The True Character Of Phil Smartt

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

           I am a senior at East Hamilton High School and the granddaughter of Phil Smartt, who is seeking election as Hamilton County Commissioner in District 7. I have never been involved so closely in politics as I am now, and it has truly been an eye-opening experience to see the character of some of the candidates running in District 7. Today I am writing to give you a glimpse into the character of my grandfather a.k.a my “papa.”

            Being one of Phil Smartt’s 29 grandchildren I know first-hand the type of person my papa is and the life he leads. Growing up I can remember the countless hours I enjoyed and continue to enjoy at my grandparents' house, spending the night, riding the four wheeler, eating ice cream, laughing and watching movies. The older I have grown, love and support has been shown in innumerable ways. Every summer my grandparents take the graduating seniors of the family on a special trip, they attend as many sporting events as time permits, and every Sunday you can guarantee there will be grandchildren over at their house. My papa has encouraged me to further my education, and because of his influence I will be attending Brigham Young University in the fall. He encourages me to date boys with high standards and to lead a life that is pleasing to God.

Not only is he involved in his grandchildrens' lives, but he is heavily involved in the community.  He currently teaches my 16-18 year-old Sunday School class in our church.  Each Sunday is a new and invigorating lesson. Not only does he know his religion, but he lives it.  Just last summer he returned from a two-year mission trip in Bosnia. He gave up his business, left his family, and friends to go and serve the Lord for two years at his own expense. What does this show you about the character of my papa?

            To see not only my religion, but my papa’s religion attacked publicly by his opponent’s campaign was disheartening to say the least.  After reading and seeing claims saying that my grandfather is not a Christian because he is a “Mormon”  (a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) was a falsified act to try and gain votes based on one's religious affirmations.  If anyone has exemplified Christian beliefs and lived a Christ-like life, it is my grandfather. The worst part of it all was that the campaign who made these falsified claims never publicly apologized for their wholly inappropriate post. What does this tell you about his opponent’s character?

            If anyone is willing to sacrifice their time and effort as County Commissioner, it is my papa, Phil Smartt.  He will be able to give his full attention to this position as he is retired.  Phil Smartt will be the ONLY candidate that can devote full time as County Commissioner, he is the man for the job.

Madison Ward

East Hamilton High School Senior


Be Aware: Pests Threaten Tennessee; You Can Help Protect Our State

As warmer weather sets in, the trees fill out and the flowers start to bloom, we are reminded why Tennessee is a beautiful state to call home. However, you may not realize that those trees and plants may be at risk. Invasive plant pests and diseases are a threat that is easy to overlook, yet can have a devastating impact on our entire state.   Once pests and diseases establish ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Knoxville’s Godsend

Back when we were uppity teenagers, the best put-down when a friend started acting crazy was to say to the heathen, “Quit acting like you are from Knoxville!” I don’t know how the term originated but I can say that back in the day it was pretty insulting to be told you were acting like you were from Knoxville. This week I wish that more of us acted like Knoxville. The Knox County ... (click for more)

County School Teachers To Get 3% Raise Under Balanced County School Budget

Hamilton County Schools teachers are slated to get three percent pay increases under the balanced budget approved by the School Board on Thursday afternoon. That comes on top of a two percent hike last year. Lee McDade, assistant superintendent, said a large influx of cash came from the state, and Governor Bill Haslam outlined that it was to raise the pay level for teachers. ... (click for more)

Law Enforcement Shuts Down Convenience Store Near College Hill Courts As Public Nuisance

Law enforcement on Thursday took steps to shut down a convenience store near the College Hill Courts as a public nuisance. The action was taken after District Attorney Neal Pinkston filed a petition with Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz about the Westside Shop. The store is operated by Salma Ambo, and the real property is owned by AAA Investment Properties LLC. The petition ... (click for more)

Sales' Grand Slam Leads Lady Owls To 6-2 Comeback Win

Cheyenne Sales came close to hitting two home runs on Tuesday. She atoned for those close calls a day later with a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning and powered Ooltewah to a 6-2 victory over gritty East Hamilton in District 5-3A softball action at Jim Lovell Field. “That’s the first grand slam I’ve hit this season,” said Sales, who finished with five RBIs. “The pitch ... (click for more)

Prep Tennis: Hixson Girls, Red Bank Boys Win District Titles

Playing for the District 6 A-AA tennis title, it came down to No.2 doubles with the overall match tied at 4 all. Hixson’s Amy Carranza and Sydney Buckner defeated Grace Brown and Cheyenne Cummings, of Red Bank, 8-6, Thursday at the Hixson Rec Center courts to give the host Wildcats the district championship, 5-4, for the second straight year and fourth title in five years. ... (click for more)