Candidates Respond

At each election, The News Herald submits certain questions to the candidates. Below are the responses from the candidates.

Candidates for County Commission 2nd District

Tony Arden

What is your background?

I am a lifelong resident of Loudon County. My wife Tracy and I have two teenage daughters, Taylor 17 and Tamara 13. I attended Nichols Elementary, Lenoir City Middle School and graduated from Lenoir City School in 1982. For the past 12 years I have been employed by the Loudon County Sheriffís Department. I graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1998. I am a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 21 in which I served as president for three years. I am a member of Tennessee Lodge #204 F&AM and a member of the Scottish Rite of Knoxville.

Why are you running for office and what are your qualifications for this position?

In my 43 years that I have lived in Loudon County, I have witnessed a lot of changes, some good and some not so good. I have a strong desire to be a part of Loudon County continuing to prosper. I have the work ethic and the ability to work with others on the challenges that lay ahead. Having worked in the private and public sectors. I understand the importance maintaining and working within a budget. Fiscal responsibility should be at the top of the list of priorities for county government. If elected, one of my main objectives would be to strive to help operate a county government that provides quality services to the citizens while at the same time sticking to our budgets.

What is your opinion of the county schools building program and how do you believe it should be funded?

What I know of the county school building program is that the school board is asking for $150-million over a period of several years. This plan, Iím told would build a new K-12 school in Greenback, a new middle school in Lenoir City and Loudon, a new county high school in Lenoir City as well as provide much needed improvements and renovations to Loudon High School and Philadelphia School. Nearly every school in our county system is either severely overcrowded or in need of major repair. Some of the schools fall into both categories. At this point, I am not sure how the program should be funded, but I understand from some of the school board members that if we do not complete some of these projects to be in compliance with the law, we stand to lose some federal funds. If I am elected to county commission, I would work with all parties involved to ensure that our children and educators have a safe environment to learn and teach while also striving to hold down the cost and minimize the burden placed on the taxpayers.

How do you feel about the possibility of a property tax increase and if the tax is raised, how much do you think the increase should be?

No one, including myself wants to pay any additional taxes. I believe that a government should live within its means, just as the citizens of the county have to do. Certainly, the county has to have funds in order to operate schools and all the other departments that provide services to the citizens. But I do feel that all practical options to save money and cut spending should be exhausted before a tax increase should even be considered or discussed. If a tax increase is warranted, it would be difficult for me to speculate on the rate before I am informed of our exact needs.

How do you feel about growth in the county Ė residential, commercial and industrial?

Our county has certainly experienced rapid growth in the past few years. We obviously need growth to help with our tax base which in turn helps keep taxes down for current citizens. Managed properly, growth can be embraced as a good thing. But proper management is certainly the key for it to have a positive impact. Residential growth will help with the tax base while commercial growth can provide new jobs and increase our revenue from sales tax. Industrial growth has the greatest potential to bring more quality jobs to our county, but we positively need industry that is environmentally friendly, considering our poor air quality rating.

What do you believe is the most pressing problem facing Loudon County and how would you propose that problem be solved?

There are many serious challenges facing Loudon County. Two of the top problems can certainly be linked together. That is growth and schools. As I stated earlier, growth can be a positive thing, but can also bring negative ramifications as well. Increases in the number of families living in Loudon County (or any other county) will naturally put a strain on classroom space, roads and highways, public safety agencies, utility boards and many other services.The things we have to do to prepare for this growth cannot be physically or financially fixed overnight. If elected. I would desire to work closely with the Loudon County School Board, the Loudon County Planning Commission and certainly the citizens of Loudon County to develop a well planned course of action that would bring the least amount of burden to county taxpayers.

William Jenkins

What is your back ground?

My name is William Jenkins. I married my wife Regina in 2002. We have a beautiful 5-year-old daughter, her name is Madiruth. I have lived in Lenoir City for 27 years. I graduated from Lenoir City High School. I have worked for the Lenoir City Parks and Recreation for eight years. I have worked and help set up the festival of friends. I have helped with the Lions Club Street Festival. I help with RockíN the Docks. I am a member of First Church of God on Finley Drive. I am active with our youth group and I play the guitar in our praise and worship band. I am on our church council. I coach my daughter in Upward soccer, and I have coached little league basketball.

Why are you running for office and what are your qualifications for this position?

