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About Bill

County Mayor Bill Brittain thinks Hamblen County is a wonderful place to live and to raise a family, and he wants to help make it a better place for generations to come.

“There isn’t a better place in the country to raise a family than our community,” Bill says. “We have award winning schools, an outstanding community college and college of applied technology, lots of parks and lakes, plenty of caring churches, and most importantly, we have many wonderful, talented citizens.”

Bill spent his childhood in Hamblen County. He was born in Morristown and attended Morristown schools, including the first two years John Hay Elementary School was open. He graduated with honors from Morristown East High School where he served on the student council, played football, basketball and tennis and performed in on-stage productions. Bill attended Walters State Community College where he was a member of  two tennis teams that played in the national junior college tournament. He transferred to UT-Knoxville where he was an honors student graduating with a degree in communications.

His dad, W. H. Brittain, worked for nearly 40 years as a land surveyor and homebuilder. He served on the Hamblen County Planning Commission for several years and was one of the founders of the Hamblen Recreation Football League. Mr. Brittain passed away in 2006.

Bill’s mother, Gerry Brittain, raised four children and taught American History at Morristown West High School for 20 years. She passed away in 2020.

Bill has raised his family in Morristown. He and his wife, Gale, have been married for 40 years. They have three daughters: Rachel Brittain Shipley, an occupational therapist, and wife/mother of three sons and four step-children (husband Howard), Lesley Brittain Koboldt, a mother of three (husband Chris), and Emily Flanagan, wife/mother of four children (husband Drew).


Community Involvement

“I believe that you make a community better by investing time and energy in organizations and activities that benefit its people,” Bill says.

For more than 30 years, Bill has served as a volunteer for many community agencies, including 15 years as chairman of the Morristown-Hamblen Library Board of Trustees.  With funding from Hamblen County, the City of Morristown and the State of Tennessee, the Library expanded its children’s library in 2001. A few years later, the Library completed a $1.1 million renovation that has extended the life of the library building. The project replaced a 40-year old HVAC system, updated the Library’s community room for the first time and redesigned the front of the library building. The project was funded by Hamblen County and the City of Morristown.

One of Bill’s passions is working with young people. He coached girl’s basketball teams for 20 years. He coached youth recreation league teams, middle school teams, travel teams and non-scholarship teams at Johnson University. As County Mayor, Bill helped start the tnAchieves program for seniors at Morristown East and West High Schools. TnAchieves provides mentors/scholarships to help seniors navigate the college application maze. Many of the tnAchieves participants are first generation college students.

Bill is also an active church member. He serves as an elder and Sunday School teacher. “My faith is very important to me. It’s the glue that holds us together especially when times are difficult.”

Professional Experience

“One of the greatest gifts my parents gave my brother (Ted), sisters (Kay Kanipe and Anne Sparkman) and me was a strong work ethic,” Bill says. “They taught us that when you have a job to do, you do it the best you can, no excuses. I’ve tried to follow their example in everything I do.”

Bill has faithfully served Hamblen County citizens in county government for 28 years. He served as County Trustee for 16 years before being elected County Mayor in 2010. He has focused his efforts on providing quality services at a good value for taxpayers.

Bill has been a leader and innovator while working in county government. As mayor, he teamed with the City of Morristown to open an employee health clinic and start a wellness program that has helped keep employee healthcare costs in check. He also streamlined operations in some departments, focused on developing partnerships to enhance job skills training opportunities and worked to provide treatment and training to help substance abusers re-enter the work force and rejoin their families through the Jail2Work Program. 

As County Trustee, Bill’s work experience as an investment broker enabled him to develop an investment plan that generated millions of dollars in interest income to pay on the County’s debt.

He led the effort to open the County's first satellite office in 1997 where citizens can renew their vehicle registration, apply for an automobile title, pay property taxes and renew their driver’s license

Bill believes in using technology to improve public access to government services. Hamblen County became one of the first counties in Tennessee to accept tax payments by credit/debit cards over the internet. The use of the service has grown gradually since it was started nearly 20 years ago. In fact, Bill led a statewide effort to give all Trustee offices in Tennessee the ability to accept tax payments through the internet.

Bill helped develop three capital improvement plans that provided new and renovated schools, a new road department building, a courthouse administration building, jail additions, as well as library and justice center renovations. These projects were worth more than $42 million.

As president of the County Officials Association of Tennessee (COAT), Bill worked closely with state officials and state legislators to draft the state law that created the local property tax freeze program for senior citizens. The Hamblen County Commission adopted the program in 2007. Hamblen County became one of the first counties to implement the program, and its tax freeze program quickly became a model for other counties.

Bill’s work has also earned the respect of county officials across the state of Tennessee. He served as president of the East Tennessee Trustees Association and the statewide Tennessee County Trustees Association. He was named Outstanding Trustee of the Year in 2006. The following year he was elected president of the County Officials Association of Tennessee (COAT). Bill currently serves as president of the Tennessee Association of County Mayors. 

Before becoming county trustee in 1994, Bill built an impressive resume. He worked several years in radio and television news and won many awards from the Associated Press. He worked as an investment advisor, a small business owner and an athletics department promotions coordinator and tennis coach at Walters State Community College.


Bill Brittain for County Mayor - Jeff Porter Treasurer
542 Apple Blossom Lane Morristown, TN 37814
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