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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee honored 29 county officials as Certified Public Administrators last week following a capstone event at Montgomery Bell State Park.

To achieve the designation, each of the officials completed 80 credit hours in the County Officials Certificate Training Program (COCTP). The program is administered by the UT County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) and is available to every county employee in the state.

“No other state in the nation provides county employees with such specialized training,” said Mike Garland, executive director of CTAS. CTAS is an agency of the statewide UT Institute for Public Service.

Each course in the program is designed to aid county government officials in performing their jobs and efficiently administering county services. Classroom topics include ethics, fire insurance ratings, finance, records management, proactive leadership and information technology proficiency.

“Some courses are tailored for a specific office, while others cover general managerial and governmental functions,” Garland said. “The entire program is designed for practicality and to build skills the officials need every day to better serve their constituents.”

Graduates of the program must take 16 hours of training per fiscal year to retain their certification. More than 1,136 county officials have completed the program since its inception in 1982, with 732 of those officials still in office.

Because every election brings a substantial turnover in county offices, CTAS gears the training program to finish within a four-year period.

Those who completed the COCTP Capstone in April are:

Pamela Adams, property assessor clerk, Franklin County
Rodney Archer, trustee, Anderson County
Glenn Balletto, deputy clerk, Davidson County
Thomas Batey, trustee, Rutherford County
Patricia Bell, register of deeds, Perry County
Craig Buckner, field appraiser, Franklin County
William Cantrell, superintendent of highways, Lake County
Jim Clawson, register of deeds, Hamblen County
Richard L. DeSaussure, chief legal counsel, Shelby County
Bill Dyer, deputy chief, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office
Tammie Fenner, clerk, Johnson County
Kimberly Harrison, clerk & master, McNairy County
Patricia Hartley, register of deeds, Johnson County
Tammy Hunt, deputy clerk, Hardin County
Patricia Landers, deputy county clerk, Lincoln County
Jane Lewis, county clerk, Perry County
Jimmy Lowery, trustee, Houston County
Terry McGehee, deputy clerk & master, Lincoln County
Stanley Mitchell, trustee, McNairy County
Lisa Peterson, receptionist, Madison County Finance Department
Alicia Robinson, deputy clerk, Madison County
Edie Sandefur, property assessor, Wilson County
Peggy Smotherman, clerk, Perry County
Brenda Sneyd, clerk & master, Washington County
Felica Spray, deputy register of deeds, Lincoln County
Marilyn Tipton, deputy clerk, Hamblen County
Regina Watkins, deputy trustee, Madison County
Kathy Willis, mapper, Franklin County
Ric Wilson, sheriff, Wayne County


Queena Jones, (865) 974-1533
Robert Schettler, (615) 532-3555