By Collin Brooks
Johnson City held their 39th inaugural ceremony for Johnson City Commissioners and Board of Education Members on Monday, Dec. 5.
In doing so, they welcomed in new commissioners Joe Wise and Todd Fowler, while incumbent Ralph Van Brocklin maintained his seat. The school board members that were inaugurated were new members Jonathan Kinnick and Stacie Torbett, with incumbent Tim Belisle keeping his seat.
Wise, whose resignation from his Washington County Commissioners seat will take effect on Dec. 31, said that finally reaching inauguration day was a big deal for him.
“It’s a culmination of an effort by a lot of people who supported the campaign, for whom I am grateful, I think today represents a coming to fruition of all of that work. So I am proud to have the opportunity and grateful for the support that so many people gave my campaign.”
Wise said that he looks forward to the chance to have an effect on the policies that help mold Johnson City.
“I look forward to diving in and working to understand the opportunities that are before us,” Wise said. “There is going to be a lot to learn and a short time to learn it.”
The other new commissioner will be Todd Fowler, who won the top spot in the November election and Fowler said that they might lean on one another in order to become more comfortable. Fowler said that he has been doing his homework, speaking with his neighbor and current Johnson City Commissioner David Tomita and former Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe. He is looking forward to getting to work instead of only reading about the job.
Fowler said that he has already gotten the fun part of the job done, when he was able to walk in the school parade and enjoy the tree lighting.
One of his main goals is to bring more business into the city and bring the tax base up that way instead of increasing taxes.
“That will benefit everyone that way and I’d like to continue the work that they have been doing,” Fowler said. “They have done a great job in downtown and I want to keep that up and keep things going.”