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The Scoop - Many voters are only presidential

The piñata that was Election Day last Thursday has left candy all over the floor. As we begin to pick up the pieces and build for the future, here are some government thoughts.

Voters take A nap: I realize there's no greater voter turnout than during a presidential election year, yet I was still surprised only 10,136 Warren County residents voted.

That's way, way down from the 14,023 voters who cast their ballots in November, 2016 for Trump or Hillary. I figured with key races like sheriff and county executive to decide, we could approach presidential numbers, but we ended with 3,887 fewer voters. That's a huge chunk that, for some reason, decided to stay home.

We're all red: Speaking of the 2016 presidential election, you may recall some states were so close the results weren't decided until the next day. In Tennessee, the polls closed at 7 p.m. and the state was called in Mr. Trump's favor around 7:10 p.m. That's how Republican we have become, essentially making us a one-party state.

That trend is continuing with Tennesseans voting more than 2-to-1 in the Republican Primary over the Democratic Primary.

In the governor's race, there were 792,153 votes cast for GOP candidates, while 372,655 were cast for Democrats.

Closer to home in the 43rd District House that includes Warren, White and Grundy counties, there were 9,350 votes cast for Republicans. There were 3,274 for the Democrat.

That ratio holds true in the 47th District that includes Warren and Coffee counties. There were 9,001 who voted Republican and 3,769 who voted Democrat.

What this means is we are electing the Republican of our choice. And, as we've seen in recent years, some bad Republicans have defeated quality Democrats. When we're looking for the best and brightest to lead, this isn't the direction to go.

Out of retirement? Linda Hillis announced her retirement after serving for 22 years as the director of Warren County's Finance Department. From everything I've heard and seen for myself, she did a fantastic job managing the county's $86 million budget.

So Linda retires and the county looks like it may pay her replacement $13,000 more. That's just wrong. If I were her, I'd rescind my resignation and ask for the $13,000 raise.

Time to shuffle: The election provided an opportune time for people to put an end to their careers because virtually every department in county government, from the jail to the courthouse, is seeing departures from high-ranking employees.

With keeping the tax rate low a constant emphasis, and with major changes in county leadership, this would be the perfect time for a top-to-bottom evaluation of our county offices.

There were 325 employees on the county payroll as of last month. Instead of hiring replacements for everyone leaving, it would be wise to examine each department to gauge efficiency and shuffle current employees around as needed.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.