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25 Years Ago
The largest use of paper ballots in almost three decades took place during the Harriman elections of 1989. The reason: No candidates qualified for one Harriman Board of Education seat in time to be included on the voting machine listing. Of the 1,022 Harriman residents who went to the polls, only 283 cast their votes using the machines. The use of paper ballots did little to deter voter interest, which was reportedly normal for a non-mayoral election. Linda Hellmann, who declared her candidacy after the deadline, was the winner in the write-in school board race.
10 Years Ago
Establishing a metropolitan government in Roane County has been bandied about for decades. The first step in the latest official attempt was seeing if leaders in Harriman had interest in consolidating county and city governments. Harriman’s role in the matter was key, according to Roane County Mayor Ken Yager. Harriman had the largest population in the county, and any move toward consolidation must first take place between county and Harriman officials, Yager said. Scheduling conflicts had prevented the two groups from meeting, but Harriman Mayor Jerry Davis and Council member Diana Knobloch said they planed to invite Yager and County Commissioners to a Council workshop to flesh out discussions.
Five Years Ago
Peggy Evans became the first woman elected to Rockwood City Council when the city’s voters overwhelmingly gave her their support as top vote-getter in the city’s 2009 races. “It’s great,” Evans said with a wide grin. “I hope I can justify the people’s confidence in me.” Evans polled 462 votes — almost 100 more than Bill Thompson, who received the second highest votes and secured a seat on City Council. The city’s voters also elected a new mayor. James Watts took 362 votes to take the reins of Rockwood from Mike “Brillo” Miller. “I’m thankful for the voters in Rockwood having confidence in me,” he said. Also elected to City Council was Stan Wassom, who polled 360 votes. “The citizens gave us an outstanding Council,” Watts noted.
One Year Ago
It took a year, but Yellow Jacket football fans got the successor they wanted to lead the Kingston football program Vic King spent years fine tuning. “It feels good to come back home,” said Brian Pankey after leading the Jackets on their first conditioning workout. “This is my community, and it’s good to be around familiar faces.” The longtime Cherokee Middle School coach had been King’s assistant before the longtime coach retired. Pankey spent a year at the helm of the Austin-East football program before securing the head-coaching gig at Roane County High School. “It was probably the best thing for me,” Pankey said. “The experience has made me not only a better coach, but a better person.”