County mayor announces new EMA director, VA officer

By Lesley Jenkins
Star Staff

Carter County Mayor Dale Fair announced Tuesday that David Batchelder will be the new Veteran's Service Officer for Carter County, and Ernest Jackson will fill the position of Emergency Management Director.
   Both officers will begin their new positions on Sept. 8.
   Batchelder will take the position left by Randy Lingerfelt, who accepted a position as Tennessee Veterans Benefit Representative at VA Medical Center, Mountain Home. Batchelder is a Carter County native who recently retired from the U.S. Army and moved back to Carter County. He was ranked as First Sergeant and possesses 15 years of experience in management. He was responsible for an office with over 29,000 personnel and developed budgets in excess of 1.3 million. He also holds a Department of Defense Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized information security clearance.
   "We are very fortunate to have so many quality resumes for this position," Fair said. "David will be a valuable addition to the courthouse office and will be instrumental in continuing the good job left by the former Veteran's Service Officer, Randy Lingerfelt."
   Fair also stated that the Emergency Management Director position received "several very good resumes ... and the field was narrowed down to 3 candidates." The decision to hire Ernest Jackson, another Carter County native, was tough for Fair, but, he stated, "Ernest will bring new direction and new ideas to a department that is and will continue to be in the news. Homeland Security and emergency management will continue to be emphasized in the future on the national, state and local level."
   Fair said, "I would like to personally thank and commend Renee Bowers and Bob Robinson for the excellent manner in which they have handled the EMA office during the interim period. Renee has been an integral part of the total emergency management program for several years, and Bob has filled in the void admirably on a part-time basis."
   A reception for Batchelder and Jackson will be held on August 22 at 3 p.m. in the courthouse. The reception is open to the public, all office holders, staff personnel and members of the county commission.