By BONNIE BAILEY
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously Monday night to pay tribute to a former Jonesborough mayor and alderman, Tobie Bledsoe, by adding her moniker to the Jonesborough Senior Center building.
Bledsoe served as an alderman for the town for six years beginning in 1978, and only a year into her service, in 1979, she helped establish the Jonesborough Senior Center. In the 1990s, Bledsoe returned to serve an additional two years as an alderman and was voted mayor of Jonesborough in 2000, a position she held for eight years.
While serving as mayor, Bledsoe, who frequently discussed the need for a new Senior Center, established a reserve fund to help cover the cost of a new center. The fund’s balance of over $250,000 was used to purchase furnishings for the new Senior Center building.
“She was on the board for a long time and served as mayor, and she did a lot over the years, many people did, to help facilitate the advancement of the senior citizens program here in Jonesborough,” Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe said. “The steps that Tobie took were instrumental in leading to the great situation we had that caused us to be overgrown from our former location.”
During her tenures of service, Bledsoe helped develop numerous programs for the Town of Jonesborough, such as the recreation program, created in 1978, and the town’s tourism program. She also helped implement many improvements in the town’s regional water system.
Until recently, Bledsoe also served as one of East Tennessee’s representatives on the Tennessee Historical Commission.
“We get the privilege of recognizing Tobie’s service and dedication to the town and the senior program,” Wolfe said.
Now that the recommendation to name the building after Bledsoe has been approved by the BMA, a new sign will be made for the center. The sign will read: Jonesborough Senior Center, Tobie L. Bledsoe Building.