Andrew Hillyer is a candidate to fill the vacancy in the 8th Greene County Commission District.
Hillyer, 37, of 304 Bird Circle, Greeneville, is married to Janet Hillyer and has two sons, Jacob and Drew.
He graduated from Chuckey-Doak High School and studied business at East Tennessee State University.
Hillyer served as the aquatic director at Kinser Park for 20 years. He is currently working part-time at Home Improvement Warehouse and part-time as a stay-at-home father.
Hillyer has not previously held public office.
He is an Eagle Scout and attended the 17th World Scout Jamboree.
He has served for two years as the director of the Greene County Firewood Ministry, 14 years with the Boy Scouts of America, is currently the activity director with Cub Scout Pack 93, and is a participant with the Tusculum Youth Theater Program.
He provided the following answers to these questions asked of all the county commission candidates by The Greeneville Sun:
Sun: Why are you interested in holding this office?
Hillyer: I'm dedicated in making a difference, and one of the ways of doing this is by running for commissioner. I have lived in this area most of my life and have seen many changes.
I would like to be a part of the future changes of this county to make it a better place for the current and future generations.
Sun: How do you believe the county should address the overcrowding at the Greene County Detention Center?
Hillyer: I believe the county should look into the options that other nearby counties of similar size and issues have utilized and been successful with in solving the overcrowding that did not require raising taxes.
Sun: Other than the jail overcrowding problem addressed above, what three issues do you believe are most pressing for the county government at this time? Please summarize your position on these issues.
Hillyer: Education, job retention and growth, drug enforcement.
To me, all of these issues are linked together and go hand-in-hand. They all need to be addressed for the future growth of Greene County.
Sun: Do you support the County Commission's recent decision to increase property taxes? Why or why not? Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe you would support another property tax increase in the next two years?
Hillyer: No, I do not support the recent decision to increase property taxes.
The increase may have been needed, but with the state of this economy and the county's unemployment rate at the time, it makes it very difficult for property owners on fixed income or single-income families to adjust to the increase.
I could not support another property tax increase in the next two years. Other options need to be explored, as the economy recovers.
Sun: Do you have confidence in the effectiveness and ethics of the current County Commission? How do you believe the public's level of confidence in the County Commission can be increased?
Hillyer: I believe the confidence in the Commission has grown over the years, and I would be a part of making the public's confidence grow to a point where Greene County will be a leader in the Upper East Tennessee region.
The public's confidence could be increased by setting goals and seeing them through.
Sun: What are three goals you would hope to accomplish during your time in office?
Hillyer: I would help to cut wasteful spending, look into other options to solve the overcrowding issues in the jail, and decrease unemployment -- and in doing so, regain the public's confidence in the commission.
Setting the groundwork for the future of Greene County is very important. The citizens of Greene County expect results.
Sun: Would you be open to questions and concerns from the public? How would you make yourself available to the public for questions, complaints, etc.?
Hillyer: I would be open to questions, comments, and concerns from the citizens in my district. I would be available in person, via e-mail, phone and social media.
Sun: What qualities make you a good candidate for this position?
Hillyer: I am a dedicated and hard-working individual who has had to deal with difficult situations in the past. I am a family man who volunteers with adult and youth organizations in our county.
I have been in the public's eye for over 20 years; therefore I am dedicated to the public's best interest and committed to Greene County.
I do my best at any project I take on.
Brief final comment, if you wish.
Hillyer: I would encourage you to exercise your right to vote for the future of Greene County.