Due to an unfortunate turn of events, a son is temporarily taking over the role his father held at the helm of the Franklin County Highway Department for more than three decades.
Chancellor Jeffery F. Stewart officially swore in Rodney Hill as road commissioner of District No. 4 on March 21. Hill fills the seat of his father, the late Clyde Hill Jr. who served in the position 34 years. The elder Hill passed away on Feb. 18.
The younger Hill said he isn’t planning to run for the position permanently. He said he only wants to serve until his father’s term concludes in August when the Franklin County General Election takes place.
“I know my father would want me to fill in for him if I could,” Hill said. “He had money appropriated for specific things, and I want to see those things through at least until the election.”
He said he isn’t his father, but will do the best he can to be like him.
“I’m not trying to be him, just do what’s right for the people and carry out my dad’s wishes the best I can until the new commissioner is elected,” Hill said.
Clyde Hill Jr. was well known in Franklin County for his service as road commissioner, commitment to his community and love of fishing.
His father, Clyde Hill Sr. worked with the Tennessee Department of Transportation for more than 30 years, and Clyde Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps working with TDOT until the late 1960’s.
During Clyde Jr.’s time with TDOT he worked with the survey crew that made the journey across Monteagle Mountain leading the way for I-24 to Chattanooga and inspected the bridge across the Tennessee River on I-24.
After leaving TDOT, Hill took a job with Cowan Stone Co. where he worked until his son Rodney was born. Then in the early 1970’s, he took a leap of faith to pursue his dream of becoming a fishing guide.
Clyde Jr. became one of the most recognized fishing guides in the state, and to this day, big names like Roland Martin and Bill Dance know him by name.
Roads and fishing seemed to be in Clyde’s blood, he never lost his passion for roads and in 1980 won election to become road commissioner for the 6th and 8th District of Franklin County.
In addition to serving as a road commission, Mr. Hill was chairman from September 1994 until his passing in February.
Rodney Hill has stepped up to the plate to fill his father’s term as road commissioner until Aug. 31, 2014. Rodney has worked construction for the several years, and, yes, he fishes too.
Rodney said he doesn’t know if he will run for election as road commissioner in the future, but he knows one tradition he will carry on is his father’s love for fishing.