Claiborne oaths of office taken

The official Claiborne county oaths-of-office played to a packed courtroom on Aug. 31 as family and friends gathered to witness an event that does not happen every day. The recent election netted 40 new or returning office holders who recently won their respective seats in county government.

It took some 40 minutes to complete the ceremony that many feel is the first step in ushering better times.

County mayor Joe Brooks and his wife Drena were first up to the podium. Just prior to the official ceremony, Brooks spent a moment discussing his initial plans for the office.

“The first thing that needs to be done is to introduce myself to the rest of the county officials and begin laying the groundwork of the plan that I’d like to see the county move forward in. Then, I’d like to start implementing those changes.

“I’m happy and optimistic now, for the future of Claiborne county and I’m excited to see the work that’s about to be done, to start a new beginning,” said Brooks.

Sheriff Bobby Brooks spent a moment discussing his thoughts on the work he will be facing as he takes over the helm of the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m ready for the challenge, getting things in order and getting some people in place. We’re going in a different direction – we’re going to concentrate on law enforcement and getting back to community policing,” said Sheriff Brooks.

One of the new district 6 winners is actually a returning Claiborne commissioner. Rosemary Barnett sat on the commission during the 2010-14 term. Barnett says she was urged to reenter the arena by some of the members of the board.

“I’m glad to be back,” said Barnett.

Newly elected 4th district commissioner Zach Mullins says he wants to thank every voter for placing their trust in him.

“I look forward to working for each and every citizen in the district,” said Mullins.

Charlton Vass, who was reelected to another four year term on the county commission, says he is excited about the future.

“I think we now have a very good group that can now get things done. I feel really good about it,” said Vass.

Third district school board member Neta Munsey says she is very pleased to have been reelected.

“I’ve spent nearly my entire life in education, working with young people and the people of Claiborne county. We’re looking forward to a good school year and a good board,” said Munsey.

Linda Fultz, who was handily reelected to her 5th district seat, expressed her delight with the election results.

“I am so glad that I was able to return to this position and I hope we can accomplish a lot of good during the next four years,” said Fultz.

Evelyn Hill, who for 36 years handled all manner of county clerking duties, was given a standing ovation by the crowd. Hill officiated the oath of office to Karen Hurst, who is the new Claiborne county clerk.

Circuit court judge John McAfee handled the bulk of the oaths.

Also in attendance was Tim Burchett, outgoing Knox county mayor and republican nominee for the 2nd district of the U.S. Congress.