Johnson City Press Saturday, October 25, 2014
Opinion

Good things happen when governments work together

January 24th, 2014 8:46 am by BILL GAINES

Good things happen when governments work together

For some time it seemed that the Unicoi County government and the government bodies of both Erwin and Unicoi were all headed in different directions — often oblivious of one another and sometimes, it seemed, working at cross purposes. Meetings of the three government’s representatives in the same room was rare.
This troubled my friend, Jim Buchanan, so much so that he decided to do something about it. On his own initiative, he contacted the mayors of the three governments to organize a public meeting to get the three governments together to discuss their projects, goals and plans and explore ways to work together.
He also invited our state Sen. Rusty Crowe, state Rep. Kent Williams and John Abe Teague, the field representative for U.S. Rep. Phil Roe.
To date, two meetings have been held, one in October and one this month. Already we have had positive results. As a result of the first meeting, Crowe arranged a meeting in Nashville with the three mayors with the heads of several state agencies dealing with their individual and collective concerns.
It is a big turnaround to have our three governments working together for collective goals to benefit all of Unicoi County. I want to thank Buchanan for having the vision and the initiative to get these meetings started. I want to commend Unicoi County Mayor Greg Lynch, Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley and Unicoi Mayor Johnny Lynch for their cooperation and participation.
I want to especially thank Crowe and Teague for attending both meetings and following up on the concerns of our elected officials. Thanks also to Williams for attending the first meeting. I know good things will come from this, because some good ideas already have.
BILL GAINES
Unicoi

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