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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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New Elizabethton planner ready to get started

August 10th, 2011 10:14 am by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — Mayor Curt Alexander announced Tuesday he will appoint Vicky Craft Manuel to fill a vacancy on the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission. She takes the seat that was held by Manuel Bandarra for 40 years before his retirement this month.
Manuel said Tuesday evening that she was looking forward “to getting in there and getting my feet wet and learning what is on the agenda.”
Manuel has some experience in city government. She serves on the city’s seven-member Personnel Advisory Board. She also ran for City Council in last year’s municipal elections, finishing fifth in a contest for four seats in which two incumbents were running.
“I think I did well in my first election,” Manuel said.
Manuel works part time as a church secretary and as bookkeeper at H & S Hunting, a business co-owned by her husband and her brother.
Manuel has had experience with the Planning Commission in the past as a result of her association with H & S Hunting. The company purchased an existing sign that stands at the intersection of Broad Street and Armed Forces Drive. The sign advertised their business two blocks to the south.
The business was cited for a violation of the sign ordinance, which prohibits off-premise signs. Manuel’s brother, Howard Craft, argued the store’s case before the planners and finally appealed to Municipal Court, where Judge T.J. Little dismissed the citation.
Manuel said one of the areas she would like to see changes is the city’s sign ordinance.
“It is a little more forceful than I would like,” Manuel said. She said she also wants to see the commission “work better with existing businesses.”
“I am very thankful for the opportunity,” Manuel said of her appointment.

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