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A letter to the future: Dear Johnson City Mayor of 2069

Jenny Brock, Guest Commentary • Dec 1, 2019 at 6:30 AM

Serving as mayor during Johnson City’s Sesquicentennial Celebration has been a great honor. I have learned so much about our beloved city, mostly from you.

Our community has researched our history, recorded it in books, articles and events, and educated each other about how we became this great city. Our sesquicentennial will culminate today at the Legacy Plaza, which includes a history circle and tri-star area, at King Commons.

This legacy project will forever tell the story of Johnson City and give future generations a space to add their own moments of history. Beneath the plaza, we will bury a time capsule to be opened in 50 years. Included will be a letter from me to the Mayor of 2069. That person may be just a teenager now or may not even be born yet, but I know whoever it is, they will inherit this wonderful, beautiful city we call home. I’d like to share my letter with you and hope that if you are able, you will attend the opening of the bicentennial time capsule and remember reading it in the Johnson City Press way back in 2019.

Happy birthday, Johnson City. Thank you for an amazing year.

Dear Mayor of 2069,

Greetings from 2019. It has been a great year in Johnson City as we celebrated our sesquicentennial birthday. Our citizens have taken time to research the past, record it in books, articles and events, and educate each other about our heritage. It was with thoughtful consideration that our Sesquicentennial Commission elected to leave the legacy project – a natural adventure area playground, tri-star area, and history circle – at King Commons for future generations to enjoy. Our history is now literally set in stone, never to be forgotten.

Congratulations on your 200th birthday. I can only imagine the advances that have been made in 50 years. As you reveal our time capsule, you will likely get a chuckle at the technology that fuels our communication today. Just in case it has changed, our cell phones are the center of our lives. We take pictures (especially selfies), save them to “the cloud,” post to Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and spread all our news on Twitter. If we don’t “Google” information on the internet ourselves, we ask virtual assistants Siri or Alexa to do it for us. As all our data becomes electronic, protecting it is a constant endeavor in 2019. I hope your digital assets are safe in 2069.

The City Commission of 2019 has had a very active year. Mayor Jenny Brock, Vice Mayor Joe Wise, Commissioner Dr. Todd Fowler, Commissioner Dr. Larry Calhoun and Commissioner John Hunter, City Manager Pete Peterson and our 900 City employees leave you our annual report. We are most proud of the features we have added to improve the quality of life of our citizens. Johnson City is becoming a premier destination for outdoor enthusiasts. We are leveraging our natural assets with investments like Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park and the Tweetsie Trail. We believe outdoor recreation not only draws visitors in but enhances quality of place so that people and businesses want to call Johnson City home. I hope that vision is your reality in 2069.

On the city’s bicentennial birthday, we send our best wishes for a year of peace and prosperity. While we are leaving you a healthy and vibrant city, we also recognize that you will still face challenges. We hope we have provided a foundation that is resilient and sustainable as you work toward success for this beautiful place we call home.

With regard,

Jenny L. Brock

Mayor, City of Johnson City

2019

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