Our schools, roads and finances are all in bad shape and this is due to poor planning. Our county is changing and growing so we need to quit living in the past and start planning for the future. Our schools, roads and tax base show a need for improvement. I would like for my daughter and every other child to have the best schools and education they need and deserve. I know the time and commitment to help make the necessary changes in our community.

What is your opinion of the county schools program and how do you believe it should be funded?

Our building program shows the poor planning that has gone on. You can see the overcrowding of our schools with the trailers set out beside them. The problems with the fire marshall and Greenback School needs replaced. The school board and commission need to work together on getting these schools up to where they need to be. Once we get the schools to where they need to be, we need to have a good maintenance plan in place for Hvac and roofing, etc. We are so far behind I believe to fund this building program we are going to have to look at a bunch of different options so it doesnít make it hard on taxpayers. I believe sales tax option is a good start. It wonít solve the problem but itís a fair tax. Maybe we can look at getting a grant writer to help get some grants to help out. We need to look at ever option available. Iím not big on raising taxes but some changes are going to have to be made.

How do you feel about the possibility of a property tax increase and if the tax is raised, how much do you think the increase should be?

Iím not really for raising property tax but we are one of the lowest in the State of Tennessee. We need to look at every option available and the fairest tax available so itís not too big of a burden on our taxpayers. We need to make sure we do it right no matter which path we take. Remember, poor planning and band aid fixing is what got us to this point.

How do you feel about growth in the county - residential, commercial and industrial?

Growth is good but we canít keep up because we are already behind. We need to have a plan in place to provide the services we need to provide, whether it be schools, roads or county services, such as the police and emergency workers, county maintenance and tax base. When we get caught up maybe the growth will help balance our budget problems. What do you believe is the most pressing problem facing Loudon County and how would you propose that problem be solved?

We have many problems that range from schools, roads, county services and growth, but it all goes back to one thing: planning. We need to plan better. We went years without a tax hike while everything else around us has gone up. Iím not saying go with the flow, but quit living in the past and start planning for the future. Weíve had poor planning for years. Commission and the school board need to work together. It is time to stop pointing fingers and start fixing the problems. I believe we need to have a good five- to 10-year plan in place and check it each year, and then make changes where they are needed. We need to quit band aid fixing every problem and do it right the first time. I am ready to do my part in making a change.

Shirley Reno

What is your background?

Iím a native of East Tennessee. I was born in Roane County but spent my childhood in Hawkins County (Rogersville). My dad, Clayton Bailes, moved to the Martel area of Lenoir City in 1957. Dad loved farming and especially raising pigs. I could drive a tractor before I could drive a car. I attended East Tennessee State University as a business major. I have taken many computer, accounting and tax classes as needed in my businesses. Most of the classes were at Roane State or Pellissippi. Iíve lived at my present home on First Avenue for 30 years and been a member of First Baptist Church in Lenoir City since 1979. I have been singing alto with the First Baptist choir for about 20 years. Judy Nelson is my teacher for Bible Study. I am a member of the Coytee Womanís Club, the American Business Womenís Association "Double L" Chapter and Smoky Mountain Harmony Show Chorus.

I have three sons, a stepdaughter, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and seven sisters. My son Troy is the in-plant support manager of the main Post Office in Knoxville. Troy and his wife live in Lenoir City and have two children and six grandchildren. My son Brian is a senior engineer with Environmental Service Corp. in Knoxville. He lives in Farragut and has two sons. My stepdaughter Angie is a psychologist with the Knox County School System. She and her husband have three daughters and live in Farragut. My son Nic is a machinist and lives in the Washington, D.C. area.

My partner (sister, Jan Sica) and I started a parts distribution company in 1976 selling outboard, personal watercraft, ATV and motorcycle engine parts. In 1998 we bought JBís Country Store/Restaurant. Both companies were sold in 2004. In 1997 I got my real estate license and joined Tellico Realty. I enjoy the real estate business and continue to do that on a part time basis.

Why are you running for office and what are your qualifications for this office?

I am a candidate for the commissioner from the 2nd District because I have been a member of the Loudon County Commission since October 2006 and I find this the most rewarding of my community service endeavors. I was unanimously selected by the commission to serve in Chuck Jenkinsís stead when he was appointed to be the property assessor. As part of my duties as a Loudon County Commissioner, I am a member of the Loudon County Air Quality Task Force, the Capital Projects Committee, the Financial Advisory Board, the Loudon County Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, the Building Space Committee and the Zoning Regulations Study Committee. As a semi-retired person I am able to devote the time and commitment needed to fulfill these duties.

