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Deakins name Outstanding County Official

Washington County Highway Superintendent John B. Deakins Jr. has been named Outstanding County Official of the Year by the Tennessee County Services Association.
Deakins received the award during TCSA’s 62nd Annual Fall Conference and Trade Show held Oct. 7-9 in Rutherford County.
“Many people might not know this but John has followed his father in public service,” TCSA President Jim Smith told those attending.
“John Sr. served as Washington County sheriff in the 1950s and was later a county highway superintendent. In fact, John’s father played a vital role in the creation of the Tennessee County Highway Officials Association, of which John was a president in 2009-2010.”
In addition to being active with TCHOA, one of three affiliate organizations within TCSA, Deakins is currently serving on the TCSA board.
During the past few years, Deakins has taken the initiative to become a member and advocate on a national scene, TCSA reports. He currently serves on the board of directors for the National Association of County Engineers as its Tennessee state director.
The Robert M. Wormsley Outstanding County Official of the Year award is named after retired TCSA Executive Director Bob Wormsley to commemorate his more than 50 years in public service.
The prestigious honor recognizes an official whose dedication as a public servant exemplifies the qualities of a leader.
The award has recognized the achievements of county mayors, commissioners and highway officials for the last decade. It is the only honor of its kind awarded by TCSA to a county official.
“It makes you feel good,” Deakins said last week. “It’s an honor knowing what the 11 people before me have done to make things better in their county and the state.”
Deakins has worked for the highway department since 1983, and was named superintendent in 1992.
Washington County has one of the best highway departments in the state, he said. “We have a real good group of employees, and I have to give them a lot of credit.”
He also shared his appreciation to county commissioners when he was recognized during their October meeting. “It’s as much yours as it is mine for allowing me to serve on the boards,” Deakins said, adding he is the fourth generation to be in public service.
While several superintendents don’t like to get involved, Deakins said, he sees it as just part of the job.
“If you don’t keep up with the legislation that’s being passed, you’re going to end up on the short end of the stick.”
As a member of the NACE Legislative Committee, Deakins works with Congressmen John Duncan and Steve Cohen and other members of the Transportation Committee across the state to be familiar with the different bills going through Washington.
“One thing I don’t like is unfunded mandates, and if being involved with committees and organizations makes it better for the taxpayers, then I think I’m making a difference in that way,” he said.