Former Johnson City mayors named to state boards

Robert Houk • Jul 21, 2019 at 3:53 PM

Gov. Bill Lee has named former Johnson City Mayor David Tomita as the East Tennessee representative on the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Tomita’s was one of many appointments to state oversight boards and commissions announced recently by the governor’s office.

Tomita, who decided not to seek re-election last year after serving five years on the Johnson City Commission, is one of three members of the ABC selected from each of the state’s Grand Divisions. He replaces John A. Jones, Johnson City, who was appointed by Gov. Ned McWherter in 1992 to fill an opening created by the death of his father — long-serving ABC member Carl A. Jones.

“I’m very honored,” Tomita said last week. “I’ve got some big shoes to fill.”

Tomita said the ABC meets monthly, which means he will be traveling regularly to Nashville. The commission licenses and regulates all businesses involved in the manufacture, transportation or sale of alcoholic beverages in Tennessee. That includes the oversight of wholesalers, retail stores and restaurants that serve wine and liquor.

“I hope to bring a local government perspective to the position,” said Tomita, who is also a former Washington County commissioner. “I’ve attended one meeting, and I’m still learning the ropes.”

Lee has also appointed another former Johnson City mayor to a state regulatory board. Dan Mahoney — who served on the Johnson City Commission in the early 1990s, and is a member of the Tri-City Airport Authority — has been named a member of Aeronautics Commission. The five-member commission oversees the state’s 79 public-use airports and 148 heliports.

Mahoney, who founded the outdoors outfitters store in Johnson City that bears his name, has served on the governing board of the Blountville airport since 1989. He said he was “very honored” to be appointed by the governor to the Aeronautics Commission. 

The governor appointed former Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe to the East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees. Lee re-appointed current trustees Dorothy Grisham, Chattanooga, and Dr. Linda Latimer, Johnson City, to the university’s governing board.

Other local appointments include:

• Chancery Court Judge John Rambo, Jonesborough, to the Board of Court Reporting.

• Kim Birchfield, Elizabethton, to the Police Officer Standards and Training Commission.

• Greyson Jennings, Johnson City, to the State Rehabilitation Council.

• Neal Whitten, Johnson City, to the Water Quality, Oil and Gas Board.





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