Heaberlin to attempt to keep seat as commissioner

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 29, 2007

He’s the new kid on the block and he wants to stay.

Lawrence County Commissioner Tanner Heaberlin filed the necessary documents earlier this month to seek the commission seat in his own right. He was appointed to the board earlier this year to replace the late George Patterson.

Heaberlin said greatest concern is the county’s tight budget.

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“I looked at the (county’s financial) information I requested from 2004 until now and found that in 2004, we have a $1.4 million carryover and this has dwindled over the years until now, it’s about $12,000,” Heaberlin said. “Obviously, we’re overspending.”

Heaberlin said he knew the county’s finances were not in great shape but did not realize how bad things were until he joined the commission this summer.

Heaberlin said he would like to meet with other officeholders and establish more open communication with them, in hopes of finding ways to make ends meet.

“I want to see what their needs are and discuss expenditures,” he said.

He would also like to see Lawrence County join the National Association of Counties, an organization that could give local officials new options for health insurance, indigent defense and other necessities. Health insurance and indigent defense have been expensive line items in the budget with both seeing repeated increases in recent years.

Heaberlin, 26, is a history teacher at Rock Hill High School. He and his wife, Becky, have two children.

Heaberlin may have some opposition in the spring primary election. Fellow Democrat John Hitchcock has picked up a petition to run against him. In addition, one independent candidate, Lester Brumfield, has also picked up a petition to run against him. On the Republican side, Tyler Walters and

Bob Mayo have filed their petitions to run for the commission. Still others have pickled up petitions: Perry Brock, Donald Adkins, Les Boggs, Bob Mayo and Bob Taylor.