Mayor Bailey Looks Ahead

Mayor Jason Bailey

On Saturday, August 25, 2018, Dr. Jason Bailey was sworn into office as Mayor of Union County. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Bailey to discuss his ideas and plans for the county. After our discussion, it became obvious that Dr. Bailey and have one goal in common: to promote all the positive attributes of Union County.

During our chat, I learned that Mayor Jason Bailey developed an interest in politics and county government when he was in college. “I worked at the Court House for Chancery Court and it just really fascinated me on how all the different departments worked together and how the government worked,” said Bailey.

As Bailey grew older, his interest in government increased. He had been watching local politics and knew Mayor Williams would not run for re-election. “I thought, you know what? This is my shot,” said Bailey. After praying about it and giving it much thought, Bailey made the decision to run for Mayor of Union County and prepared himself to leave his rewarding job with the school system if elected. “That was a tough decision, leaving a great job that I had down there, if I was elected. I prayed about it and got my answer that this is what I needed to do,” said Bailey.

Now that the election is over, Bailey is ready to get started. He advocates communication and getting along with others as one of his strengths. “I think I’m really good at getting along with people and helping others to get along. I’ve learned that along the way. In all the different areas I’ve been involved in, you have to be able to communicate, talk to people and listen. Obviously, as principal of the school you have to communicate with your staff, your students, your parents and your community,” replied Bailey.

And he is going to do just that. Soon after the dust settles, he is wanting to have town hall meetings in every district to find out what the biggest needs are. His desire is to meet in a common area like a school or community center with the commissioners and citizens. Bailey said that the idea is just to sit down and have a brain storming session to find out the needs and what they can do for each district.

In addition, Mayor Bailey has recently been meeting with Ann Dyer to discuss county finances and learn the inner workings of the finance department. Bailey said, “Ann runs a very tight ship.” He agrees with most that centralized financing has been wonderful for Union County. “I think centralized finance is probably one of the best things we have ever done in this county. I know Mayor Williams put that together and I applaud him for that. And I think placing Ann there is a really awesome thing. I think she does fantastic. I don’t see any changes,” said Bailey.

Mayor Bailey is also on board to get new and updated parks in Union County. “Parks and recreation are a huge part of the county,” said Bailey. Currently, Union County is working with the Parks and Recreation board in developing a strategic plan for our parks. The previous administration completed the parks recreation survey and Mayor Bailey is ready to take the next step. Bailey thinks the new and updated parks will provided more opportunities for recreation for kids and adults. The parks and recreation board gathered input from the community in a series of meetings and now Mayor Bailey is ready to do what he can to get new parks in our county.

Another project that has been in the works for some time and one that Mayor Bailey feels is of high importance is bringing high speed broadband internet access to Union County. And according to Bailey, it is part of our economic growth as well as industrial development and is needed to bring in jobs. County officials have been meeting with Sunset Digital and looking into a plan to provide high speed broadband internet access to areas of the county where it is currently unavailable. “It needs to happen; has to happen in order for us to grow,” said Bailey. Sunset Digital is looking to install a fiber backbone in the Sharps Chapel area as well as Maynardville and around the Hickory Valley area. Mayor Bailey says, “We are on the right path to getting that done.”

In addition to having high speed broadband internet access, we also need the infrastructure to support industrial manufacturers. “I want to get that going as soon as possible,” said Bailey. Having a direct four lane highway to the interstate will be a huge selling point for the county. In addition to improving Highway 33, TDOT is wanting to straighten out some of the curves on Highway 61. Improvements to both of these highways will expand the opportunity for job growth in Union County.

While talking with Mayor Bailey, one thing was clear: Bailey wants to bring jobs to Union County. Improving broadband, fixing our roads and providing the utilities that big businesses are looking for all tie together to attract new businesses. “Your bigger companies look at your trained work force,” said Bailey. TCAT (Tennessee College of Applied Technology), a post-secondary vocational training school, can provide the skilled workers businesses are looking for.

Currently, the county and the school system are working together to bring TCATs to Union County. A lot of kids are interested in vocational training and they can get it for free with Tennessee Promise. “I want it here as quick as possible. I think the faster we can get it here, the more it’s going to open up for industry to come in, the more we are going to get our kids trained. And our kids are going to be able to stay in this county to work,” said Bailey. He also indicated TCATs is not just for students but anyone wanting to build the skill set employers are looking for. And after TCATs is in place, then why not check into a Walters State or a Pellissippi State Community College.

With all of this new growth, some issues are going to intensify and parking around the court house will be one of those. Bailey thinks the Ailor Property is ideal, but it may not be the most financially smart move for the county due to the condition of the building and the asbestos that it contains. According to Mayor Bailey, there may be additional options. Other properties around the court house may be acquired such as a strip in front of the court house, the property next to the EMS building and the street just behind the court house that could be repurposed.

Another issue that will intensify with population growth is the overcrowded jail. Bailey agrees that we need a new jail and must get creative in our efforts to fund its construction. “When your county grows so does your inmate population,” said Bailey. He also believes that when you build a new building it is important to repurpose the old one.

