G’Fellers replaces Gearhart on BMA
By Kristen Swing
On Aug. 13, members of the BMA unanimously appointed G’Fellers to serve the remaining two years of Mary Gearhart’s term moments after accepting her resignation from the board.
Gearhart stepped down from the position because of health issues related to a stroke she suffered late last year.
She read a short letter and made just a few comments before resigning.
“These meetings are fun. I’m going to miss them,” Gearhart said just before leaving her seat. “I would like to ask the board to continue to do the right things and always respect and take care of our great employees.”
Alderman Chuck Vest made a motion to accept Gearhart’s resignation. It was seconded by Alderman Jerome Fitzgerald and garnered unanimous approval.
“You build bonds and you appreciate the depth of someone’s experience when you work with them in close quarters,” Mayor Kelly Wolfe said following Gearhart’s resignation. “I’m proud of Alderman Gearhart’s role as part of our team. I hope that one day I am fortunate enough to be in the same position she is — to be able to see things carry on in a productive manner after I leave.”
Gearhart asked her colleagues to consider appointing G’Fellers to fill the vacancy, a move that also received unanimous approval.
“Homer G’Fellers is as much a part of Jonesborough as anybody sitting in this room — probably more,” Wolfe said. “There shouldn’t be any doubt that Homer G’Fellers loves this town. I would like to add my strong support (to appointing G’Fellers).”
Alderman Terry Countermine made a motion to appoint G’Fellers to the BMA. It was seconded by Vest, who warned G’Fellers he had “some big shoes to fill.”
After a 5-minute recess in which Gearhart was bid a fond farewell, G’Fellers was sworn into office by Town Attorney Jim Wheeler.
G’Fellers then took his seat as the newest member of the town’s governing body.
“There is no way anybody can every replace Mary. She is a unique person,” G’Fellers said. “I pledge to do my utmost best to support and represent all people. That’s what I’ll strive to do. I look forward to getting to business.”
It appears G’Fellers will have plenty of opportunities to do just that in Jonesborough.
In addition to serving as an alderman, G’Fellers was appointed by the BMA to serve on four committees for the town.
He is now a member of the Tree and Townscape Board and will serve as Jonesborough’s representative on the Economic Development Board, the Economic Council and the Johnson City Power Board.
G’Fellers retired from the JCPB earlier this year after 38 years with the company.