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BMA approves suspension of Erwin police officer

By Ty Butler

The Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen held a scheduled meeting Monday, July 25, to discuss various town business, including a vote to approve the suspension of an unidentified Erwin police officer.

Prior to the vote, the meeting room was cleared to facilitate a meeting between the BMA and the town attorney.

After guests and media reentered the building at the conclusion of a 30-minute closed-discussion, Town of Erwin Mayor Glenn White announced, “I have a motion to approve the suspension of an employee recommended by Chief Tilson.”

When asked about details surrounding the suspension, White referred media in attendance to Erwin Town Attorney Thomas Seeley.

Seeley declined to expand on the disciplinary action, but did note that the sanctions being handed down were justified.

“I can’t tell you a whole lot because the potential for litigation, I can say that the chief took action,” Seeley said.

“The action under the circumstances was appropriate and the officer was disciplined,” Seeley added.

In other business, an ordinance regulating the disposal of animal waste in Erwin was discussed. According to Town Recorder Todd Wilcox, many local residents in the southside of Erwin had complained about animal feces being left on their property. Wilcox said that Erwin law enforcement officers will begin enforcing the animal waste ordinance moving forward.

The BMA also approved closing some streets for an upcoming First Friday event. The blockade will extend on Union Street from South Main Avenue to the Nolichucky Avenue.

Owner of Union Street Gallery Jan Bowden said the blockade will allow space for food trucks. The first closure will take place Friday, Aug. 5, from 4 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month until the end of the year for the First Friday downtown merchants event.

Bowden noted that the event should kickstart increased revenue among downtown businesses due to the sheer volume of attendees expected to attend the recurring First Fridays’ events.

A $5,000 donation was awarded to the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce by the board. According to Chamber Executive Director Amanda Delp, the donation was proposed to offset event expenses.

The next BMA is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 8, at 5:30 p.m. The BMA will also host a Planning Commission Meeting Wednesday, July 27, at 4 p.m.