County Commission Unable To Agree On Appointee To District 9 School Board; Walker, Kuehn Are Finalists; County Stays With Certified Tax Rate

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The County Commission on Wednesday could not reach agreement on a new School Board member for District 9.

The commission ended in a 4-3 vote with Commissioners Chip Baker and Randy Fairbanks absent. 

The issue will be taken up again next Wednesday.

James Brent Walker, an official of the State Lottery and was the co-founder of the Ooltewah/Harrison Education Association, was backed by Sabrena Smedley, Greg Martin, Steve Highlander and Tim Boyd.

Gary Kuehn, who served as a county school principal and was involved in the development of the Future Ready Institutes, received support from Warren Mackey, Katherlyn Geter and David Sharpe.

There were nine candidates. 

The vacancy arose after Chester Bankston left the County Commission and District 9 School Board member Highlander was named to his place.

In other action, the county opted to stay with the new lowered certified tax rate rather than have a property tax increase.

Officials said county property values raise an average of 23.6 percent.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said many will be paying a higher amount because their values went up higher than the 23.6 percent.


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