By Perrin Anderson
Sevier County Commissioner Ben Clabo was awarded the “Robert M. Wormsley Outstanding County Officials of the Year” honor for 2014. The award was presented during the Tennessee County Service Association’s 61st Annual Fall Conference, held in Pigeon Forge.
The Wormsley award was created in 2004 to recognize retired TCSA Executive Director Bob Wormsley and his “unmatched compassion and commitment” to counties in Tennessee during his lengthy, 52-year career. Commissioner Clabo is the 11th recipient of the prestigious award, the only honor of its kind awarded to a county official by TCSA.
Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters, the 2010 recipient of the honor, presented the award to Commissioner Clabo during the conference.
Commissioner Clabo has served for 49 years and currently is the chair of the commission’s Budget Committee. He is also a member of the Water Committee, Planning Commission and Beer Board. He also has served as chair of the Sevier County Republican Party.
A strong supporter of fire, law enforcement and ambulance protection, he is a board member for the Wears Valley Volunteer Fire Department and has been a consistent supporter of local road maintenance needs and Sevier County schools, particularly Wearwood Elementary School in his 2nd district. He has been active in the protection and preservation of Cove Mountain.
Commissioner Clabo is currently the fourth longest serving county commissioner in Tennessee and the longest currently serving from East Tennessee. The only three with more years of service are Madison County Commissioner Arthur Johnson and Obion County Commissioner Ralph Puckett, each with 48 years of service, as well as Haywood County Commissioner Allen King, who currently has more than 58 years of continuous service. Both Commissioner Puckett and King are former winners of this award.