Tester would focus on making county financially stable

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

STAR STAFF
khughes@starhq.com

   Louis C. Tester, perhaps better known as "L.C.," has worked for Carter County Sheriff's Department for a number of years. Through his work experience he has watched carefully how the different government agencies work and how they're funded.
   He believes this knowledge, coupled with the fact that he is a "people person," makes him the right candidate for county commissioner in the 4th District.
   "I love people. I want to do something for the people and I feel like I can do this by being on the county commission," he said.
   As a commission candidate, Tester said the issues that are important to him are "making this county financially stable by trying to build long-term goals, not just a yearly thing like we've been doing in the past.
   "A big issue that is important to me is finding the monies that we need to fund our different organizations in Carter County without putting such a tax burden on the people that they can't carry it. There has to be a better way to get some of this stuff funded than just tax, tax, tax, tax," Tester said.
   He believes the area would benefit from countywide zoning, but said, "If I am elected county commissioner, I would vote what the people want. I would listen to them and see what they want to do."
   Tester said he does not think that hiring a county finance director will increase efficiency and accountability in local government "because we now have auditors that look at what we have done. I think it could help if we buy everything together for the various county agencies," he said.
   "If we buy materials or put bids out on jobs for the entire county, not just each department, naturally the cheaper and better deal we're going to get," he said.
   Tester also believes county government needs to think larger in terms of industrial recruiting.
   "I would like to see Carter County and Elizabethton get together and be more aggressive in trying to recruit some big industry in here -- not just the small things that we seem to hunt for," he said.
   "In the last few years, we have improved our roads coming into Carter County. That always pleases bigger industries because they are going to need trucks and things to get in. But I believe if we really, aggressively go after some bigger industry, we can find some and bring it in," he said.