But the idea of stepping back into local politics isn’t off the table either.
Snapp began his career as a state planner in 1967 after graduating from the University of Tennessee. Over his career as a planner, he helped provide planning services for dozens of communities until 1998, when he took a job as the executive director of the Economic Development Board.
He was elected to the City Commission in 1987, and served 12 years with a stint as mayor from 1989 to 1991. Throughout his career in local politics, he got to see the city through some major changes, like renovating all the city schools, building five new schools, expanding State of Franklin Road and securing the city landfill.
“I’m proud of the fact I was a member of the commission then, I think we were progressive and did a lot of great things for Johnson City,” he said.
Politics aside, retirement has offered Snapp a chance to dive back into some hobbies for the past few years. Snapp said he enjoyed golfing right out of retirement, but had to undergo back surgery a few years ago and that has limited his ability to indulge in the sport.
He still stays active, though, by going to the Wellness Center every morning. Woodworking is a hobby that has stayed with him since he took his first woodworking class in junior high school, and something he enjoys doing with his son. Over the years he’s kept his craft sharp by making clocks and dozens of postal boxes, many of which he gives away as gifts.
Snapp also said he likes to keep his mind busy by reading books and magazines, and said he tries to not spend too much time in front of a screen.
“I made up my mind when I quit work I am not going to turn the TV on until earlier than 4:30 or 5 p.m. and be a couch potato,” he said.
Now, he’s been retired for about six years, and while he said running for local office is exhausting and takes a lot of work, Snapp’s been considering stepping back into the ring and running for the Washington County Commission.
After his years on the commission in Johnson City, Snapp said he learned that stepping outside the box was the best way to serve the community. Snapp said he accomplished this by surveying what other communities did, sometimes by going out and seeing for himself, and using that information to decide the best course of action.
“If you’re going to be on the commission you’ve got to dedicate yourself to learning the job,” he said. “All knowledge does not reside within the four walls of Johnson City.”
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