Nancy Alsup aspiring for more city success

Nancy Alsup

By Thomas Wilson
star staff

  Nancy Alsup says she is optimistic about large-scale retail developments in the city of Elizabethton but still ambitious that the city will pursue industrial related employers that provide healthy paychecks to local citizens.
  "We have accomplished a lot," said Alsup, "but there is much more to be done."
  Alsup, 400 W. Mill St., is seeking her third term to the Elizabethton City Council in the Nov. 2 city election.
  Elected to her first term on council in 1996, Alsup retired earlier this year as senior secretary at the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension office in Elizabethton after more than 48 years. Alsup won her second term to council in 2000 garnering over 2,600 votes.
  Among the city's recent accomplishments in recent years, Alsup cited new fire trucks, improvements to the water and wastewater infrastructure, and citywide paving.
  Alsup said she had taken note of the community's economic evolution from manufacturing to service-oriented jobs. Still, Alsup said the town needed additional industrial land to diversify the tax base and provide higher paying jobs to local citizens.
  "That is not necessarily a bad thing as the sales taxes provide new dollars to our community to fund police, fire, schools and other services," she said. "We have to continue with economic development."
  She added that the new tax dollars would hopefully allow the council to hold the line on the property tax rate for the 13th year in a row. The council also recently approved a bid of $535,800 with a $107,000 contingency to demolish the old Carter County Memorial Hospital building. Alsup said the property's future use should be carefully evaluated and its development potential maximized.
  "We should reserve this property to realize the highest, best use of the property," Alsup said, "and not be sold below value to special interests trying to make money off the taxpayers."
  Alsup deferred her personal opinion about the liquor-by-the-drink referendum saying the question was up to the city's registered voters. She did say that if citizens approved the referendum the city would get additional general fund revenues generated by taxation on liquor-by-the-drink sales.
  "The City Council has no role or any involvement in the liquor referendum before the citizens of Elizabethton," she said.
  The council voted 4-3 in July 2003 approving an ordinance that allows the seasonal sale of fireworks within city limits during a two-week period through the Fourth of July and New Year's Day holidays. The shooting of fireworks remains illegal within city limits.
  "Although I know that not everyone was for the seasonal sale of fireworks, overall the ordinance has worked well as the sale and use of fireworks in the city still remains well-regulated," she said.
  Alsup voted in favor of the ordinance and said reports from the city police department verified that off-season use of fireworks was minimal.
  Among other issues, Alsup said the city must continue to work with the Watauga River Regional Water Authority to develop a spring source from the Watauga River.
  She said City Manager Charles Stahl had served the city "as well if not better than any city manager Elizabethton has had" during the past eight years she had worked with him.
  "Mr. Stahl is willing to work with city residents and represents all city departments and employees in a professional manner," Alsup said.
  Alsup presently serves on the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals. She said the challenges of zoning and property use in Elizabethton had been extremely challenging in recent years given state and federal regulations imposed on land use.
  "People don't realize the regulations we have to follow," she said of the commission.
  Alsup also serves on the board of directors for the city Parks and Recreation department as well as the Elizabethton Carter County Boys and Girls Club. She also previously served on the Elizabethton-Carter County Economic Development Commission and Elizabethton Electric System board of directors.
  The daughter of Harrison and Annie Edens, Alsup grew up with her five brothers and four sisters in the Milligan community. She graduated from Happy Valley High School. Alsup was married to the late Gordon Hughes and the late Daniel "Tuck" Alsup, former chief of the Elizabethton Police Department.
  "It has been an honor to serve on the City Council over the past eight years," she said. "We need to continue the work to clean up old, dilapidated properties, remove junked cars, beautify our city, and develop employment opportunities for our citizens."