Election adds nine new members to county commission

By Julie Fann

The Carter County Commission is officially revolutionized after the 2002 general election, with more change occurring in the 1st District, which represents the Hunter, Midway and Unaka communities. The commission added a total of nine new members who will serve the county for the next four years.
   Doug Buckles, Jackson Buckles and Lawrence Hodge will replace Adeline Hyder and Buford Peters in the upcoming term representing the 1st District. Incumbent Ted Weaver decided not to run for re-election.
   Twenty-three-year-old Jackson Buckles, a Stoney Creek native and Elizabethton Fire Department firefighter, is the youngest commissioner to win and serve. Buckles said he believes he is "open-minded" and willing to listen to the people.
   The 2nd District, which represents Roan Mountain and Tiger Valley, also added two new faces and ousted two incumbents.
   Al Meehan, former missionary and Carter County Reserve Deputy, will serve on the commission. Also, Wayne Holtsclaw, after serving on the commission for 42 years, was re-elected to another term. R.L. Miller and Ralph Watson, incumbents representing the 2nd District for one term, were defeated.
   The most solid incumbent, losing a fifth term on the commission, was Harry Sisk, who has served for 16 years representing the 3rd District communities of Central, Keenburg and Range. He was replaced by Charles "Jim" Whaley.
   The 4th District, representing the Courthouse, Eastside and Siam communities, remained the same, with incumbents Chuck Culler and Phillip E. Nave re-elected to another term. Incumbent Wayne Smith was moved from the 4th District to the 6th District and defeated.
   In the 5th District, representing Happy Valley, all three incumbents were re-elected. They are Roscoe Bayless, Jo Ann Blankenship and Richard D. Renfro.
   In addition to Wayne Smith, Larry McKinney was defeated in the 6th District, representing Elk Mills, Hampton, Little Milligan and Valley Forge.
   Replacing the two men are John G. Lewis and John D. Snyder Sr. Lewis has owned and operated Hampton Tire for 30 years. Snyder is a barber who has previously served 22 years on the county commission.
   Terry Montgomery was re-elected to another term representing the 6th District.
   Sid Cox, who has only served one term on the commission representing the 7th District, was defeated in the election by Richard David Tester, an electronics technician and Elizabethton native.
   Incumbents Jeff Treadway and Lynn Tipton were re-elected to another term representing the 7th District.
   In the 8th District, which represents Harold McCormick and Elizabethton High School, William L. Armstrong and Roy D. Merryman Sr. were re-elected to another term. Joining them is Robert Davis, the first black person ever elected to the Carter County Commission.