Elizabethton's Jon Hartman moving to North Carolina

John Thompson • Feb 29, 2020 at 3:20 AM

ELIZABETHTON — The city of Elizabethton will be losing one of its brightest young leaders in a few months.

Jon Hartman has announced he will be resigning his posts as directors of planning and economic development for the city. Although still a young man, Hartman has held the post for 10 years, He has also been a leader in economic development for Carter County, especially for Carter County Tomorrow, in the past few years.

Hartman said he does not have any immediate plans for a future job, except that he will be moving to Durham, N.C. in May or June. ‘I am unsure right now what I will be doing. My husband received a great opportunity and will be moving there is a couple of weeks. I will be following in a couple of months.:

Hartman said he is staying put for a few months to give Elizabethton an opportunity to search for his replacement, to complete several projects and grants he has been working to finish, and two complete personal tasks, such as selling his house.

The early spring is always a strategically important time for the city, as the department heads traditionally work with the city manager and planning director to establish the budget for the next year.

City Manager Daniel Ellis said the decision by Hartman to remain as planning and economic development director is a help and he appreciated Hartman’s decision to remain in place for the next few months. Ellis said the search process should begin soon, but at this point he could not provide any specifics on the emphasis of the search. Mayor Curt Alexander said he has just learned of Hartman’s upcoming resignation and has not yet had time to think about the search for Hartman’s replacement.

The transition from Harman to his successor will certainly be a significant change, just as it was when Hartman took over as planning director from his predecessor, long time planning director David Ornduff. But Haerman was well prepared for the transition. While still an under graduate at Milligan College, Hartman served as an intern under Ornduff. His performance was noteworthy and when Ornduff announced he was retiring, it was an easy choice to select the new Milligan graduate as the city’s next planning director even though he was in his early 20’s.

During his years with the city, Hartman has been active leading the city into new directions. These include the first tax increment financing district, which has been set up in the area where the city’s former rayon plants were located. He has also been a leader in renovating the downtown business district, through proposed financing proposals and the new Main Street program.

Although a full-time city employee, Hartman has also been active in working on projects for Carter County, including the efforts by Carter County Tomorrow to market the Matheson Property on U.S. Highway 19E and State Line Road.

Hartman first came to the region as a Milligan student. He grew up in the Toledo area of Nothwest Ohio.

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