at the end of the month.

In August, Bankston said the commission would not appoint anyone to temporarily fill the commission seat. Graham and Beck both voiced a preference for not leaving the district unrepresented for three months.

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

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