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Wolfe wants specialty plate for Tennessee’s oldest town

Officials are considering a new way to promote Jonesborough, a method that would really put advertising in motion for Tennessee’s oldest town.
“I went to get a building permit the other day. As I was standing in front of (Washington County Clerk) Kathy Storey’s office, I looked through the window and admired the specialty tags hanging on the wall,” said Kelly Wolfe, Jonesborough mayor.
“Right in the middle of that, in Tennessee’s oldest town, was a license plate that said ‘Historic Franklin.’ Good grief.”
It was then that Wolfe started to consider what it would take for Jonesborough to have its own specialty license plate.
“You’re in Tennessee’s oldest town. You’re where the state started,” Wolfe explained. “Why in the world wouldn’t you have your own plate?”
In order to have a special Jonesborough license plate available for vehicle owners to purchase, a bill must first be submitted in Tennessee legislature that allows Jonesborough to begin the process.
“Then you have a year to get a design in place,” said Town Administrator Bob Browning. “And you have to be able to sell 1,000 license plates in order for them to justify the printing of the license plates.”
State law requires any organization or entity requesting a specialty license plate to pre-sell at least 1,000 plates prior to the initial issuance of the design.
Any plate that does not meet the minimum order requirement within one year after passage of the act authorizing the plate will become invalid.
According to Wolfe, State Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) is currently searching for a bill to add the request onto for Jonesborough.
Meanwhile, leaders are thinking of ways to pre-sell the 1,000 plates.
That task should be a little easier for the town, with at least one person already saying she would pay the $35 for a specialty tag featuring Jonesborough.
Alderman Mary Gearhart made a motion to approve town staff pursuing the specialty plate. Alderman Terry Countermine seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
“I’d like to have one myself,” she said. “I just love this place.”