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Charter Commission to review proposals

The Anderson County Charter Commission will hold a special called meeting at 6 p.m. April 25 in Room 312 of the Anderson County Courthouse for the purpose of reviewing the proposed charter.

The proposed charter is of voter concern in the Aug. 4 General Election.

The Charter Commission is a group of eight representatives, one from each district, who are reviewing a template for a county charter.

A county’s charter is like its constitution, with the rules and policies that must be followed by the county.

Many Tennessee counties, including Anderson, do not have a charter. These counties instead follow the rules set forth by the state for county governments.

If a county wants a charter, it must be presented to the public for a vote. This group on the charter commission is trying to design a charter for Anderson County.

These meetings are being held every two weeks at the courthouse. If citizens are not paying attention, then this small group can vote to have rules that are restrictive and non-transparent such as restricting elections for some public offices to non-partisan only. This allows candidates to hide their personal positions in politics.

They are trying to finalize this process so they can put this forth for a public vote on the Aug. 4 ballot.

The first of three elections this year will be held May 3 at 28 precincts, including one that is new and two that have changed locations. Early voting is now in progress for the primary through April 28 at three locations – Oak Ridge, Clinton, and Andersonville. For more information on voting dates and locations, visit the Anderson County Elections website at

The first election is a Republican-only primary. The Democrats do not have primary candidates this year in May. To allow Republicans to become more acquainted with candidates, the Anderson County Republican Party will host two candidate forums this year. The first forum will feature only Republican candidates who are running for contested seats on the May 3 ballot. Those candidates include Judge Don Layton of General Sessions Court 1, challenged by Victoria Bowling; Road Superintendent Gary Long, challenged by Brian Hutson; Circuit Court Clerk Rex Lynch, challenged by Lewis Ridenour; and Judge Roger Miller of General Sessions Court 2, challenged by Matt Tuck.

In addition, three county commission districts have 11 new Republican candidates vying for six spots. Those include two spots in District 1 of the Claxton area with four candidates: Harold Edwards, Ray Hagan, Rodney Jennings, and Tyler Mayes.

Four candidates for the two spots in District 2 of Clinton are Steven Day, Michael Foster, Kimberly Meredith and Denise Palmer.

Candidates for two spots in District 3 with Andersonville, Fairview, Glen Alpine and Norris voting precincts are Charles Irwin, Lindsay Smith and Shelly Vandagriff.

Voters in districts 4-8 will find two candidate names for county commission on the Republican ballot, but both of those candidates will move forward to the Aug. 4 election. In the August election, they will be challenged by independent candidates.

A second candidate forum will be held in the summer for voters to get acquainted with candidates in contested races on the Aug. 4 ballot.