I have always enjoyed community service and served as the chairman of the Loudon County Chamber of Commerce in 1998 and 2005. I was a member of the Lenoir City Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals. I am currently or have been on the board of directors of the Loudon County Economic Development Agency, the Lenoir City Committee of 100 for Economic and Community Development, the Loudon County Education Foundation and the Lenoir City Civitan Club where I am also the treasurer.

What is your opinion of the county schools building program and how do you believe it should be funded?

The county is faced at this time with a major school building and remodeling need. I have attended county commission committee workshops and school board meetings in order to stay informed as plans for the building program have been discussed As a commissioner, I voted for increased funding to the rural education debt fund and approved the Adequate Schools Facility Tax. Both steps were taken to prepare for the school building needs. We have put the question of an increase in sales tax to 9.50 percent on the ballot for the Feb. 5 election. The extra half percent this tax would generate will go to funding the schools. We may have to consider a wheel tax also. I look forward to seeing the final document from the school board. These issues, among others, challenge all commissioners to read and study, as well as listen, to our constituents.

How do you feel about the possibility of a property tax increase and if the tax is raised, how much do you think the increase should be?

Even with the funding steps we have taken, the increased sales tax, if it passes in the upcoming election, and the possibility of a wheel tax, we will still fall very short of the needed funds. And that brings us to a property tax increase. There is no way to know how much money will be needed until we meet with the board of education and understand all the needs and the time frame involved. Another question is should the monies needed be considered as a whole (raise the property tax to cover all building needs at one time) or do a property tax raise in increments so we donít get hit really hard at any one time. Our present property tax rate is one of the 10 lowest in the state.

How do you feel about growth Ė residential, commercial and industrial?

Growth is probably the best and the worst thing happening in Loudon County today. As a business woman, I know that change and growth must happen, but they must be managed so that they donít get out of control. We have the Loudon County Economic Development Agency whose people are diligent in their efforts to bring high paying jobs with minimum air or water pollution. We also have the Loudon County Planning Commission to make sure all state and local regulations are met by residential, commercial and industrial developers.

Each type of growth brings its own rewards and problems. Residential brings seniors with their abundance of knowledge and their volunteer sprite or young families with children that must be educated and nurtured because these children are our future. Commercial brings new places to shop and competition which brings lower prices and keeps out sales tax dollars at home. At the same time new shops bring more traffic and the pollution that goes with the traffic. Industry brings skilled work opportunities and higher wages for our young people so they can live close to home. Residential, commercial and industrial growth bring sales and property tax revenues to the county while they also present the responsibility of spending these revenues wisely.

What do you believe is the most pressing problem facing Loudon County and how would you propose that problem be solved.

I believe the most pressing problem deals with the issue of growth that I have already addressed. Some immediate needs are infrastructure (roads, water, sewer etc.), solutions for our illegal immigration situation, continuing to recruit clean industry, and the school building program. I feel that I am qualified to address these problems and be a good representative for the people of the 2nd District. As a semi-retired citizen, I have the time during the day or evening to devote to the duties of a Commissioner.

Austin Shaver

What is your background?

I have lived in Lenoir City for nearly my entire life. I attended Eaton Elementary and North Middle Schools before graduating in 2001 from Lenoir City High School, where I was very active in numerous clubs and organizations. I grew up playing baseball at the Eaton Ruritan Community Park where I also spent numerous years working as an umpire. Following high school, I attended the University of Tennessee where I graduated at the top of my class receiving a bachelor of science in education degree in 2004. I then decided to pursue my passion for the profession of law and was accepted into the University of Tennessee College of Law where I graduated with high honors in 2007. I am currently employed as an attorney with Kennerly, Montgomery, & Finley, P.C. My wife, Brittany, and I recently built our home in Hardin Estates and are currently serving as Sunday school teachers in the College Ministry at First Baptist Church Concord. We thoroughly enjoy living in Lenoir City, and I look forward with great anticipation to having the opportunity to serve the residents of Loudon County on County Commission.

