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White resigns from Unicoi County Commission

By Richard Rourk

Town of Erwin Mayor Glenn White officially announced his resignation from the Unicoi County Commission during a meeting of the Town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen held on Monday, Dec. 14, at Erwin Town Hall.

“I have served with the commission and we have made decisions for the county and now I will be here making decisions for Erwin,” White said during his first official address as mayor of the Town of Erwin. “I hereby announce my resignation from my position as county commissioner. I have given my notice to Unicoi County Mayor Garland (Bubba) Evely and I will continue to work with them any way I can. I appreciate everyone that entrusted me with representing them both in the county and here in the town.”

According to Unicoi County Mayor Garland “Bubba” Evely, White submitted his official resignation letter on Friday, Dec. 11.

“I have received Mayor White’s resignation letter and I hope we can announce White’s replacement some time next month,” Evely told The Erwin Record.

White still has two years left on his term as county commissioner for the second district.

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The new Town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen took Monday’s meeting as an opportunity to name the town’s vice mayor.

Alderman Mark Lafever was nominated by Alderman Gary Chandler to be vice mayor for the next year. The nomination was seconded by Alderman Michael Baker. The panel then unanimously voted to name Lafever as vice mayor.

Lafever was originally named vice mayor of Erwin following a unanimous vote in January 2019.

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Also on Monday, Joseph Wigington, representing the Friends of the O’Brien Watershed, addressed the future of a possible mountain bike and hiking trail project at the watershed during the citizen’s concerns portion of the BMA meeting.

“We applied for three grants and did not get any,” Wigington said. “We were told we didn’t have enough matching funds to receive these grants. We need $90,000-$100,000 raised to get this started in 2020-21. I’m asking that we invest in a growing industry for tourism. I’m asking that when you begin budgeting for the upcoming year, please consider investing with us.”

The O’Brien Watershed property, which is 116 acres of land, is located behind the Unicoi County Health Department.

During a BMA meeting in April 2020, Erwin Unicoi County Joint Economic Development Board Chairman Lee Brown announced a proposed plan to build a 10-mile multi-modal trail system. “This will attract workers looking to move to Erwin and will be a tourist spot and will bring in a lot of tax revenue,” Brown said during the meeting.

No commitments or follow-up meetings were set to discuss the future of the O’Brien Watershed property during Monday’s BMA meeting.