From the Desk of
J. Michael Cross
County Executive
The other day my nine year old granddaughter asked what I do at work. It made me think about all the “Hats” I wear as Fentress County Executive. I hope this column enlightens people to the many roles and responsibilities that come with this office.
In addition to being the chief administrative officer for Fentress County, the County Executive oversees several county departments and department heads including: the Fentress County Ambulance Service, Emergency Management, the Veteran’s Service Office, the Fentress County Solid Waste Department and the Fentress County Senior Citizen’s Center. We work hand in hand with the Sheriff and the Road Superintendent to ensure quality services to all citizens of the county. It is also the responsibility of the County Executive to work with the County Commission with the budgeting process.
Further, the County Executives appoints members of the commission to serve on several County committees including the Fire Committee, the Ambulance Committee, the Building Committee, the Sheriff’s Committee, the Finance and Budget Committees, the Solid Waste Board, and the Chamber’s Tourism Committee. It is also important to appoint an active Audit Committee to ensure that all Fentress County Government Departments are in compliance with State and Federal regulations.
As Fentress County Executive, I am active with the Upper Cumberland Development District and the Upper Cumberland Human Resources Agency. For UCDD, I serve on the Board of Directors, the Committee on Aging and Disabilities and the Economic and Community Development Board. For UCHRA, my duties include serving on their Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the Policy Council, the Personnel Committee, the Transportation Committee and the Legislative Committee. All these Committees and Boards meet monthly to make policy decisions for the entire Upper Cumberland District.
Within the county, it is my pleasure and responsibility to actively work with the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce, the Fentress County Industrial Development Board and the Fentress County Planning Commission. It has been my pleasure to actively work with our Congressional Leaders as well. We stay in contact with Representatives Kelly Keisling and John Mark Windle, Senator Ken Yager and Congressman Diane Black on a weekly basis.
An overlooked responsibility of the County Executive’s Office is the importance of staying in contact with State Agencies such as the Tennessee Department of Transportation, TVA Leaders and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Lobbying for the Highway 127 Building Project has been one of my passions. TDOT’s recent inclusion of that project into their 1 and 3 year plans was an important announcement.
Closer to home, we are pleased to have the commitment and dedication of Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks in managing and organizing the County Executive’s Office. Coupled with County Attorney Leslie Ledbetter’s legal wisdom and sage advice, they make an awesome “Team”. And lastly, thanks to my wife Barbara and family for their support and patience with this 24/7 responsibility.
It is both an honor and a privilege to serve as your County Executive. May God grant us the wisdom to balance “Serving the County” with Family, Church and Life.
We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at *protected email*. County Commission Meetings are held every third Monday at 6:00 p.m. following a 5:00 o’clock work session. All meetings are open to the public.