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Ziesel vies for 6th District County Commissioner seat

Former President of the Washington County Republican Women Betty Ziesel gave up her title in order to run for the 6th District Washington County Commissioner seat that will be up for grabs during this election cycle.
“I decided to run basically because of what I had seen over the last couple of years coming out of the county government. I just didn’t feel like we were seeing enough transparency with the citizens being fully informed of some of the decisions – why some of the decisions were being made and some of the resolutions being brought forward,” Ziesel said.
Tennessee State University, but we haven’t seen him in action in the county.”
Ziesel was a chief operating officer of a national hospital auditing firm when she and her husband retired to Washington County in 2006 from Atlanta in order to be closer to their children. She also worked at the Department of Defense in the early ’60s, where she held high security clearance status as part of the job.
She became seriously involved with politics in 2008 when she ran the phone banks in the state for the Rick Santorum Presidential Campaign.
“Since then I have taken a real interest in politics and what is going on in both a federal standpoint, state standpoint and local standpoint.” Ziesel said. “I try to attend all of the commission meetings, definitely, and as many of the committee meetings that I can go to, because I look at it from the standpoint that if you’re not going to those committee meetings, than you don’t really know why that resolution has come forth to the commission.”
And the commission has started the new year with plenty of issues making their way through those committees. One such issue is reapportionment.
Ziesel is opposed to the reapportionment of the county commission, because she fears that the less populated districts will be left out.
“I don’t have a problem with reducing the number of commissioners. If that means doing something different with the number of districts that we have, then so be it,” she said. “But it is the expediency that they decided to do it.
“Why do it now? They use the old census numbers and – by the time it is going to be able to rolled out in 2018, if it passes the commission – in 2020 there is a new census that is done and state mandate would be to take a look and reapportion again or redistrict again.”
Another concern of hers is what she calls needless spending, an issue which she says could be taken care of if the commission would just wait.
“I am told that if we wait, then there will be a large amount that the state will take care of, as far as notifying voters if there have been precinct or district changes,” Ziesel said.
Another resolution that she opposes is the same-sex marriage resolution that has drawn up different reactions in the community. While her religion doesn’t allow her to agree with the idea of same-sex marriage, Ziesel says that it is more than a religious issue.
“I just think it should be challenged from a constitutional standpoint and a legal standpoint that the Supreme Court overstepped their bounds,” she said. “The Supreme Court does not make laws and they made an opinion and that opinion was taken as law and it has been put into affect,” Ziesel said. “And I think it has been and made law by our current administration, federal-wise.”
Early voting begins next Wednesday.
Ziesel said she had a lot of citizens approach her and ask her to run once Tom Foster stepped down as a 6th District County Commissioner, but she decided to hold off on her run for office.
“I just felt like it was best if you just go ahead and wait until it came time for the election, to fully complete the end of the term that Mr. Foster vacated,” she said.
Her opponent to that seat, Dr. Paul Stanton who announced that he would be running on Jan. 13, was appointed to the seat Foster held by unanimous vote in November of 2015.
Even though Stanton already holds the seat, Ziesel doesn’t see her trying to claim the position as an uphill battle.
“I don’t,” she said when asked the question. “He hasn’t been in there long enough to really prove himself. I know he is well-known, because he was the past President of East Tennessee State University, but we haven’t seen him in action in the county.”
Ziesel was a chief operating officer of a national hospital auditing firm when she and her husband retired to Washington County in 2006 from Atlanta in order to be closer to their children. She also worked at the Department of Defense in the early ’60s, where she held high security clearance statuses as part of the job.
She became seriously involved with politics in 2008 when she ran the phone banks in the state for the Rick Santorum Presidential Campaign.
“Since then I have taken a real interest in politics and what is going on in both a federal standpoint, state standpoint and local standpoint.” Ziesel said. “I try to attend all of the commission meetings, definitely, and as many of the committee meetings that I can go to, because I look at it from the standpoint that if you’re not going to those committee meetings, than you don’t really know why that resolution has come forth to the commission.”
And the commission has started the new year with plenty of issues making their way through those committees. One such issue is reapportionment.  
Ziesel is opposed to the reapportionment of the county commission, because she fears that the smaller populated districts will be left out.
“I don’t have a problem with reducing the number of commissioners. If that means doing something different with the number of districts that we have, then so be it,” she said. “But it is the expediency that they decided to do it.
“Why do it now? They use the old census numbers and – by the time it is going to be able to rolled out in 2018, if it passes the commission – in 2020 there is a new census that is done and state mandate would be to take a look and reapportion again or redistrict again.”
Another concern of hers is what she calls needless spending, an issue which she says could be taken care of if the commission would just wait.
“I am told that if we wait, then there will be a large amount that the state will take care of, as far as notifying voters if there have been precinct or district changes,” Ziesel said.
Another resolution that she opposes is the same-sex marriage resolution that has drawn up different reactions in the community. While her religion doesn’t allow her to agree with the idea of same-sex marriage, Ziesel says that it is more than a religious issue.
“I just think it should be challenged from a constitutional standpoint and a legal standpoint that the Supreme Court overstepped their bounds,” she said. “The Supreme Court does not make laws and they made an opinion and that opinion was taken as law and it has been put into affect,” Ziesel said. “And I think it has been and made law by our current administration, federal-wise.”
Early voting begins next Wednesday.