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Looking ahead: There’s a lot to be thankful for

As we close out December, I’m so thankful our community displays such love and appreciation for our town of Jonesborough. Our historic town has never displayed the holiday spirit greater than we did this Christmas season — whether it with the beautiful improved holiday lighting throughout our town or the support we all offered each other during this tumultuous time.  I’m thankful to our town staff, neighbors and businesses that all played a part in making this holiday season an encouraging finish to 2020.  

As we enter into a new year with some of our same challenges as 2020, we also enter with greater clarity and foresight. We know the pandemic will still impact this first half of the year and likely many months into the future, but we have experience now on the best ways to navigate successfully through the challenges it presents.  

As I reflect back at decisions our board and community made during the initial pandemic stages, I view two decisions as key to our town continuing to move successfully forward. I still vividly remember during a town board discussion about how to best navigate forward with events and services or do we pause all events and services. One of the forward-thinking decisions was to smartly and safely show we could open our Wetlands Waterpark, which displayed confidence and normalcy to our community. Our staff developed a good plan and accomplished it.  

Secondly, as the board chose to curtail many events, the tone turned more determined during discussions about our lesser-known event Movies on Main. As concerns were voiced about crowds or close contact Vice Mayor Adam Dickson offered up the idea of a “Drive-In” version. I remember enthusiastically thanking Adam for thinking outside the box and finding a reason we could all say yes. 

That small event grew in popularity during a time our community was looking for guidance. I believe both of those decisions proved successful and allowed our town to move forward with more confidence.  

After the recent election season and re-election of myself, Vice Mayor Dickson and Alderman Terry Countermine, we move forward with the same board proven to make sound decisions and thoughtful judgments. We will be formulating a plan to update and upgrade our beautiful Persimmon Ridge Park in the coming months.  It will hopefully lead to improved facilities for our young users, revamped and expanded areas for our RV park users and possibly as the location of the new Jonesborough Civitan dog park. Our board will need to determine if Persimmon Ridge offers the acreage to add the dog park because, if it can, tens of thousands of dollars could be saved. 

Ultimately, regardless of location, our board desires this new facility to be another successful and well-used park for users and their canines.  

Additionally as chairman of the Jonesborough School Design committee, I’m heartened by the quality design architecture firm Clark- Nexon has presented to the committee. We have received great feedback from the Washington County Board of Education and their teaching personnel during this process, I believe a refined, user-friendly school should materialize soon.  

Also during this process we secured the best property in the best location for the future benefit of our town. You can stay informed on this school design process and the meetings of our Board of Mayor and Alderman via a Jonesborough YouTube channel.   

In closing I hope you are as encouraged as I am for our town’s future and that together we share a vision of our future that is forward-thinking and positive. 

Chuck Vest

Jonesborough mayor