Residents Welcome Senator Bob Corker To Town

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Morristown, Hamblen County (WVLT) Senator Bob Corker used town hall meetings in East Tennessee today to find out what the people he represents are thinking.

Sevier County is hoping for a mass transit system and Blount County wants money for for a new research park.

But will costs of the Iraq war put that money in jeopardy?

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has some answers.

Arriving at the Hamblen County Courthouse, Senator Bob Corker knew Iraq was going to be an issue.

He says he recently visited the country and after talks with American and Iraqi leadership, even the men and women on the ground, Corker believes the new general deserves being given a chance.

"I do believe that we need to give General Petraeus a few months until summer to see if this change in how we are going about Baghdad security can work."

Getting a warm welcome, residents had other issues as well.

Tony Sizemore, who is concerned about issues says, "keeping jobs in the United States instead of letting them go abroad more, also about immigration."

But local governments have needs, some funded by the federal government.

For Hamblen county, that means a new post office.

David Purkey, the mayor of Hamblen County says, "the two postal facilities that we have in the city limits are really dilapidated. They are very old. There is no parking."

So with all the money being spent in Iraq, will local projects funded with federal funds be sacrificed?

"Anytime there are financial burdens like this it creates stress. There's no question that choices have to be made."

Purkey continues, "and obviously we're concerned about that in providing services and that's one thing we want to continue talking to our federal representatives about."

Corker says one thing he wants to do right now is get a good staff in place and have an office where people are free to give him their input when needs arise.

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