Why are you running for office and what are your qualifications for this position? I am running for office because, as a lifelong resident of Lenoir City, I have a vested interest in seeing that the community and its residents receive the highest degree of attention and care. As the 2nd District representative, I believe that this can best be accomplished in three ways. First, I believe in an open and transparent government at all levels. This is your county commission, and to you, the citizen, I must hold the highest accountability. I do not believe that there should be any secrets in your government and I will work tirelessly to make sure that you are always informed of what your government is doing for you and with your hard-earned tax dollars. Second, I believe that, as an elected official, I am here to serve you, not the other way around. Your concerns are not a burden to me. In fact, if elected, you have given me the privilege and responsibility to address, and to the best of my ability, rectify those concerns. I will be available to hear your thoughts and needs. Finally, I believe that the citizens should come first. This means that you, as a Loudon County citizen, come ahead of special interests and others who would seek to put their interests ahead of yours. Again, representing you on the county commission is not a responsibility that I take lightly.

As to my qualifications, while at the University of Tennessee, I served on the Student Senate and the Adidas Partners in Sports Board of Directors while working for the Athletic Department in the Marketing Division. As an employee of the athletic department, I was charged with overseeing and organizing 15 college students to conduct in-game promotions, and as a member of the Senate was also responsible for representing the concerns of over 1,200 students. In law school, I worked for the Volunteer Income Tax Association while serving as Interim Youth Pastor at Alice Bell Baptist Church and working as a clerk for the law firm of Hodges, Doughty, & Carson. Also, while serving as a youth pastor, I was responsible for a five-figure budget in addition to the spiritual lives of over 50 students. The common theme in all of these experiences is that I was always working with people, building relationships, and striving for a common goal. This, perhaps more than anything else, has prepared me for the challenges of serving on the county commission.

What is your opinion of the county schools building program and how do you believe it should be funded?

First, I absolutely believe that our students and educators both deserve and need the facilities required to give Loudon Countyís students the best education that we can provide. Accordingly, I would be open to exploring any and all avenues of funding available to make sure that these resources are available to our education system. However, I also think that it is always important to be fiscally responsible, no matter the cause, and to make sure that we are prepared for both our present and future needs.

How do you feel about the possibility of a property tax increase and if the tax is raised, how much do you think the increase should be?

I am adamantly opposed to any property tax increase. First, Loudon County is currently enjoying a tremendous surplus. Second, I am a firm believer that, long before we ask the citizens to bear any further tax burdens, the first step should always be to make sure that we are spending the money in a wise and fiscally prudent manner. While I am not yet privy to all of the financial dealings of Loudon County, one of my first tasks as a commissioner will be to thoroughly familiarize myself with where and how our money is being spent. If I see that there are areas where our spending could be handled in a more efficient manner that would always be my first preference before even beginning to consider imposing a further tax burden on our citizens.

How do you feel about growth in the county Ė residential, commercial, and industrial?

Loudon County is in a unique position shared by few other communities. While retaining many of the wonderful advantages of a small, close-knit community, we are also seeing an unprecedented amount of growth approaching. While growth, in all of its forms, is by no means an inherently negative development, the impact it will have on the community will be decided almost entirely by our ability to manage it. Accordingly, I feel that controlled, measured growth can be made into yet another strength of our wonderful community.

What do you believe is the most pressing problem facing Loudon County and how would you propose that problem be solved?

As mentioned above, Loudon County is facing a time of extraordinary growth. However, thus far, it seems that it has, at best, been poorly managed. Anyone who has attempted to travel on Highway 321 at the end of the work day, or perhaps even simply tried to bring clean water to their home in certain areas of the county, has realized that unmanaged growth can put a strain on our existing infrastructure. Therefore, I will work towards ensuring that Loudon County is prepared to take care of our citizens and to provide the needed infrastructure before devoting significant resources to increasing the growth in the county. Obviously, growth is not something that could, or even necessarily should, be stopped, but I believe it is absolutely vital that it be properly managed and wisely planned.

Additionally, I also feel that an equally pressing problem facing Loudon County is the inability of the citizens to find out exactly what is happening within their government and the unresponsiveness of the government in addressing such requests. One of my paramount goals as a commissioner will be to ensure that we have an open government willing to listen to and communicate with our citizens. Again, we are here to serve the citizens, not the other way around.

Candidates For Property Assessor

Leo Bradshaw

What is your background?

