Helton, others sworn-in
By Joel Davis | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Property Assessor Tim Helton and several other newly elected Blount County officials were sworn in Friday during an oath of office ceremony at the Blount County Courthouse.
Helton won a hard-fought race for the Blount County Assessor of Property’s office in March, toppling his former boss, Mike Morton, for the Republican nomination for the office. He was unopposed in the general election.
So what happens next?
“We go to work,” Helton said. “We’ve got to get everything reorganized and get our feet on the ground and try baby steps.”
Helton has 8½ years of experience as field assessor. He was one of five employees of the Assessor of Property’s Office that Morton let go in June 2011 during budget cuts.
The first order of business is to repaint and revamp the Property Assessor’s Office at the courthouse, Helton said. “We are going to have a fresh start ... and let the public know it’s an all-new administration. We’re going to work our tails off and make everybody proud.”
Oaths of office were also administered to Circuit Court Judge Division I Tammy Harrington, District 1-B County Commissioner Tab Burkhalter, Blount County Board of Education Members Chris Cantrell, 2nd District, Trevis Gardner, 4th District, and James E. Compton, 6th District.
“I am overwhelmed by all of the support that I have gotten from the community,” Gardner said. “I’m a Blount County guy, and I’ve had so many people from the community express well-wishes and comment on their confidence in me.”
County Mayor Ed Mitchell served as master of ceremonies for the ceremony.
“The people have put their faith and well-being in these elected officials’ hands,” he said.
Gov. Bill Haslam swore in Harrington on June 3 to fill the seat vacated by retired Judge W. Dale Young, who died May 21 at age 73. Prior to her appointment, Harrington worked for the Blount County District Attorney General’s Office from 1996 to 2011.
“I’m honored to have been able to retain the office I was appointed to by the voters of Blount County,” Harrington said.
In October 2010, the Blount County Commission appointed Burkhalter, a Maryville attorney and business owner, to the seat vacated by former District 1-B Commissioner Shawn Carter Sr., who had resigned two hours after being sworn into office.
“This morning it was my honor to take the oath of office for Blount County Commissioner District 1, Seat B,” Burkhalter, a Republican whose current term of office expires in 2014, wrote in an email to The Daily Times. “The support I have received is overwhelming and greatly appreciated. Once again I want to thank everyone for your faith and trust in me to do what is best for our district and county. Pleases do not hesitate to contact me with your questions or concerns. Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend.”
Carter, who is employed by the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier, cited a prohibition against federal employees engaging in partisan political activity as the reason for resigning.