Four Persons Interview for Vacant County Commission Seat

August 22, 2013
Dwayne Page
Rick Cantrell
Steven Cantrell
Eugene LaFever
James Young

The county commission Monday night is expected to name someone to fill the unexpired term of John Green in the fifth district.

Green resigned from the county commission in April because he had moved his residence to White County. Green had served on the county commission for eleven years. He was first elected in 2002 and then re-elected in 2006 and 2010.

During an "All-Committees" meeting Thursday night, County Mayor Mike Foster and members of the county commission interviewed four applicants for the position, Rick Cantrell, Steven Cantrell, Eugene LaFever, and James Young.

Two others had also applied, Hunter Hendrixson and Anita Puckett, but they recently withdrew their names from consideration.

The appointee selected during the regular monthly meeting Monday night will serve on the county commission from the fifth district until the end of Green's term, which expires August 31, 2014.

The following is a summary of each interview:

"I was born and raised in the fifth district. I have been on the (DeKalb County Regional) Planning Commission since 1995. Eighteen years. I have lived in DeKalb County all my life. I went to school here. I have worked for BFN Operations for thirty eight years, formerly Knowles & Sons Nursery. It's in the fifth district. I am one of the managers there," said Cantrell.

"One thing I'd like to throw out there is that I have no vendetta. I am just here to work with you all for the whole county. I have no personal gains or reasons whatsoever involved here. If I feel like I am correct (on an issue) and it's the right thing to do, that's the way I'll vote," he said

When asked if he would run for the office in the next election, Cantrell replied "That's a possibility. If the people of the 5th district ask me to, I would. I will address that when the time comes," he said

"I graduated in 1982 from DCHS and in 1987 from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville," said Cantrell. " In the different jobs I've had over the years, I worked with the Extension Service over in Rhea County for a year and a half. I then taught at Scott High School in East Tennessee for half a year. I then taught over here (DeKalb County) for about six years. Now I'm working at a place called Bonnell between Carthage and Gordonsville," he said.

Cantrell was elected to the DeKalb County Commission during the 1990's representing the fifth district. "Right before I went over there (Bonnell) I was on the county commission with some of you all for a little while. I was on the committees for agriculture, education, and law enforcement when I was on the county commission before. I ended up moving out of the county so I didn't run again for that. I am back in this district, where I have lived most of my life. I just got interested in coming back to the commission when I saw that (position) opening up," said Cantrell.

" I'd like to try to do some things for the county and help out somewhat. I'm not looking to oppose anyone in a certain way. I have no hidden agenda or anything like that. I just enjoy the service because I did a lot of volunteer work with 4-H," he said.

"I was born and raised in DeKalb County. I live in Hillcrest Hills Subdivision on the east side of the county. My dad is U.L. LaFever. We owned Center Hill Sports Marine over on that side of the county all my life growing up until 2005 when we sold out. I went to school here and I've got a daughter in high school here now. I've always had dealings here in the county in some form or another. I have worked with several of you on different projects over the years. I do a couple of things now. I work with my uncle. We do sound jobs. We do the sound for the Fiddlers Jamboree. We do about twenty five festivals a year. I also work with a couple of attorneys out of town. I'm a process server on the side a little bit along the lines. I don't do any work here in DeKalb County much but outside of the county I do a little of that along in the winter time," said LaFever.

"I'm looking forward to an opportunity of maybe helping the county out a little bit along the lines. I was married to Dana LaFever for several years. She passed away three years ago. She worked for the sheriff's department. I had intended to run (for this position) before but because of the situation I was going through the time wasn't right. The time would be right for me to run now. I had intended to run and would intend to run," he said.

"I live down in the Four Seasons area. It used to be Young Bend. I attend an old Baptist church down there. I was born and raised there (Young Bend Community). I stayed gone for twenty years in Nashville. I moved back here in 1974. I have lived around DeKalb County since. I lost my first wife in 2001. I am married again to Jeanette Smithson. I'm retired. I retired from Timers, after twenty seven and a half years. Before that I did maintenance work in Nashville for twenty years. I am interested in what happens to DeKalb County now and future generations. We've got young people coming on and it concerns me," said Young.

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