J.T. Little elected Chairman of the Tennessee State Legislative Board

J.T. Little IV of BLET Division 781 (Erwin, Tenn.) was elected Chairman of the Tennessee State Legislative Board on September 20 at the Board's Quadrennial Session in Nashville. Brother Little was elected by acclamation.

Little will serve a four-year term in accordance with the Board's bylaws. He joined the BLET on February 1, 1972, and has been a member of Division 781 since July 1, 1986.

"It is my goal to see that our Legislative Representatives receive the tools needed to safeguard our members," Brother Little said. "To convey a message that the LR is more important today than ever before, we will give direct assistance to our Divisions with visits, training, and other issues. Brother Tim Smith, Chairman of the National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen, shared with our Board a grand training presentation that we will adopt. We will also challenge our members to make contact with their representatives within their home districts as well. We must establish ourselves as the authority to speak to the railroad industry issues."

Also elected was First Vice Chairman Jim Day (Division 170-Memphis, Tenn.). The following officers were elected by acclamation: Second Vice Chairman and Legislative Representative Barry Faulkner (Division 41-Nashville, Tenn.); Secretary Rusty Jones (Division 239-Knoxville, Tenn.); Alternate Secretary Treasurer Tony Barr (Division 205-Chattanooga, Tenn.); and elected to the newly created position of Executive Committee Member-at-Large was Bill Davis (Division 198-Chattanooga, Tenn.).

"The present Executive Board and our members are a blend of rail properties and talent that will serve quite well," Little said. "Our Board has elected a Legislative Representative, Barry Faulkner that will serve the Board on the hill. Brother Faulkner, presently is the Mayor of Cross Plains, Tenn., located within minutes of the Capitol. His prior visits to the current Governor''s office is exciting and this option will give our BLET membership a more personal, specialized and immediate service as needed."

Representing the BLET National Division were: National President Don M. Hahs; National Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert; Vice-President & National Legislative Representative John P. Tolman; and Coordinator of Education and Training Ken Kroeger.

President Hahs addressed the delegates regarding affairs of the National Division, including the recently ratified national contract and organizing, among other items. NST Walpert provided delegates with a report on the financial status of the Brotherhood and current membership statistics. VP & NLR Tolman discussed the state of unions in the country and current rails before congress. Tolman also presented a plaque to outgoing Tenness State Chairman Mike McClary and ST Gene Myhan, thanking them for their years of dedicated service to the Brotherhood. California State Legislative Board Chairman Tim Smith was in attendance and gave a condensed version of the Legislative Representative training class to the delegates in session.

Patty Abbate, executive director of Citizens for Rail Safety, spoke to delegates about the group's origination and what it is doing for rail safety. She encouraged all BLET members in attendance to join her organization. Gray Sasser, Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, emphasized the need for political action and stressed the importance of contributing to your union PAC fund. (As a side note if you are not already a contributor please get in touch with your Division Legislative Rep who can tell you how to contribute.)

The members in attendance also worked on updating their by-laws with such changes as the new position of Executive Committee Member-at-Large and established a Legislative Representative position to represent their members at the state capital.

Outgoing Chairman Mike McClary said: "Unfortunately I was unable to run again for Chairman but I believe the work the delegates did to update our by-laws will be of great benefit to our membership in our state. I am confident the current Executive Committee can move this Board forward."

Left to Right: Dewayne Hendricks, Don Hahs, Wayne Clark, Tim Smith, Ed Counts, Rusty Jones, Joe Hunt, Terry Petty, Jim Anderson, Keith Chancey, J.T. Little, Bernard Mimms, Tony Barr, Gene Myhan, Barry Faulkner, Bill Davis, Mike McClary, Jim Day, John Tolman, Ken Kroeger and Bill Walpert.



© 2007 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen