R. Larry Smith, Knox County Commission’s At-Large Seat 11 Republican candidate, said if he’s elected, he will continue to “give my paycheck back to the community.”
“I’m not in it for the money,” said Smith, former Knox County 7th District Commissioner and former chair of Knox County Republican Party, addressing Concord-Farragut Republican Club members during a recent meeting in Knox County Sheriff’s Office West Precinct.
He said serving on the Commission is no different from serving on a pastoral committee: “we don’t get paid a penny. You do it because you want to.”
One of the ideas he came up with while serving on Knox County Commission is the employees’ incentive program. He said if an employee comes up with an idea to save the county money, that employee could get a bonus. Then, if the Human Resources committee decides to use the idea, that employee also could get a vacation day with pay. After the idea is tried out for a year, the employee could get 10 percent of the county’s savings for the year.
“Not a lot of people know about that in Knox County,” Smith said. “We’ve had one person who got that (savings).”
While previously serving as a County Commissioner for eight years, Smith said he had the best attendance record among the commissioners.
“I didn’t know I won the record for that, but when I was going out [of office], they said, ‘You attended more meetings than anybody,’” he said.
Also while previously serving on Commission, Smith was part of the ethics committee.
When communicating with constituents, he said, “A lot of times, I don’t call them. I come to see [them]. But, [they] are going to, at least, get a phone call,” he added.
Smith is a graduate of Central High School and the University of Tennessee, where he earned a degree in wildlife management.
He worked for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for four years before going into the insurance business. He started his own agency, R. Larry Smith & Associates, 38 years ago.
Being an independent broker “gave me time and freedom to be out in the community and serve on various boards,” Smith said.
“The boards that [I] serve on, I’m proud of that,” he added. “I’m proud of the fact I have served on over 30 non-profits in Knox County. I’ve been president of over 21 of these non-profit boards.”
Smith has been married to Sharon Smith for 33 years; he is a father and grandfather.
“That shows level of service,” Smith said. “I just don’t want it on my resume; I’m there because I want to serve.”
One of those positions was former chairman of the Republican Party in Knox County. He also served on several state boards and he currently is president of the life insurance agents for Tennessee.