By Heather Mullinix
The Cumberland County Commission hired William Ward, a retired U.S. Army first sergeant, as the new Cumberland County Veterans Service Officer.
Ward said, "Once I'm through the training, there will be plenty to do. I look forward to continuing to serve the service members of our community."
Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. said Ward was one of seven applicants for the position. One was disqualified because he had no prior military service, a requirement for the position. The others were interviewed by a selection committee that included 1st District Commissioner Harry Sabine, County Finance Director Nathan Brock and Carey, with input from Donald Smith, assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs.
Ward has 32 years of military service, having served in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army, from which he retired. He was a company first sergeant and has held a federal top security clearance since 1980, and brings experience with budgets, benefits and services gained while in the military.
Ward has a bachelor's degree from Excelsior College with a concentration in management and administration and is working toward an engineering degree from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville.
Ward and his wife, Debbie, make their home in Cumberland County.
Once he completes training as a veteran's service officer, he will take over operation of the county's office at 380 Thurman Ave., behind the Cumberland County Courthouse. The office has been staffed by a part-time employee and veteran's service officers from surrounding counties that donated their time following the indictment of former VSO Mark Daniels on a single charge of theft more than $10,000.
The Veterans Service Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to serve veterans and their families. For more information, call 456-0090.
In other business, the commission:
•Appointed Larry Allen, Donnie Buttram, Sandra Brewer, Stanley Hall and James Perry to serve on the ethics committee. Motion by Mike Harvel, 7th District commissioner, supported by Jan McNeil, 5th District Commissioner. Allen, 6th District commissioner, passed and the motion was approved 16-0.
•Steve Stone appointed to the Upper Cumberland Gas Utility District for a term to expire Sept. 30, 2016. Motion by Allen Foster, 4th District commissioner, supported by John Kinnunen, 9th District commissioner. Motion unanimously approved.
•V.J. Dodson appointed as a member of the Tri-County Industrial Development Board of Cumberland, Morgan and Roane counties, with a term to expire Sept. 30, 2018. Motion by Roy Turner, 7th District commissioner, supported by Terry Carter, 6th District commissioner. Approved 13-4, with 8th District Commissioner Sonya Rimmer, 9th District Commissioner Carmin Lynch, 2nd District Commissioner Robert Safdie and 3rd District Commissioner Johnny Presley voting no.
•Appointed the county mayor as an ex-officio member of the Public Records Commission. Motion by Nancy Hyder, 2nd District commissioner, supported by Sabine. Motion was unanimously approved.