By MARINA WATERS
After working for the Town of Jonesborough for almost 40 years, Virginia Causey was emotional when she retired from her post as executive assistant two years ago. But little did she know she’d be appointed to the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen — and that she’d later be running for the spot in the Nov. 6 election.
Now she’s ready to continue helping make decisions for the place and the people that hold her heart.
“To be honest with you, my heart is with the town because I was there for so long,” Causey said. “I loved the employees and I felt like, even though the board members are really good to the employees, they needed a good advocate for employees (on the BMA).”
Her vow to watch out for the town’s employees paid off later this year when the BMA opted to increase the life insurance amount for all town employees by $45,000. The BMA member said she was especially glad to see the motion pass following the recent passing of two town employees.
“I’m glad I (joined the BMA), “ Causey said, “because we upped their life insurance right after I became a board member to $45,000 each.”
Causey said she felt she is an advocate for employees, but that she could be the same for taxpayers as well. And to do that, she said she wants to continue working to understand the ins and outs of agenda items, in which she has some experience.
“I just feel like I can be an asset for the employees as well as the citizens,” Causey said. “I do try to be careful of my decisions. If there’s something on the agenda, I go back and talk to Bob and the supervisor or whoever’s involved to make sure that I understand before we go into the meeting.
“When I was working for the town, I helped type everything up and get the packets ready for the Board of Mayor and Alderman meetings. I would go to all of the board meetings and I would make my own little notes of what was going on. So really when I stepped into the position, it wasn’t like a new kid on the block coming in. It was someone that actually knew a lot of the background.”
Part of that background includes understanding Jonesborough’s current and upcoming projects; Causey said she wants to see the Jackson Theatre renovation, the upcoming parking garage and the park behind the Senior Center to completion.
“We need to continue those (projects),” Causey said. “The garage is something that has been needed for quite a while. The Jackson Theatre is where I had my first date with my husband many years ago, so it’s special. I’m anxious for it to get back as a theatre.”
But for now, Causey is concentrating on the election, during which the BMA member said you won’t hear a negative comment from her on either of her BMA running mates, Stephen Callahan and Charlie Moore.
“I think Stephen will be great if he gets it because he’s young. He’s a good business man,” Causey said. “He can bring a lot to the table. Charlie’s been on the board before. He knows what board packets consist of. I will never be negative on either one of them. I’ve had some people ask me who I think will be good and I say, ‘No, I’m not doing that.’”
Throughout her work Causey said she aims to listen to her heart and live her life by the “golden rule,” which was a guiding force for her growing up and throughout her time at town hall.
“I feel like and I’ve always stood under a motto that my mother taught me many, many years ago,” Causey said, “that you treat people the way you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes. That’s what I always did when I worked (in town hall). I got the brunt of a lot of customers who were upset and it just made a big difference.
“That’s what I want to see go forward in Jonesborough. I don’t want it to be negative. I don’t like that negative stuff. I want Jonesborough to prosper and be good. As I say, I just love the town. And I love doing what I’m doing.”