By LISA WHALEY
Virginia Causey just thought she had retired.
In another surprise move by the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Alderman Monday night, current Aldermen Terry Countermine, David Sell and Adam Dickson unanimously approved appointing Causey, former administrative assistant to Town Administrator Bob Browning, to the alderman seat vacated by now-Mayor Chuck Vest.
“All I ask, Virginia, is after being your supervisor for so many years, that you remember the nice things I’ve done,” Browning said to a beaming Causey as she took her seat on the board.
Causey retired in March of last year after serving for the town for more than 30 years.
“I’m excited to be back in Town Hall,” Causey said.
The decision to appoint Causey was, in the end, an easy one, according to Countermine, who nominated the former administrative assistant for the position.
“When (former mayor) Kelly Wolfe resigned last month, I was surprised. I didn’t know it was coming,” said Countermine, who nominated Causey for the position. “And I have been on the phone this month more than any month in my life.”
Wolfe has served as town mayor since 2008 and would have been up for reelection this fall. His resignation, and the appointment of Vest to the mayor’s chair left the board short one member, and it was a position Countermine knew they needed to fill.
He said he realized that their next course must not only the best for the town, but also the least disruptive.
As Dickson said, they needed “someone who could hit the ground running.”
“We need a caretaker,” Dickson said, “to serve out the six or seven months until election. At the same time, (we need) to encourage individuals who are qualified to run.”
Sell, too, was convinced, and seconded Countermine’s motion.
“I think its a wise decision to make,” Sell said. He pointed out that the board had already been hearing from so many candidates, and having the board — rather than the voters — choose just one could cause problems.
“You don’t want to upset somebody’s feelings,” he said. By appointing Causey, the board would still be leaving the path clear for interested individuals to run in the November election, letting the voters make the final choice.
Causey was sworn in Monday by Chancellor John Rambo, who was already present to over see the swearing in of Jonesborough’s new mayor, Chuck Vest. The board will reconvene in May fully staffed, with a mayor and four aldermen — Countermine, Sell, Dickson (appointed at the March 12 meeting) and newly appointed Causey.