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Hooks resigning from county commission

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

dlawrence@roanecounty.com

Citing health reasons and a need to spend more time with family, Mike Hooks has decided to give up his spot on the Roane County Commission.

He also is moving out of the commission district he represents.

He spoke about his decision to resign at Monday’s regular meeting.    

“Not to get into the details of it, but it’s no secret that I’ve had some health issues,” Hooks said. “My family is saying I need to cut back.”

“Right now it’s the right thing to do,” he added.

Hooks represents District 1, which includes Rockwood Wards 1 and 2, Pond Grove, Eureka and Glen Alice.

Hooks said he recently sold his home. As a result, he will be moving out of the district.

“We placed a house on the market one day; it sold the next,” he said. “We had no idea it was going to sell that quick in an economy like we’re in. That kind of rushed things up a couple of months, but that was a decision we made and we stuck with it.”

Hooks was the recipient of several glowing remarks at Monday’s meeting.

“I appreciate every word spoken tonight,” Hooks said. “They were very kind.”

Hooks said he’ll be moving to the eastern section of the county. His resignation is effective Aug. 31.

He plans to keep his job as director of Roane County’s E-911.

Hooks’ departure from the county commission not only leaves a vacancy in District 1, but it also leaves an opening on the very powerful budget committee, which charts the financial course for the county.     

A staffing increase for the new county jail spawned a lot of debate during this year’s budget process.

Hooks was a strong proponent of an increase in staff during discussions, which got intense at times.

He said lively debate is one of the things he enjoyed about being a county commissioner.    

“We always agreed to disagree,” Hooks said. “It’s been times that our discussions got heated, but it was never personal. It was just a difference of opinion, which is what makes government work.”

Commissioners could move quickly to fill the commission seat.

Commission Chairman Troy Beets said he would like to see it filled at September’s regular meeting.

Beets scheduled a public hearing for Aug. 25 to hear from people interested in filling Hooks’ commission seat.

The meeting will also include people interested in filling a vacancy for constable in the 6th District.

The constable vacancy was created in July after a drawn-out controversy.

Circuit Court Judge Russell Simmons Jr. removed Mark Patton from office for misconduct after an ouster trial.