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New aldermen duo ready to step onto the board

Friends for more than a dozen years, newly elected and re-elected Jonesborough Aldermen David Sell and Chuck Vest are eager to move their friendship from the ball field to the board room.
“We became friends years ago,” said Sell, who is looking forward to his first term as town alderman. “We started coaching together, and our sons grew up together.”
Now, he said, they’re ready to become aldermen together.
“I kind of stayed out of it for a long time,” Sell continued. He was trying to get his hardware store established in Jonesborough and time was in short supply.
“Getting a new business off the ground, it’s tough,” he added with a shake of his head.
But watching Vest serve and have an impact on the town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen had him looking at town service again.
“I was first told that he wasn’t running again,” Sell said of Vest. “When I heard he was running again, I thought, ‘it’s time.’ ”
That was fine by Vest. Not only was Sell a friend, but Vest also thought he would be a good addition to the board.
“I had called him and encouraged him to run,” Vest said. The pair were running against fellow candidate Nansee Williams for two seats.
When the results came in, Sell was down at Jonesborough’s General Store eating pizza and waiting for word. Vest was home making sure his children were fed.
Both were delighted.
“It was satisfying knowing that the voters had confidence in me,” Vest said.
For Vest, one of the key issues as he returns to the board is to continue to build up Jonesborough’s cash reserves.
“I think it important that the town have enough reserves to cover half of our budget,” he said. “After that I think (we need to) complete some of the projects we have under way.”
Vest has high hopes for the completion of the Jackson Theatre and would also like to see the old train depot restored.
“If you put those two things together, it could create something special downtown,” he said. “It would attract young people and old.
“I’ve been to some towns where they have Thomas the engine show up at these little depots and have thousands of kids out there. There’s no reason Jonesborough can’t do that.”
As Sell takes his place on the Jonesborough board, he has plans to proceed a bit more slowly.
“The first thing, I’m going to have a learning curve,” Sell said. “I’m real excited about trying to get to know the process, how things work, and get to know the other aldermen who are on the board. I don’t really have anything agenda-wise on my mind yet.”
But he does have some ideas. He likes the idea of eventually providing a voice for people who don’t live in Jonesborough but own businesses or property in the town. And he knows he can provide his own force for fellow business owners on 11E and throughout town.
As for dreams, Sell is not immune, and like Vest’s depot idea, he too has a potential vision for Jonesborough.
“There is one thing I’ve been thinking about over the years,” Sell said. “Someday, I’d like to see some type of a multipurpose facility here in Jonesborough for indoor soccer, basketball — something for kids of all ages. It could even generate some revenue for the town. A prime example is Smoky Mountain (East Tennessee Sport Complex) over in Elizabethton. They have outdoor and indoor, and they get basketball tournaments. We really don’t have anything like that around here.”
As for the issues that will face them as aldermen, each promises to keep the welfare of Jonesborough uppermost, no matter what.
“David and I are independent thinkers,” Vest promised.
“And we can agree to disagree,” Sell said. “That’s very important.
“We’re not always going to agree, but our sole commitment is what’s better for the town.”