Three candidates are running unopposed for three available seats on the Friendsville City Commission.
Jonathan D. Newberry
Biographical information: My family is from Friendsville, but I grew up in Hamilton County. After attending UT in the 90s, I decided this was my home. Work has taken me across the country, but the people here and my family ties have always set me back. Since then I have lived in the city for the past 11 years and intend to stay. I also enjoy volunteering my time for worthy causes, so I have served on the board of Fort James White, the Friendsville City Commission, and the Friendsville Planning Commission.
Why are you applying for this position? I debated for a while about taking a break from city politics, but then several city and utility workers asked me to run for office and stay on as commissioner. This conversation marked me. It’s very compelling when you realize that people feel you are valuable to them and see your contributions as important. I guess you could say I run for them.
What relevant experience do you have? I have held this position for 8 years.
Why should voters elect you? I hope the people of Friendsville choose to vote for me because of my dedication to the town and its citizens, not because I am running unopposed. It is not a glorious position and requires a lot of hard work and effort. Over the years, I’ve made that effort and I want to keep working to make Friendsville an even better place to live than it already is.
Shane Rogers did not respond to the Daily Times candidate questionnaire.
Four candidates are vying for three available seats on the Townsend City Commission.
Occupation: Veterinarian, food safety
Biographical information: I grew up near Concord, spending summers with my aunt and uncle in Townsend, where I developed a passion for hiking and fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains. I graduated from Farragut High School, majored in biology at UT and VCU, and completed my veterinary education at Virginia Tech. In 1999, I started a career in public health, working in the area of food safety.
My wife Julie and I have three children, including a recent graduate of Heritage High School. We attend Tuckaleechee United Methodist Church. I belong to the Heritage Tractor and Engine Club and like to show off my 1962 IH tractor.
Why are you applying for this position? I have seen Townsend develop over the years and appreciate the thought and effort put into making Townsend the peaceful side of the Smokies.
However, the pace of change has accelerated and I think Townsend is at a crossroads. The decisions we make in the years to come will impact how Townsend and its surroundings develop and whether we can maintain a balance that preserves the high quality of life for those who live, work and visit in Townsend.
I want to make sure that all the points of view of our community are heard and taken into account – citizens, local businesses and our community organizations.
What relevant experience do you have? In addition to observing Townsend’s development for many years, I currently sit on the Townsend Planning Commission. I am working to launch an update to our community plan that will set our vision for the years to come and help guide decisions made by the planning commission and the board of commissioners.
I spent most of my career, 22 years, in public service. I have experience leading initiatives, large and small, where public engagement and awareness were key elements. Developed and implemented significant budgets ensuring resources were spent wisely and results were delivered on time.
Why should voters elect you? I have experience working with other leaders and in different government agencies and partner organizations. As a member of the City Commission, this experience will be important when engaging with local, county and state level leaders and partners to work collaboratively while representing Townsend’s interests.
I am dedicated to working together to ensure that Townsend remains a great place to live, work, do business and visit.
A commitment to listening, many years of proven leadership, common sense and a strong desire to serve our community are qualities that I will bring to this position.
What sets you apart from other election candidates? I have sincere respect and admiration for the other candidates for this position. It takes a lot of courage to offer yourself to public service.
What differentiates me from some other candidates is the level of experience I will bring to this position. The experience will be important as we update our community plan and define our vision for the future on the peaceful side of the smokes.
I believe our municipal government should be lean, efficient, and responsive, while carefully managing our resources, providing the right services, supporting good decision-making, and being transparent to our citizens.
Kelsey Messer Satterfield
Occupation: Realtor with Century 21 Legacy
Biographical information: I was born and raised in East Tennessee. I’m from Cumberland Gap, about two hours from Townsend. I graduated from Middlesboro High School in 2013. From there, I attended a local community college where I earned an associate’s degree in commerce and applied science, as well as various business certifications. I am married to Dillon Satterfield. We have lived in Townsend for just over three years. I am a Christian and attend RIO Townsend Church, where I also serve in the nursery. I work at the Century 21 Legacy office, if not cleaning condos for my mom or showing the property.
Why are you applying for this position? I believe I can help make a positive impact on our community. I want Townsend to remain the peaceful side of the Smokies that we all know and love. As someone who plans to raise a family in Townsend and has a small business here, it’s important to me that we keep the town a safe and beautiful place to live.
What relevant experience do you have? At 19, I was hired as the head secretary at Middlesboro High School and managed the responsibilities given to me by the principals and the school board. At 21, I continued to run my parents’ business in the camper and motorhome sales ground until I moved to Townsend at 24. I started my career in real estate, while helping my mother run an Airbnb rental business in Cades. Landing the cove. I’ve dealt with the public and worked in offices since I was a teenager and had a lot of responsibility. I feel like I have the skills and maturity to keep this job.
Why should voters elect you? I am committed to serving the Townsend community and will conduct myself with honesty and integrity. I want to help represent the big ideas that our locals want to see for our city. I will be thoughtful, honest and transparent when making decisions. I can keep our vision for the future of Townsend in mind, work there as a team and have confidence in my voice at the table, while listening to and respecting the opinions of other peers. I will take this position seriously and use my morals and values to do the best I can.
What sets you apart from other election candidates? My age, 27, sets me apart. People might think I’m too young for this position, but that can be an asset. I believe I was born for this. The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 4:12 “do not despise your youth, but be an example to believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith and in purity”. I understand the history of this town and its preservation is important to me. I respect where I live and want to see it prosper. Since I had responsibilities and a work ethic from an early age, I am not intimidated by the challenges I might face in this role.
Occupation: Townsend Small Business Owner
Biographical information: I am originally from Blount County and have lived there most of my life. My parents owned small businesses in Blount County. I graduated with honors from Middle Tennessee State University and UT. I worked for 19 years in the automotive industry in Maryville, then joined my husband as co-owner and operator of an art gallery in Townsend. We have lived in Townsend for 8 years.
Why are you applying for this position? Serve the community from the perspective of both a resident and a small business owner
What relevant experience do you have? I have extensive administrative and quality experience from my previous work roles. In addition, I was a certified quality auditor, which gave me experience in interpreting and auditing standards. These professional work experiences, along with the day-to-day running of a Townsend business, are easily transferable to the role of City Commissioner.
Why should voters elect you? I believe in preserving our small community feeling and values. My desire is to listen to what the residents of Townsend want in their community and to represent them fairly and equitably.
What sets you apart from other election candidates? I believe that my conservative and libertarian political philosophy can differentiate me from many other candidates. If you know Dr. Ron Paul (former US Representative for Texas), then you will be familiar with a libertarian perspective.
Occupation: massage therapist
Biographical information: I have been a local business owner for 18 years and attended Townsend Primary School. I have been an active member of the community for many years.
Why are you applying for this position? to be an advocate for the people of my hometown
What relevant experience do you have? re-eligible after the current mandate
Why should voters elect you? I will listen to the needs of people in the community and do my best to meet their needs.
What sets you apart from other election candidates? I have been a resident of Townsend for over 40 years. I have family roots in the Tuckaleechee Valley for over 150 years. I have been serving the Townsend Volunteer Fire Department community for 13 years. I am committed to serving the community.