Here are the 8 people applying to the Hamilton County Commission District 9 vacancy

·6 min read

May 22—UPDATE: This story was updated at 4:25 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, to include comments from Charles Lowery Jr.

Eight community members and leaders are seeking appointment to the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, as Commissioner Chester Bankston of Ooltewah prepares to step down.

Third-term Commissioner Bankston will vacate his post at the end of the month, after his last meeting on Wednesday, and will create a vacancy on the nine-member board.

The other eight commissioners will then appoint a new member to represent District 9, which includes the Snow Hill, Collegedale and Harrison areas, for the remaining year before the 2022 election for the seat.

Application materials provided by the county show that the commission received eight applications from people seeking the seat with backgrounds ranging from police work to time on other elected bodies.

Here are the options:

Tunyekia Adamson

Adamson is a manager of scheduling for the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority with degrees in management and accounting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga State Community College and the University of Phoenix.

In her cover letter submitted to the commission, Adamson said she would do well in the role because of her ability to learn new things and collaborate.

"I am a dedicated, hard worker skilled in problem solving and time management," she wrote. "I work well with others, but I can also take initiative and get things done on my own. I catch on quickly and work to continuously expand my skill set."

Jeff Eversole

Eversole is the market manager of Tennessee area Walmart stores, and has worked with the company for nearly 40 years. He has been volunteering as a patrolman and a sheriff's reserve deputy for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office since 2006.

Eversole said in an emailed statement that he wanted to serve the county through his understanding of public-private partnerships.

"The decision to submit my name was no light task," Eversole wrote. "For over two decades Hamilton County has been the place I have called home. I have served my community and it has blessed me beyond measure, and it is an honor to be considered to continue serving Hamilton County as Commissioner."

"Coming from the private sector, I feel, gives a unique perspective into private public partnerships. The knowledge of knowing and understanding current partnerships is vital in my belief to keeping taxes low and corporate partners engaged."

Rob Healy

Healy is a former Chattanooga Parks and Recreation director and has served on a number of local volunteer boards including the Baylor School Alumni Board, the Lookout Mountain School Board and the United Way Allocations Committee.

Healy says he is applying for the seat out of his love for the community.

"I've lived here all my life and I love the city and the county and the area where we live, so if there's a way I can serve the community in that way, I'd be happy to do it," Healy said Saturday. "If the eight current commissioners feel that I'm the right person to help them, then I look forward to doing that."

Stephen Highlander

Highlander is a sitting Hamilton County Board of Education member and a pastor at Tremont Baptist Church with more than 40 years of experience as a teacher.

Highlander told the Times Free Press that he was interested in bringing his experience in education and budgeting to the commission.

"I think that could bring maybe a fresh perspective, and my education background would really be helpful on the commission since a much larger percentage of the county finances go into education than anything else," Highlander said. "The most important thing is the financial work that we do, and I'm very really well versed in that."

Charles Lowery Jr.

Lowery is a former Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief of Law Enforcement who retired in 2018 after more than 40 years with that department. He studied law enforcement and pastoral leadership at Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and Temple University.

Lowery says he wants to use his experience in law enforcement within the community to help him represent his constituents and inform law enforcement issues on the commission.

"Number one, I think I'd be good at because I'm a people person," he said Saturday. "I won't vote along political lines. I look at people and make the best decision based on what's best for them."

"And one of the areas I see on the commission not being fulfilled is someone with law enforcement experience. They get met with a lot of concerns that have to do with law enforcement, but they don't have someone with that kind of knowledge."

Dean Moorhouse

Moorhouse is president of the Harrison Ruritan Club Foundation. He worked in respiratory care from 1976-1988, when he began his property management company, M&M Properties.

Moorhouse told the Times Free Press that his years of volunteer work qualify him for the seat.

"I'm a retired health care executive so I've been blessed to have had time to serve my community to give back," he said. "So, you know, I would hope my commitment and service to the community would be enough to merit consideration."

Andrew Mullins

Mullins is a retail manager at Best Buy who has served the community in a number of volunteer roles including as the current chairman of the Hamilton County Health and Safety Board, the former vice president of the East Ridge Council and as a Boy Scouts scoutmaster.

Mullins wrote in his application that he is qualified by his commitment to service.

"I have the professional background as is shown in my resume, as well as a servant's heart to listen to others and to act in their best interest," he wrote.

"I know most of the current commissioners personally and commit to working with them in the future in representing not only my district residents and businesses but also those of all Hamilton Countians in the future. I commit to be open, available, and fair in all situations during my service to others."

Shannon Stephenson

Stephenson is the CEO of Cempa Community Care and serves on numerous volunteer boards including the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Health Council and the recently dissolved joint mayor's COVID-19 task force, formed between Hamilton County and Chattanooga.

In her application, Stephenson said she's not applying for a career in politics, but just wants to continue to serve her community.

"As a Certified Public Accountant and small business owner with a background in public safety, [I] currently serve as the Chief Executive Officer at Cempa Community Care, a community healthcare organization that eliminates health disparities experienced across the Greater Chattanooga area and beyond," she wrote.

"I have no grand plans for a career in politics. Rather, I seek this appointment because I firmly believe that my professional skills and expertise, coupled with my lifelong affinity for the individuals, families, and organizations of my home district will enable me to be a strong representative for its well-being until the conclusion of this term."

Commission Chairman Chip Baker told the Times Free Press that the commission will vote on Bankston's replacement at its June 2 meeting.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.