His goal is to see Union County become proactive instead of reactive. It is inevitable; we will need funding. By being proactive, Mayor Bailey believes we can save for the day when we need a building. By setting aside small amounts of funds over a long period of time, we help prevent the need to raise taxes or implement wheel taxes.

An immediate concern for many Union County citizens is the Court House’s lack of ADA compliances. Mayor Bailey agrees we have to be ADA compliant. Whatever we have to do to make the building ADA compliant just has to be done. We are a public building that receives state funds and federal funds; we have to be ADA compliant said Bailey. This is something Mayor Bailey wants to work closely with commissioners on.

Originally, making the court house ADA compliant and flipping the Court House entrance was two separate projects that got lumped together. His goal is to separate the projects and bring the courthouse into compliance first.

“Say you have a citizen coming in to pay their taxes, and they have a hard time getting in that back door and up the elevator to Gina’s office. That’s unacceptable. It’s a public building. It’s for our citizens. It has to be accessible to all,” said Mayor Bailey.

Mayor Bailey says he’s not in it for the political gain or the title of Mayor. He’s in it because he wants the best for Union County and he wants to see the county grow.




Sharps Chapel Quilters Honor a Legacy

Sharps Chapel Quilters work on a quilt started by a woman who passed away due to cancer.

A kind-hearted group of quilters in Sharps Chapel finished a true labor of love this summer. The Norris Lake Quilting Bee, who meet in Irwin's Chapel United Methodist Church, completed a quilt started by an Ohio woman who passed away due to cancer and returned the completed quilt to her husband, Jeff Sutherland.

I Am Not A Robot, I Create

"My Mothers Hands Made With Love" by Anne GlenSherrill Third Place, Three Dimensional

We are all unique with the capacity for creativity and artistic expression. Through purposeful creation we form physical manifestations of our uniqueness. Of course, there is not simply just one correct way to do anything and with that idea we find that there is infinite strength in individualism. What one person may envision and create given a blank canvas can be, and often is, vastly different from another person's creation. That was greatly displayed at the Union County Heritage Festival's Art Show on Saturday, October 6, 2018.

Talk about the Boogerman or Boogerwoman

By S. K. Hensley

With Halloween coming up, it is time for us to talk about the Boogerman/Boogerwoman.

At the time I was growing up, child psychologists were unheard of. In most cases, no one even got to a doctor unless they were seriously ill. I don’t remember any “cures” dealing with behavior. These were the common cures and most could be bought at local grocery stores:

In the World, Not of the World Part 4

Archie Wilson

Last time, we discussed the statement from 2 Corinthians 6:17 about being a separate people and how this separate means different. Christians are in the world but not of the world, so we are set apart in that we do not follow our own path but rather the path of our Savior. A Savior who purchased our sins and gave His Righteousness to us. (See Jerimiah 23:6) He had to do this because of our inability to keep God’s Law. Our sin nature made it impossible for us to make atonement for our failures. (See Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6)


Watch Out How You Use Those Words

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Forty

I have for some time been writing down words that people use in “quirky” ways. I find it interesting the way people often misspeak words unintentionally, often rendering thought provoking meanings. A few examples follow.

A country woman had an opportunity to eat in a fancy restaurant. Trying to impress her companions, she ordered a “ward off” salad. Though that was not on the menu, the waiter directed the lady to the Waldorf salad as an excellent choice to ward off unwanted calories.

Truck Mating Calls

Brooke Cox

This zesty adventure started late one evening as I was walking in the dark by myself. I had just dug my cell phone out of the floorboard of my husband Tim’s truck. Being an old geek, I was gazing up at the stars. It dawned on me that I hadn’t locked Tim’s truck back after retrieving my phone. Without taking my eyes off of the night sky, I tossed my hand back and pressed the lock button on the clicker. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

I came to a dead stop and stood there alone in the darkness. Goose bumps ran up my arm.

Chiropractic Therapy for Back and Neck Pain in the Military

Chiropractic Therapy for Back and Neck Pain in the Military

Back pain, especially chronic back pain, can make life miserable; this condition is quite common in the military. Randomized trials have found that spinal manipulation can be effective for lower back pain. One 2013 study specifically compared chiropractic therapy to general medical care in military personnel, 18-35 years old. The results suggest reduced pain and improved physical wellbeing and function as compared to patients who only received the standard care.

Autumn Colors


After a long hot summer my favorite time of year is finally here, with its balmy days, cool nights, and eventual forest color display that everyone looks forward to. If you ever wonder why leaves change color, here’s the latest scoop.


Black Walnut Drops

Black Walnut Drops

Anyone who knows me knows of my taste for black walnuts. When my kids were small and money was tight, I would load the three youngest ones in the pickup. After a fall's hard freeze, we would head for my favorite walnut trees along country roads. Each child would have his or her own pail. “Pick 'em up as fast as you can,” I would yell.

Sometimes, neighbors took offense with our picking up the walnuts, even if the walnuts were out in the roadway. We did get run off occasionally, but it didn't take long to fill the pickup bed with the ones we could get.

