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Farewells said to departing commissioners

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

dlawrence@roanecounty.com

The responsibility of passing the county’s budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year could be left for the next county commission.

The current commission voted to postpone the budget resolutions on Monday’s agenda until September.

“All of these can’t be acted on tonight because we do not have a certified tax rate,” Commission Chairman Troy Beets said.

The current commission terms expire on Aug. 31, and the commission will have six new members when it meets in September.

Commissioners Nadine Jackson and David Olsen did not run for re-election.

Commissioners Beets, David Currier, James “Dub” Harmon and Howard Rose lost their re-election bids.

The new commission will take office on Sept. 1.

There will also be a new county executive. Incumbent Mike Farmer lost to Ron Woody.

In June, commissioners voted to adopt a continuing budget and tax rate because the property assessor’s office is still sorting out appeals after this year’s controversial reassessment.

Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham said appeals before the Board of Equalization have  been set into September.

According to the budget resolution, departments are authorized to expend funds at the same level as the previous fiscal year until the budget and tax rate for 2010-11 is approved.

The fact that several officials wouldn’t be returning to office in September was a focal point of Monday’s meeting. Each outgoing official was given an opportunity to give parting remarks.

“I’d like to thank everybody for putting up with me for 16 years,” Olsen said. “I have tried my best to make the best decisions for Roane County.”

Rose said he’s enjoyed serving the people of the county for the last 16 years.

“I can leave with my head up high,” he said.

Jackson said it’s been an honor to serve.

“It was just a time factor for me,” she said. “I felt like I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do.”

Currier said that halfway through his 16 years he got saved and then  called to preach.

“I ask the new commissioners to always pray about the decisions, and you won’t go wrong,” he said.

Harmon, at 83, was the commission’s most senior member.

“I’ve enjoyed my 22 years,” he said. “I’m the oldest man here and been here longer than anybody, so I appreciate you putting up with me, too.”

“I’m a child of the Lord, and He knows best,” Harmon added.

Farmer thanked everyone for their hard work.

“I am honored and pleased to have had the opportunity to have served with you,” he said.

Beets said it had been an honor to have served as chairman of the commission.

“I certainly don’t have the words to really describe what a feeling it is when you are so selected by your peers,” he said.

“I certainly appreciate that,” Beets added.