Atchley to seek 10th term as mayor

Jan. 29, 2013 @ 11:58 PM

Bryan Atchley has been mayor of Sevierville for 17 years and nine months. On May 2, he will run for another two-year term.

"People have asked me, 'How long will you be mayor?'," Atchley said. "I always say, till I get beat or it quits being fun. And it's still fun right now."

Atchley has run for mayor unopposed since he defeated Barry Gibbs in 2005. Five of his nine mayoral elections were uncontested.

Local government can help promote economic development, said Atchley, who is administrator of Sevier County Health Care Center. "We can show what kind of community we have. It's a good place to live. It's a good place to have a business."

Much has changed in Sevierville since Atchley first took office in 1995. "Take a look at what we have now," he said. "We've got a minor league ball club, a new city hall, a new library in the county, a new hospital in the county. We didn't have a civic center."

Atchley is optimistic about Sevierville's future. "It's been a rough economic time the last several years, but we're seeing that ease up a bit," he said. "I think we have handled the recession as well as any community could have."

Petitions to run in the county's May elections must be filed by Feb. 21. Pigeon Forge's municipal election is May 14, and Gatlinburg's is May 21.

In addition to the mayor's office, two Sevierville alderman seats will be contested this year, the ones held by Maxine Ownby and Dale Carr. So far, papers for those at-large races have been picked up from the Sevier County Election Commission by Ownby, Robbie Fox, James McGill and Vincent Snider.

Ownby has been on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen since 2011, when the board appointed her to serve out the term of her late husband, Claude Ownby.

The seats of Sevierville aldermen Travis McCroskey, Wayne Helton and Vice-Mayor Devin Koester will not be contested this year.

In Pigeon Forge, the seats of city comissioners Joyce Brackins, Randal Robinson and Vice-Mayor Kevin McClure will be contested, and not those of commissioners Howard Reagan and Mayor David Wear. So far, McClure and J.H. Ogle have picked up papers for those at-large races.

Two seats on the Gatlinburg City Commission will be contested at large, the ones held by Mark McCown and Don Smith. Both McCown and Smith have picked up election papers. The seats of Mayor Mike Werner, Vice-Mayor Jerry Hays and Commissioner Mike Helton will not be contested in May.

kburns@themountainpress.com