My name is Leo Bradshaw and I am a candidate for the office of Loudon County Property Assessor. I am qualified, experienced and excited about the prospect of serving the people of Loudon County in this capacity. My wife Beverly and I were married 40 years ago and we have three children who all attended Loudon County schools from kindergarten through their high school graduation. We now have two grandchildren in school. We are members of Stockton Valley Baptist Church where I serve as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. I am a member of the American Legion Post #120, Masonic Lodge #204, Order of Eastern Star #454, Scottish Rite and a Kerbela Shriner. I am past president of the Loudon Rotary Club, graduate of the Charter Class, Leadership Loudon County and a member of the Leadership Alumni Association. I have served on the Loudon County Solid Waste Disposal Commission and the Loudon County Planning Commission. I was born and raised in Loudon County where I spent my entire life except for the years I served in the U.S. Army. After I was honorably discharged, I moved back to Loudon County and began my career at Maremont Corporation as a night shift machine operator.

While working at Maremont and helping to raise our children, I went back to school and finished my college degree, earning my A.S. in business administration from Roane State Community College, my B.S. in business management from Tennessee Wesleyan College. During my career at Maremont Corporation, I advanced to operational and management positions in data processing, accounting, production control, purchasing, manufacturing and distribution. After 30 years of dedicated service, I retired as the Loudon Plant Manager of ArvinMeritor in 2000.

After retirement I served as a real estate broker until I began my second career in 2002 as Loudon County Building Commissioner. During this time, I became very familiar with property records, area subdivision development, and the appraisal system. I was certified by the State of Tennessee as a building inspector in 2003. I currently serve the people of Loudon County as Purchasing and Maintenance Director, Safety Director and County ADA Coordinator.

Why are you running for office and what are your qualifications for this position?

I am running for the position of Property Assessor because I would like to continue serving you, the citizens of Loudon County. I believe every Loudon County property owner deserves fair and consistent property appraisals. Loudon Countians with questions about their appraisals should be answered promptly and be given the opportunity to review data used in determining their appraisal value. Both my staff and I will take whatever time needed to explain or clarify the property appraisal or supply other information that may be needed. Many people in the community have asked me to run for Property Assessor because of my background experience. My work in management, accounting and as Building Commissioner as well as my experience in private industry and government will all be a valuable asset in moving Loudon County forward during this exciting time of growth and change.

How do you feel about the growth in the County - residential, commercial and industrial - and how do you believe this growth will affect the property assessor's office?

I believe the county will continue with a high growth rate. The economy and numbers of new homes being built have slowed down in many areas of the country but I don't see as much of an impact in Loudon County. Many senior citizens that live in the northern states and even some in southern states see the beautiful lakes and mountains in our area and look for building sites in Loudon County. I think that will continue because of our weather and the low cost of building or buying compared to other states. The low property tax rates will continue to attract retired families to build or buy here. This is very beneficial to the tax base because most of the retired families moving here do not require additional schools and associated costs. I think that the commercial and industrial growth will also be good. The retail business along Highway 321 continues to grow with heavy growth anticipated for the next several years. This growth will be seen also in Loudon at Highway 72 and Center 75 over the next few years. The Assessorís office will have to keep up with the technology improvements and software needed to efficiently handle the county growth rate and property needs in the coming years. It is an exciting time to live in Loudon County!

What do you believe is the most pressing problem facing Loudon County and how would you propose the problem be solved.

I believe that the most pressing problem facing the county right now, is getting the Loudon County Schools in better condition. There are schools that need to be replaced, enlarged and renovated. A plan needs to be implemented and cost justified for improving the school buildings and general classroom conditions. The plan needs to contain priorities and time frames. As property assessor I would help generate plans to help pay for the school improvements. Forecasting models and property tax growth rates can be projected to see what can be done at what time to improve the schools without drastic tax rate increases. My promise is to work hard for the taxpayers of Loudon County and to bring my substantial experience to bear in ensuring that property appraisals are consistent and fair for all property owners.

Chuck Jenkins

What is your background?

I am a life-long resident of Loudon County, with the exception of the nine years I lived in Washington, DC. I graduated salutatorian from LCHS in 1978, the same year I became an Eagle Scout, earned a B.A. in political science from UTK in 1983, and went on to do post-graduate studies in comparative government at George Washington University. I remained in DC to work for the GOPís Congressional Campaign Committee under the Reagan Administration and eventually worked my way up to chief of speechwriting at the Republican National Committee. I later joined the Bush Administration as a public affairs officer to Health and Human Services Secretary Louis W. Sullivan.

