With the recent attention given to Vince Dean winning the Hamilton County Criminal Court Ccerk’s race and how he will handle the office and its staff, I believe I can provide some insight to him as a supervisor and boss.
I worked nearly 10 years for the Tennessee General Assembly, and for nearly all of them I worked as the sole staff person dedicated to the House Transportation Committee. I reported directly to the committee chairman as my boss and supervisor. All staff at the legislature are at will employees and have no civil service protection, so at any time or after an election any staff person could lose his or her job if a legislator wants to make a change. For me the period after an election was a nervous time because a new chairman could be installed that wanted someone different in my position, but that came with the job.
Vince was on the committee for much of his time at the legislature, and he quickly became an officer for the committee and chaired a subcommittee that I also staffed. Eventually Vince became chairman of the entire House Transportation Committee in January 2013. Vince was now my boss. While I had worked for him for several years and doing what I believed was good work for him, as chairman he now had the choice to keep me on or to fire me and bring in someone else. Vince made the decision to keep me on in the same position, during the same work, and with the same high level of responsibility. He told me I had been doing a good job and didn’t see the need for a change. He wanted me to keep on doing what I had been with only minor adjustments to fit how he was going to run the committee. Vince still demanded good work, and he was always fair. I enjoyed working for him, and it was always gratifying to know he respected and trusted my opinion and knowledge on any topic before the committee. After he told me he decided to keep me on, I did my work without fear of losing my job as long as I was doing a good job.
On a personal note, the Hamilton County Criminal Court clerk’s office is getting not only a good boss but a good man to lead it. During the years I worked for the legislature and for Vince, I personally saw his dedication to his constituents, his community, his family, and his faith.
He didn’t ask me to write this, but I wanted to share my personal experience under Vince’s supervision. The legislature will miss Vince’s leadership, but the legislature’s loss is Hamilton County’s gain.
I wish Vince good luck even though I don’t believe he needs it. He will do an excellent job, and I think he’ll be a great boss because was one to me.