Charlotte Peak-Jones was sworn in as the newest member of the Bradley County Commission Tuesday night, and now joins Second District Commissioner Connie Wilson as one of only two women on the governing body.
Peak-Jones, who will be representing the 4th District, was administered the oath of office by Bradley County Circuit Court Judge Michael Sharp.
Before the ceremony, Sharp said he had known the commissioner for many years.
“I have known Charlotte for a long time. … I’ve known Charlotte to be a person of integrity and honesty,” Sharp said.
The Bradley County native said she chose to run “to give her community a voice,” yet stressed she does not have an agenda she is trying to push as a commissioner.
The biggest challenge facing the Commission is funding the school system, Peak-Jones said.
“I’m optimistic [because of] the surplus that our Trustee Mike (Smith) has shown us,” she said. “I don’t think we will have any issues [after the next] four years, but I know we are going to have issues until then.”
The annual report on payments in lieu of taxes, which was recently presented, projects nearly $15 million in undesignated funds coming into the county in the next four years.
Peak-Jones was chosen by special election to fill the seat vacated by Howard Thompson, when he resigned. At the time of the resignation, Cliff Eason was selected by the Commission to fill the seat until an election could be held. Peak-Jones said she decided she wanted to run for Thompson's seat because she wanted to represent her community. Peak-Jones ran against five others, including Eason, in an election in March. According to published reports, she won the race by receiving 30.4 percent of the vote.
“Everyone that was going to run was older and probably more wise, but I felt we needed younger representation,” Peak-Jones said.
The newest commissioner said she wanted to see someone who had grown up in Bradley County fill the vacant seat. She also said she wanted to see more women serve on the Commission.
Several commissioners congratulated Peak-Jones during Tuesday night’s Commission meeting. Fellow 4th District Commissioner J. Adam Lowe spoke of the integrity he said Peak-Jones displayed throughout her recent campaign.
Peak-Jones was elected to complete the remaining two years on Thompson’s unexpired term.