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UCDD Adds COVID Response Coordinator to Staff Roster

October 12, 2020
By:

The Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD) continues to add to its skilled staff. Recently, UCDD hired Kim England to serve as a Response Coordinator to assist with COVID-19 recovery efforts; serving as a point of contact between city and county mayors, local governments, and UCDD’s Economic and Community Development (ECD) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) teams.

“More specifically, my role is to work with each of our mayors individually and support their
efforts as we strengthen the response, resiliency, and recovery efforts within these communities,”
England explained.

“Coming from an administrative role with a local county government, I have seen first-hand how
information swarms in from every direction,” England added. “Citizens look to their government
officials for reliable information, guidance, and leadership.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how individuals conduct business and has deeply affected
small businesses, schools, senior centers, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and
communities as a whole. Among these challenges is the continuous, evolving list of protocols,
financial assistance opportunities, and a continuous need for support and information.

“I understand that pressure on public officials to act is enormous, and in a fast-moving crisis, it can be a challenge to gain clarity amid the chaos of the pandemic,” said England. “As COVID-19
Recovery Coordinator, I am eager to support officials across the Upper Cumberland in their
efforts to develop strategies that will enhance recovery and economic resilience.

England will be providing COVID-19-related updates, updates on Executive Orders, and other
related announcements to city and county mayors as they become available. She can be contacted by calling (931) 432-4111 or via email at kengland@ucdd.org.

About the Upper Cumberland Development District: The Upper Cumberland Development
District provides regional planning and assistance to the 14-county Upper Cumberland region to
promote economic growth and community enhancement. Find UCDD on the web at www.ucdd.org and at facebook.com/UCDDconnect.




Local GOP Chairman Responds to Decisions by Poss and Puckett to Leave Democratic Party

October 12, 2020
By:

DeKalb County Republican Party Chairman Dustin Estes is weighing in on behalf of the party to decisions by County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss and 5th District County Commissioner Anita Puckett to leave the Democratic Party.

In an announcement last week, Poss said he is joining the Republican Party while Puckett, in a statement released today (Monday) has not announced whether she will become a Republican or an Independent.

Estes’ issued the following statement this morning (Monday).

“We want to acknowledge the recent news of DeKalb County Clerk James L “Jimmy” Poss and County Commissioner Anita Puckett leaving the Democrat Party. Mr. Poss has indicated that he plans to run for reelection as a Republican, while Mrs. Puckett has not made a decision yet”.

“ We know Mr. Poss and Mrs. Puckett did not make this decision in haste, but after prayerful consideration and discussion with their closest family and friends. Their decision took courage, and they are to be commended for making their decision publicly, well in advance of the 2022 DeKalb County Elections,” said Estes.

“Mr. Poss and Mrs. Puckett are distinguished elected officials, and their decisions should be respected by all DeKalb County citizens, regardless of political affiliation. We appreciate the job that they do every day to serve our county. If and when Mr. Poss and Mrs. Puckett run as Republicans, they will do so in the same manner as all DeKalb County Republican candidates. They will stand for election in either a caucus or primary in early 2022, and if successful, represent the Republican Party on the DeKalb County General Election Ballot on Aug. 4, 2022”.

“Mr. Poss’ and Mrs. Puckett’s decision is the latest in a long line of DeKalb County citizens who have become Republicans over the past few years”.

“Here are some key facts that prove this point. In November 2008, Barack Obama received 2,832 votes in DeKalb County. In November 2016, Hillary Clinton received 1,569 votes. So, from 2008 to 2016, Democrat votes declined by 1,263. By contrast, in November 2008, John McCain received 4,085 votes in DeKalb County. In November 2016, Donald Trump received 5,171 votes. So, from 2008 to 2016, Republican votes increased by 1,086. As further evidence, DeKalb County Republicans have won ALL contested countywide elections since 2014, including the most recent countywide contested election where Republican Shannon Cantrell won nearly 70% of the vote and all 15 precincts in the county. Why are people switching to the Republican Party in DeKalb County? There are many reasons, but to put it simply, the Republican Party represents their conservative values. We believe in God, and His all surrounding presence in our daily lives. We believe in the power of prayer. We are pro-life and oppose abortion. We believe in lower taxes and less government regulation. We are strong supporters of the 2nd Amendment. We strongly support our law enforcement and first responders. We believe in individual liberty and value our freedoms”.

