From the Desk of

J. Michael Cross County Executive

A short Civics lesson: How Local Government Works

    I usually get a couple of calls a week asking me to tell or ask the Sheriff or Roads Supervisor or some other office holder to do something. Apparently, there are some who think that they work for the County Executive. I patiently explain that ALL elected officials really work for the general public, and operate independently from each other. Each elected official operates their own individual office, hiring their own support staff and personnel. I do explain however, that in Fentress County, we are blessed that all our elected officials do work professionally together, respecting each office’s role in local government. Each office holder makes a concerted effort to foster the concept of “Teamwork” for the good of the entire county.

     Each elected official has its role and job description carefully outlined in TCA (Tennessee Code Annotated) statutes and the Tennessee State Constitution. As such, each official makes a concerted effort to meet all those outlined expectations for the good of their constituents.

     As Fentress County Executive, I work for the people of the county as well as carry out the will of the Fentress County Commission. As County Executive, some of my responsibilities and roles include: serving as the County’s Chief Administrative Officer; Personnel Director for County Employees; serve as the County’s liaison and contact person to State and Federal Agencies including TDOT, UCHRA, UCDD, ECD, TVA and others; Member of the Finance and Budget Committees who set County and Departmental Annual Budgets; serve as liaison to the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Director; Chairman of the County Commission; County spokesperson for festivals, events and celebrations; responsible for appointing individuals to serve on committees and boards; and immediate supervisor to the Ambulance Director, Solid Waste Director, Veterans Service Officer, EMA Director, County Attorney and Senior Citizens Director.

     Additionally, it is the County Executive’s role to establish a good line of communication between State and Federal authorities, including State Representatives and Senators as well as U.S. Congressmen. Each year, we try to spend several days in Nashville, lobbying for the county’s needs as well as attend the Governor’s Conference.

     The roles of your elected county officials are varied by department and job description. We are blessed to have officials who work hard, show dedication and professionalism.

We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at vog.n1511114518Tytnu1511114518oCsse1511114518rtneF1511114518@skci1511114518H.adn1511114518amA1511114518. 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.