At tonight’s Commission meeting citizen Richard Hutchens gave County Clerk Roy Crawford his first Statesman Award for his recent effort to provide enhanced service to the citizens of Blount County without raising their taxes. Mr. Hutchens requested the Chairman’s indulgence to give Mr. Crawford a round of applause and Chairman Moon obliged. Mr. Crawford received a standing ovation by the citizens in the audience.
Good News – County Clerk and Dedicated Employees Save Taxpayers a Bundle
The County Clerk’s office is where you go to renew vehicle registrations, get titles to vehicles, get a marriage license, get a business license or submit a passport application. County Clerk Roy Crawford, and his fine employees, set high goals for customer service and efficiency. And, they deliver. When I ask people about the service they experience when visiting the County Clerk’s office, the comments are resoundingly positive. Yet, the Blount County Clerk’s office spends less money than the other similar Tennessee counties. The recent opening of the new, expanded County Clerk’s office in the Foothills Mall show the planning and hard work that go into maintaining these high standards.
Several months ago, Crawford was notified the lease for the small space he used for his Foothills Mall branch office was being terminated. Crawford faced a choice between moving the branch back to the Courthouse or leasing expensive new space. The first alternative was not attractive because it would force citizens to make a special trip to the Courthouse, where they would have to deal with very limited parking. The second alternative would cost the taxpayers thousands in additional rent.
Crawford and his employees got creative. They analyzed the data and found that the office attracted more than 40,000 people each year. They put together a presentation that asked merchants what they would have to spend on advertising to attract 40,000 people. They pointed out how much cheaper it would be for the merchant to donate space for the new office and get those 40,000 visits. Several merchants quickly expressed interest. In the end, the good people who manage Foothills Mall, provided a new, larger space at no cost to the taxpayers. But this is not the end of the story.
The space needed to be fitted out for the new office. The employees of the County Clerk’s office volunteered their time and their spouses’ time to construct the fine new office you see at the Mall. This saved you, the citizens, thousands of your hard earned tax money. Next time you visit the County Clerk’s office at the Mall, be sure to tell the fine people there, that you appreciate their efforts.
Richard Hutchen’s Speech Presenting Statesmen Award to Roy Crawford
For over three years, I have been coming to these Commissioner meetings in the hopes that I could appeal to your higher natures to encourage and inspire you to want to become more than just another self-serving, small-minded, big ego, politician; but instead rise to the level of Statesman and Stateswomen.
Being a politician is easy. However, earning the Title of a true Statesman is hard. An occasional act of Statesmanship here and there does not make a politician a Statesman. It takes years of consistent, dedicated Public Service to earn the Title of Statesman.
One of the distinguishing qualities of a True Statesman is whether he regards and treats the Taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars, as the Sacred Trust that it is. If tax revenues go down, he doesn’t run to politicians asking them to raise taxes; instead he first looks for ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness within his stewardship.
Fortunately, we do have in our County a Public Servant who truly is a Public Servant. This particular individual has consistently run his office and guarded the tax payer’s money as if he was spending his own money.
I have never heard a single taxpayer complain about the way the Blount County Clerk’s office budget is run, but instead is one department whose budget is a shining example of what good government could be, should be, and is meant to be.
Several months ago, when Mr. Crawford was notified that the lease for the Foothills Mall branch office was being terminated. Mr. Crawford faced with a choice of either closing the branch office or pay thousands more tax dollars for an expensive new retail space.
Mr. Crawford and his employees got creative and successfully persuaded Mall management to drive 40,000 customers a year into the mall by donating a new empty retail space to the county at no cost to the taxpayers. In addition, the employees of the County Clerk’s office even volunteered their time to help construct the new office saving Blount County taxpayers thousands of their hard earned tax dollars.
It is with great pleasure that I wish to, at this time, publicly recognize Blount County Clerk Roy Crawford as having officially earned the prestigious title of Statesman.
This certificate reads as follows ….
With the Chairman’s indulgence, I would respectfully ask permission to be able to enter the Board’s area, to personally award Mr. Crawford with this highly covenanted Award, shake his hand, and ask the audience to join with me in giving Mr. Crawford a standing ovation.
*The two italicized paragraphs were omitted for time.