Having moved back to Loudon County in 1993, my wife, Kim, and I have now been married 21 years. She is a registered nurse at Childrenís Hospital in Knoxville and we have two teenage daughters: Taylor, an LCHS senior who starts at Trevecca Nazarene University next fall, and Tori, an LCHS freshman. We are active members at Crossroads Church of the Nazarene where I teach an adult Sunday school class, lead music, and serve on the board. I owe much of my interest in civic life to my late parents, Buddy, a former Lenoir City alderman and county purchasing agent, and Betty, who also was my kindergarten teacher and later worked at Loudon Hospital.

I serve on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club, the Health Improvement Council, and East Tennessee Quality Growth. I chaired the first Lenoir City charter change committee in 1994 and in 1998 won the first of three consecutive elections to Loudon County Commission representing the 2nd District. I was an organizer of the Nine Counties-One Vision initiative and served on its steering committee until closure, and I am a 2001 alumnus of Leadership Loudon County.

Before coming to the courthouse as assessor, I worked 14 years for Department of Energy contractor Bechtel in Oak Ridge, often working with local governments and the public in addressing the various impacts of radioactive contamination on private and public properties. I was awarded the companyís Presidentís Award for advancing Public Participation in government cleanup programs.

Why are you running and what are your qualifications?

I am running for this office for several reasons. First, like my father before me, I love Loudon County and I love public service. Itís what I studied in college; itís what Iíve dedicated much of my career to. Serving in an elective office is a tremendous privilege and an honorable calling. Second, I want to continue the work Iíve started. We have made significant improvements in the past couple of years ó such as better openness and access due in part to our new interactive website, and new appraising and mapping technologies. I want to build on these accomplishments and lay plans for further improvements in the future. Also, I now have the hands-on experience, as well as the professional training, having recently passed the first of three required courses toward Tennessee Certified Appraiser status.

Finally, I can be trusted to maintain the constitutional independence required of the Assessor's office ó in other words, I am not beholden to any other elected official or special interest.

How do you feel about the countyís growth and how do you see it affecting the Assessorís office?

Of course, the following are all matters for our councilmen and commissioners to address, but the assessor should be part of the dialogue.

Many well-intentioned people seem to fall into one of two camps: "pro-growth" and "no-growth." I think this misses the bigger point. Whether one is for or against growth, the simple fact is growth is inevitable. Growth can be good or bad, depending on its makeup. A tree "grows" but so does cancer. Any type of growth can increase the tax base, but we canít afford to ignore the cost side of the ledger.

So, the real question is what kind of growth do we want, and what should county government ó with the help of citizen input ó do to encourage the good and discourage the bad? I believe Loudon County citizens deserve and expect "quality" growth. Quality growth benefits everyone ó the developer, the builder, the buyer, and the taxpayer ó without compromising property rights. Also, growth must always be viewed in the context of its effects on real-world issues such as transportation, education, housing, the environment, and tourism. As a charter steering committee member of East Tennessee Quality Growth, I discuss these issues monthly with leaders throughout the Region who face similar challenges and opportunities. I believe there is much to be gained by looking at growth from a regional perspective.

What do you view as the countyís most pressing problem and how would you propose solving it?

From a public policy standpoint, I canít think of any problem more pressing than our schools. While the biggest part of the problem has to do with capacity, part of it seems related to maintenance of existing facilities. The commission now has the very difficult task of determining how, and to what extent, to fund the school boardís building plan, without breaking the backs of county taxpayers. Having been a commissioner, I know none of them relishes the idea of a property tax rate increase. The Adequate Schools Facility Tax is making a difference, but it is only a part of the answer.

Capturing the growth in the tax base is critical, and that is where the assessor comes in. It is my job to ensure that every new improvement ó whether industrial, commercial, or residential ó is placed on the tax roll as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is also critically important that each new structure or buildable parcel is appraised at its full and fair market value ó no exceptions and no preferential treatment, which would merely shift more of the tax burden onto the average Loudon County homeowner.

In terms of growthís impact on this office, I do not anticipate the need for additional resources or personnel any time soon, in part due to our acquisition of new technology and improved efficiencies. In fact, I was able to reduce our budgeted operating costs by more than $16,000 this year alone.