Smith expressed his appreciation to the commissioners.
“It is a pleasure to work with you guys and gals ... I consider all of you my friends and I appreciate the recognition,” Smith said. “I appreciate what we have been able to accomplish together.”
More than 30 Trustees across East Tennessee voted. Winners are often chosen for their progressive offices. This includes finding ways to benefit the trustee’s respective county and taxpayers.
To be chosen by fellow trustees as one who exemplifies these traits is an honor, as told by Smith. He has been in office since being elected in 2006.
“I was a commissioner for 16 years and I always enjoyed being able to help citizens solve problems they may have,” Smith said.
When the Trustee position opened, Smith saw his opportunity to move outside his district and help Bradley County as a whole.
He said his office works on a day-to-day basis with taxpayers, banks and mortgage companies.
“We’ve implemented quite a few programs,” Smith said. “Taxes are something a lot of people, including myself, do not like to pay, but it is something we have to pay.”
Programs like the partial payment plan have been developed to help county citizens. The plan allows taxpayers to make payments on past, current and future taxes. This is beneficial for those who cannot pay their taxes in one lump sum.
He mentioned the state tax relief and county tax freeze programs also provide aid to taxpayers.
Smith said he is especially proud of the investments made by the Trustee’s office.
“We have done really well on our investments since I have been here. We monitor what offices are doing and what they are not. When someone does well, we talk about it and pick it up,” Smith said. “We greatly exceeded where I thought we would be.”
Continued Smith, “A lot of the credit goes to our banks who have given us really good rates. We work close with them to ensure we are getting the best return for Bradley County and its citizens’ money.”
Smith expressed his surprise over receiving this year’s award, especially after winning the same in 2009.
He said he is very thankful for the consideration by his fellow trustees and expects a positive impact on his office.