From the Desk of
J. Michael Cross
County Executive

Report from the Governor’s Conference: Last Wednesday thru Friday, Jamestown Mayor Darlene Davis, myself and other City and County officials attended the “Governor’s Conference” in Gatlinburg. Representing the City of Jamestown and Fentress County, we received the Downtown Beautification Award and the Three Star Award from Governor Haslam.

In addition to getting to meet and chat with the Governor, we had the opportunity to network with other City and County Mayors from around the state. With many of the state’s top leaders in attendance, we also had the chance to voice our concerns. I had the chance to discuss the upcoming Highway 127 Project with Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. We emphasized the importance of the project to the economy of Fentress County and the potential impact on job and industry recruitment. Commissioner Schroer was very receptive to our plea.

The Host of the Conference was Tennessee Commissioner of Economic Development Bob Rolfe. He continued to emphasize to importance of helping distressed rural counties across the state. At one point in time, I was privileged to get to privately chat with former Economic Development Commissioner Randy Boyd who is presently campaigning to be the next Governor of Tennessee. Randy has visited Fentress County several times and understands to economic hardships that face us.

There were two Conference highlights that I want to mention. The first occurred Thursday as former UT football star Inky Johnson addressed those assembled. Inky suffered a devastating spinal injury in 2006 while making a tackle in the UT vs. Air Force game. Since that time, partially recovered, Inky travels around the country making motivational speeches. One of his most memorable quotes was: “Because we don’t know our Death Day, we should all be motivated to making someone’s life a little better every single day of our life”.

The other highlight occurred at the Governor’s Luncheon on Friday. Governor Haslam, Senator Bob Corker and Senator Lamar Alexander all three addressed the Conference. During their presentations, it was announced that for the first time in history, EVERY County in Tennessee had an unemployment rate lower than 5%. Fentress County’s rate was announced as 3.8%.

We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at vog.n1534673616Tytnu1534673616oCsse1534673616rtneF1534673616@skci1534673616H.adn1534673616amA1534673616. 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.