Homemade Corn Salsa

Homemade Corn Salsa

I like corn salsa. It is best made in the summertime with fresh vegetables. Red tomatoes in the winter don't taste as good as tomatoes fresh from the garden. That goes for sweet corn, too. We like sweet corn freshly cut from the cob and fried with butter, salt and sugar. Oh well, that is another dish. For this salsa, canned whole kernel corn can be used as well. I learned to appreciate red onions while working at Arby's in Halls. I was introduced to jalapeno peppers when we moved to Tennessee. Before that, I only used the yellow hot banana peppers.


Need A Ride To Church

Sunday, October 21, 2018 - 10:00
Need A Ride To Church

Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.

Worship Services

Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 07:30
Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.

Union County Board Of Education

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 18:00



1. Discuss School Trips

2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer

3. Discuss TSBA Recommended Changes to Board Policy (Due for Approval on Second Reading in October, 2018): School Bus Seat Restraint Systems —Lenny Holt

4. Discuss Capital Projects—Dr. Carter

5. Discuss Contracts—Lenny Holt

6. Discuss Teacher Tenure—Dr. Carter

Haunts & History

Friday, October 26, 2018 - 15:00
Museum of Appalachia

Haunts and History October 26-27 3pm- 9pm

Haunts and History will feature old-fashioned treats along the pioneer trail, with homemade and vintage candies, as well as local storytellers sharing true and inspired stories about our Appalachian ancestors. Guests can also enjoy hay rides, live music, blacksmithing, pumpkin carving demonstrations, and festive snacks.

For an additional charge, attendees can pick pumpkins from the patch or choose a pumpkin to paint and take home.

Advance Tickets may be purchased by October 15:


Glen thomas Kitts

Glenn Thomas Kitts, age 91, of Knoxville passed away on Thursday, October 18, 2018. He Served his County well as a United States Marine during World War II era. He retired from the Knoxville Transit Lines after 52 years. He coached little league at Fountain City Ball Park for ten plus years. Preceded in death by wife Barbara Jean Kitts; Sons Martin Thomas Kitts and Gary Steven Kitts; grandson T.J. Lewis and Chris Turner; parents Arlie and Jessie Kitts; four brothers; and four sisters.

Kenneth "Kenny" David Coffman

Kenneth “Kenny” David Coffman, age 48 of Luttrell, Tennessee went home to be with the Lord on October 18, 2018. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Maynard & Eva Coffman and Millard & Cora Munsey. He is survived by parents Rev. Donnie and Lola Coffman; brothers Ricky (Sharon) Coffman and Donnie (Sherry) Coffman; nieces Kayla (Jamie) Moore and Danielle (Matt) Tindell; nephews Brandon (Miriah) Coffman and Josh (Mary) Coffman; great nephews Brylan, Wesley, Brentley, Hudson, Branson and Bobby; great nieces Ellis and Emersyn. Also survived by uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends.

Dewey Keck

Dewey (Merl) Keck-age 74 of Corryton, born October 18, 1944 passed away Friday, October 19, 2018 at his home. Preceded in death by parents, George and Mary Keck.

Survivors: wife, Joyce Keck; daughters, Robin Carringer; Doris (Greg) Selvidge; grandchildren, Ashley White, Tiffany Grooms; great-grandchild, Brayden Chaney.

Rueben Scott Holloway

Rueben Scott Holloway-age 55 of Luttrell passed away Wednesday night, October 17, 2018 at Select Specialty Hospital at North Knoxville Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, Bill and Sarah Holloway; wife Darla Holloway; children, Amber, Willie, Erin and Reanna Holloway.

Survived by best friend, Trusty; sisters, Jackie (Jerry) Clapp; Brenda (Tim) Wyrick; brothers, Russell (Mary) Holloway and Paul Holloway; friends, Linda Waggoner and Violet Ward. Special aunts, Brenda Stone, Beulah Hayes, Carolyn Langley and Susie Langley. Several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Catrina Kailynn Maggard

Catrina Kailynn Maggard-age 18 of Knoxville passed away Saturday morning, October 13, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center as the result of an automobile accident. She was a graduate of Gibbs High School, 2018 Class. She was a loving daughter and friend, full of life and always had a smile on her face. Preceded in death by grandfather, Frank Maggard; great-grandmother, Grace Lynn.

Deborah Marlene Lynch

Debra Marlene Lynch
April 26, 1959 – October 2, 2018
Debra Marlene Lynch was born in Detroit, Michigan to Helen and Nolan Graves on April 26, 1959. -Marlene’s parents meant the world to her. Her father, Nolan was her personal hero and her mother, Helen was her measuring stick for how a Christian woman should live. Marlene had one sibling, Keith Graves. She loved her younger brother very much and often spoke of Keith’s big heart.

Lowen Denver Foust

Lowen “Denver” Foust – age 82 of Maynardville, passed away at his home on October 16, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was a Korean War Veteran and served in the United States Navy. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Maynardville.

Glen Wayne Yadon

Glen Wayne Yadon of Luttrell was born on October 29, 1954 and went to be with Jesus on October 15, 2018 peacefully in his sleep. Glen was a member of Nave Hill Missionary Baptist Church. He loved big! He had a heart of gold, never met a stranger and would help anyone that he could.

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.