In October, I noticed a new business, Letner & Company, advertising its services on the Union County Speaks Out Facebook page. As someone with a strong background in sales and marketing, I appreciate the effort in making one’s available services known, so I wanted to learn more about this new company. Over the years I have heard several people comment on the difficulty in finding people to fill service positions in this area, and thought I would use this forum to introduce them to the community.
Mayor Ty Blakely can be described as the city’s website describes the town: friendly, with an eye on the future. He had an unusual habit for a small boy, he enjoyed reading the daily newspaper! As a child, he looked up to his grandfather who was a math teacher and coach at Powell High School. He wanted to be like his grandfather and expected to follow in his footsteps in the teaching profession, but life presented other opportunities.
Deborah Stroud’s Union County roots run deep, as both parents, J.T. Russell and Frances Heiskell Russell, are natives of this area.
As the daughter of a preacher and owner of a construction company, Stroud learned all about working hard, a lesson which has served her well.
Career Trend, an online resource that discusses duties of elected and appointed city officials (for anyone entertaining the notion of serving), describes small town mayors as the Chief Representative of the People. That description is quite fitting of the Mayor of Plainview, Gary D. Chandler. Having an interest in making his community better, Chandler began serving as Plainview City Alderman in 2003. He was elected Plainview City Mayor 10 years ago and is currently serving his third term. Chandler is the third Mayor to serve the City of Plainview in its 28-year history.
Like many of our local leaders, Jerry Lawson wears many hats while serving our communities. Sheriff’s deputy by day, Mayor for the City of Luttrell in the evening. Lawson began serving as mayor on July 1, 2019 and has made some large strides in a short amount of time. Although the position of Mayor, which is the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality, may conger images of administrative office work only, the job bears a lot more responsibility than presiding over meetings—although that is an important aspect of the position.
Willie David Cox Jr., known by friends and co-workers as David, was elected as Union County Road Superintendent in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. In this vital county position, Cox is responsible for directing, planning, and organizing the county road maintenance program. He oversees and performs many duties required to keep our county roads safe and traversable, such as paving, maintenance and repairs, striping, placing guardrails, culvert cleaning, ditching—as needed—and mowing. The Union County Highway Department is also responsible for the maintenance of the Union County Ferry.
A Butcher, a Baker, a Candlestick Maker…Mother Goose nursery rhymes of yore had youngsters thinking of various professions in a fun and lyrical manner. Then, in the mid-twentieth century, as television entered America’s family rooms, the possibilities were more easily imagined. Wide-eyed kids began to imagine being an Astronaut, a Police Detective, a Rock-n-roll Musician, a Soldier, a Wilderness Explorer, or even President. Honorable Darryl Edmondson, General Sessions Court Judge, was one of those kids.
Whether an elected official or appointed official, there are hundreds of people serving Maynardville and its neighboring communities within Union County in local, county, and state government offices every day. Some carry familiar titles (thanks to fictional TV characters and highly publicized local elections), such as City Commissioner, Mayor, or County Sheriff. There are dozens of other titles, not as commonly known but no less vital, that are given to people who are as dedicated to our communities as high-profile positions.
You have likely heard a lot of talk in the news lately about the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. Despite the varying opinions and impressions of the USPS, it has always been, and continues to be, a revered and well-regarded institution in the minds of its fellow Americans.
You just never know where life is going to take you, but David McCollough is so thankful that life landed him here, serving and enjoying Union County communities. McCollough was raised in Alabama, and has come far to settle into his Tennessee home.
As a young man attending Troy University, he considered a career in either business or coaching but ultimately decided business was the path for him. Fresh out of college he initially secured a logistics position in the transportation industry. After some time, McCollough observed that sales appeared to be a better opportunity.
I met with the Reverend Gary Beeler in early May when I had the pleasure of learning about his inspiring spiritual journey and career. Although he retired as pastor of Fairview Baptist Church some 15 years ago, his work for the Lord did not end there.
But let’s go back to the beginning.
Rev. Beeler grew up the son of a proprietor of a general store and service station, his family business dating back to 1905 in the area where Union County Boat Dock is today.
Nagging pain should not be ignored. If you have persistent neck, shoulder, upper back, lower back, hip, knee or foot pain, chances are great that Darrell Johnson, D.C., and his chiropractic team can help.
In a candid interview, Dr. Johnson shared his experience of discovering chiropractic care, studying in New York, interning in Canada, and starting a practice and providing chiropractic care for his neighbors here in Union County.