Mayor Palmieri Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election In 2018

Alan Palmieri, Jefferson County, TN MayorStaff Photo by Jeff Depew

Alan Palmieri, Jefferson County, TN Mayor
Staff Photo by Jeff Depew

Jefferson County Mayor Alan Palmieri announced Friday, January 12, 2018 that he will not seek a fourth term as Mayor of Jefferson County. Department Heads, past and present elected officials and members of the press gathered in the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse Friday morning, at the invitation of the Mayor, to hear the announcement. Though a petition was picked up for the May primary, Palmieri has been open regarding his debate whether to seek re election or leave the office that he has held since 2006.

In the course of his announcement, Mayor Palmieri noted what he considers to be some of the best accomplishments during his tenure and some of the poignant disappointments. Bringing and keeping a strong hospital for Jefferson County residents, expanding the Jefferson County nursing home, Jefferson Park, and its innovative programs, as well as a state of the art E911 Emergency Services Complex were listed as some of Palmieri’s most proud advancements during his service in Jefferson City and Jefferson County as an elected official. He also spoke of the launching of Tennessee Achieves, the financial stability that Jefferson County now enjoys and the fact that, true to local values, the Ten Commandments still hang in the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse in his address.

Mayor Palmieri listed two policy decisions among his greater disappointments during his service as Mayor of Jefferson County, with the first being the number of County Commissioner that serve and the other being the County Charter. Currently, Jefferson County has 21 County Commissioners serving 10 districts and Palmieri has been vocal regarding his desire to see the number lowered to 7 or 9 County Commissioners citing the number of sitting Commissioners in larger areas such as Knox County (11). He has also been a vocal proponent of Jefferson County operating under a private charter, rather than the Act of ’81 which is the current operational system for the County. Lack of a Recreation Department and stunted growth and expansion are two of the areas that the Mayor would have liked to see handled differently for the economic future of Jefferson County, as well as the rescinding the Adequate Facilities Tax which he sees as a growth deterrent.

As is typical with Mayor Palmieri, he did not hold back when addressing the status of his relationship with some members of the County Commission and what he considers to be obstructionist actions that are not in the best interest of Jefferson County. He called on citizens to hold their elected officials to high standards and to push for open, honest dialogue from those officials.

“My tenure has not been one of straddling the fence. I’ve made mistakes and been open about it. I’ve also fought for what I felt was right for our residents regardless of the outcome or consequences.” Palmieri said at the close of his announcement.

“I want to thank my wife, my children, grandchildren and family for their support. I’ve always said no matter how difficult politics is on the candidate or office holder it is much more difficult on the family members. I also want to thank all who have supported me during my years in elected office, Thanks to my staff and those who have worked with me. They should be credited with the good things we’ve accomplished. No one can get much done in the political arena, it takes support and cooperation of many individuals.”

Mayor Palmieri conceded that it was a difficult decision to make and that, though it is time for a break, that does not mean that there is not another political day in his future. This was simply the right time to take some time off and spend it with family. As for the future, it is possible that politics and Palmieri have not totally parted ways.

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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