“DeKalb County used to be home to a number of Conservative Democrats. Well, there is no such thing as a Conservative Democrat anymore. The radical left has taken over the Democrat Party, bringing with them their socialist ideology. Whether it’s defunding the police, supporting rioters and looters, the Green New Deal, slave reparations, granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington DC, or raising taxes on hard working Americans, they will not stop until their most radical policies are adopted. If you think these radical issues are not alive and well in DeKalb County, you are mistaken. Just a few months ago, there was a movement at the DeKalb County Commission to defund the police and at the corner of Broad and Congress, Black Lives Matter protestors made their presence known. But we, as DeKalb County Republicans, will not rest on our past successes,” said Estes.

“Our mission is simple: elect Republicans. DeKalb County has 8 countywide elected offices with 6 of them now filled with Republicans. And in 2022, we will be working vigorously to elect a Republican to those remaining 2 offices, as well as all 7 County Commission Districts. But for now, let’s reelect President Trump and Vice-President Pence, send Bill Hagerty to the US Senate, reelect John Rose to Congress, and send Terri Lynn Weaver and Clark Boyd back to Nashville for another term as our State Representatives. Early Voting is Oct. 14-29 and Election Day is Nov. 3,” Estes concluded.




Another Public Official Leaving the Democratic Party

October 12, 2020
By:

Another local public official is leaving the Democratic Party.

Fifth district county commissioner Anita Puckett said that while she will continue to represent her district and DeKalb County in a fair and honest manner she “can no longer stand behind the Democratic party of today”. Puckett is in her second term as county commissioner and has been elected both times as a Democrat. She has not announced whether she will become a Republican or Independent.

In making her announcement, Puckett has issued the following statement.

“Stepping Up and Stepping Out”

“Growing up in a house divided, I understood political parties at a very young age. My father, Clarence Thweatt, was a die hard Democrat. He was strongly devoted to the democrat party. My father taught my oldest daughter to say democrat at a very young age. He was so full of pride that he would boast his granddaughter around to all of his friends. She would tell them. “I’m ganddad’s democrat”.

“My mother, Jeanette Edge Thweatt, was a very devout Republican. In fact, my very first time to participate in an election, I voted for my Democrat uncle, John Henry Thweatt for DeKalb County Court Clerk and my Republican Uncle Kenny Edge for DeKalb County Road Supervisor”.

“Politics has run rich throughout my life. I taught United States History to 8th graders for 18 years at DeKalb Middle School. My passion for teaching and developing independence of political views, with respect for the individual, was a top priority for me as a teacher. In fact, my political participation started with a comment from an 8th grade student stating, “Instead of complaining about it Mrs. Puckett, why don’t you do something about it?”. Taking that statement to heart, I stepped up and I stepped out to make a difference. A difference for a county I am very passionate about”.

“I have represented the 5th district as a county commissioner for the last 6 years. I am grateful for the support I have received in the past two elections from the 5th district. I hope to continue to receive that support in the future”.

“With that being said, I can no longer remain quiet. I know my history. I know that the Democratic party today is not the democracy created by Andrew Jackson. With my faith in one nation under God, the Constitution, and my love for the United States of America, I can no longer stand behind the Democratic party of today. My spiritual faith and strong conservative values confirm my beliefs in this direction. I am not looking to the left or the right, but I choose to look forward. I Love DeKalb County! I am a lifelong native and have been blessed to raise my family here. Now, I am fortunate to see my grandchildren being raised here as well.”

“I can assure you that I will continue to represent DeKalb County in a fair and honest manner. Regardless of your political views, I respect each person for who they are not the party they represent. I can only ask the same in return,” said Puckett.




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