By LISA WHALEY
Newly re-elected aldermen Terry Countermine and Adam Dickson were in good spirits Monday night at their first Jonesborough Board and Aldermen meeting after the Nov. 3 election.
“I’m just really humbled and pleased that people have the confidence that we can keep doing good things here in Jonesborough,” Countermine said, who will be beginning his sixth term as alderman.
Countermine brought in 1,260 of the Nov. 3 votes, while Dickson came in second with 1,045.
“I have to say it was a very good feeling,” Dickson said, recalling the moment he realized he had secured the second seat. “I kept telling myself if I won, I would be extremely grateful and would want to serve, but if I lost there was always a variety of ways to serve people you care about.”
As the night went on, he admitted, he had to keep repeating that to himself over and over again.
But in the end, Dickson said, “ It was a very exciting and joyous feeling, that vote of confidence.”
Countermine and Dickson decided early on to team up for the election as both incumbents were facing three new challengers for the two aldermen seats available. Bill Graham, Jason Greenlee and Lucas Schmidt were the newcomers.
“Terry actually approached me about running together,” Dickson said.
“I was happy to because I admire Adam,” Countermine said. “We need him on the board. We’ve worked well together. On most discussions, he and I are on the same page.
“And one of the outcomes of this is that Adam and I have become very good friends.”
Still, there were more than a few tense moments as election night progressed.
“Sandy and I were sitting there and I think she was more nervous than I was,” Countermine said, who waited out election night with his wife.
Dickson recalls calling Terry at one point to congratulate him and one of the opponents on the win, before he realized it was still too early to call the race.
“I told him, ‘You and Jason will do a great job on the board.” Dickson said with a smile.
“I told him, ‘Half the votes aren’t in yet!,” Countermine said.
While both aldermen look at this re-election as a stamp of approval for their past work, both are also eager to move into the future.
“As you know, I wasn’t going to run,” Countermine said. “And then I got a lot of calls and people stopping me, because of the times, saying ‘Will you please run?’”
Moving forward, he said, “aside from the obvious, which is finishing all these projects, I hope that because whatever God had blessed me with, that I can help with the healing. There is divisiveness everywhere. Not as much in Jonesborough, but it is still here.”
Countermine said his immediate goal is try to encourage people and to be available “to listen to everybody.”
He also hopes that Jonesborough residents can continue to listen and learn from each other.
“I think basically people who love Jonesborough, we generally get along,” Countermine said. “That is something that we really have to work with.”
Dickson too is already setting his sights on possible accomplishments during this next two-year term.
“One of the things I’m particularly interested in in this whole idea of regionalism,” Dickson said. “I think Jonesborough has a role to play. Jonesborough is a destination spot. I think we are a very essential piece of a tourism puzzle.”
And that means, he said, he believes Tennessee’s oldest town should have a bigger role in the conversation.
He also believes that the Telford Industrial Park is as vital to Jonesborough and its future as it is to the region.
Next, Dickson points to the importance of small business in the Jonesborough community and the town’s possible involvement in its process.
“Those are some things I want to keep my eyes on,” he said.
He wants to see how innovative the town can be in helping individuals start their own business, access needed capital and more.
Finally, like Countermine, Dickson sees a strong and always growing sense of community as key to Jonesborough’s future.
“ I think the key role is to work intentionally to try to bring people together and to promote harmony,” he said. “I have always believed that Jonesborough is a place because of our heritage, (where) there has been a greater sense of cooperation.”
In fact, especially over the past four decades, Dickson said, the town has done well, building community through arts, town events and more.
He is even more confident in the future.
“Yes, 2020 has been a divisive election, It was coarse, prickly, but I think going forward we have to bring people together.”
Election results are slated to become certified Nov. 23.