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County to fill interim commission seat by election

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The county commission will hold a special election Oct. 16 to fill the seat being vacated by longtime commissioner Ben Harris.

Harris announced last week he would resign his seat on the board effective Sept. 30; saying he is moving outside of that district due to family obligations.

According to Commissioner Paul R. Goode, who chairs the Legislative Committee, resumes are now being accepted for the interim seat. The position would be up for grabs in the May 1 County Primary, along with the other 23 seats on the commission, with the County General Election being held in August.

"Persons interested in the position should submit a resume and or qualifications to the office of the County Clerk by 11 a.m., Oct. 16," Goode said, adding that by law, candidates can also be nominated during the Oct. 16 meeting

Harris will be missed

County Executive Anthony Holt has served on the commission with Harris since 1990 - the year they were both first elected. The county has seen a lot of progress and positive momentum under Harris' leadership, he said.

"Ben Harris has got a lot of knowledge about county government - he's very faithful to his district and I believe he loves his community," Holt said. "He doesn't miss commission meetings and he has taken an active leadership role on the commission.

"I think he really sees an overall vision of how our county needs to grow. "He will be missed and there will be a leadership vacuum on the county commission without his wisdom. This shows rather than moving out of his district and finishing out his term, he's very open and honest and wants to do the right thing."

County to also appoint interim judge

During that same meeting, commissioners will also vote to fill the seat of General Sessions Judge Barry Brown, who is retiring the end of this year.

As of the Friday, Sept. 15 deadline, five candidates had submitted resumes to be considered for the position. Those are Gallatin attorney Allen Ehmling, Hendersonville attorney Debrah Frizzell, attorney Keith Dennen of Dickinson Wright PLLC in Nashville, attorney Pam Spicer of Spicer Rudstrom PLLC in Nashville, and David Howard, who currently serves as the Juvenile Court Magistrate in Sumner County.

As with the vacated commission seat, this interim judgeship will be up for grabs in the May 1 County Primary.

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