1. What is your name as it will appear on the ballot? Foster D. Arnett. Jr. 2. Do you have a campaign website? www.fosterarnett.com 3. What position are you seeking? Knox County Clerk 4. What is your political party affiliation? Republican 5. Why did you choose to enter the race? I strongly believe in an open and honest government. I was approached in late spring by two separate groups of people, at two different times, I believe independent of each other, to urge me to run for this office. After consultation with individuals I deeply respect in both the private and government sectors, Republicans and Democrats, I was strongly urged to seek this position. I discussed this at great length with my wife Dottie and I made a decision this was the right thing to do. If citizens who believe they can make a difference sit on the sidelines then the status quo remains. 6. What is the most pressing issue facing Knox County today? How would you address this issue? Honesty, Openness and Trust. My administration will be built around and run on: Honor, Above All Else Honesty Integrity Accountability Accessibility Transparency We will do the right thing Do our very best each day Treat others as we want to be treated I realize this sounds like “political speech” but it is something ingrained deeply in my makeup by my parents who reared me to be an honorable man. 7. What sets you apart from your opponent(s)? I believe we all want what is best for the citizens of Knox County. I will bring willingness to work for our bosses, the taxpayers of Knox County. I will work with our employees and listen to their ideas and concerns. I will be a working Knox County Clerk who will be hands on and have a complete, honest, open door policy. I have the drive, energy and enthusiasm to make the Knox County Clerk’s Office the best in Tennessee.
8. Have you ever run for office previously or served in elected office in Knox County? No to both. 9. Do any of your family members currently work in paid or elected positions within Knox County government or its agencies? My wife Dottie and I have been married 24 years. She was employed by the old Knoxville City Board of Education in 1983 and is currently employed by Knox County Schools as a Kindergarten teacher. She has been in this system for 24 years and is close to her retirement. I want to reiterate two important points: she was employed long before I even considered running for public office and the Knox County Clerk has no input or control over the actions of the Knox County Board of Education, as it should be. 10. Describe your personal philosophy of openness and transparency in government. As a former anchor/ television reporter at WBIR and other television stations and Public Information Officer for the Knoxville Police Department I realize how important it is for the public and media to possess as much information as possible. As Founder and Two-Term President of the National Information Officer’s Association, a group I began in 1989 and is now over 600 strong, I have a genuine appreciation for openness and honesty in government. My pledge is simple; if something is a matter of public information, we will make it available, period. No question. I consider information as power and I will confer as much information as the law allows to citizens, media and our employees. 11. How - if at all - should Tennessee's open meetings and public records laws be improved or changed? Please be specific. The Tennessee Opens Record Act is in place to protect the very citizens of this State. I believe this law and any local ordinances regarding public information should have “teeth” and office holders and government officials should abide by the law to the letter. Again, if it is a matter of public record, under my administration, we will ensure it is available to everyone. 12. What concrete steps should Knox County leaders take to restore a sense of trust and confidence in the county's government? The confidence in Knox County Government is shattered. It is a necessity public/elected officials will clearly do the right thing. What I purport is to work in the open and demand support accountability and accessibility. I strongly favor a recall provision and these same officials must to pay attention to the thoughts, suggestions and will of the people. We should never evade the simple fact we work for the taxpayers and we must retain a trust, a bond that must never, ever be defeated. 13. Please write 100 words below telling a bit about who you are and why you believe voters should cast their ballots for you.
I am a native of Knox County. I grew up here and have lived here all my life. My family and friends are here as well. This is where my life began and where it will end. I have never sought public office. I am passionate about this community. We have so very much to offer but we must be lead by people committed to citizens and willing to work for them and with the employees if we are to move forward. I am also devoted to a high standard of service excellence. I know how to listen and how to lead.