By Jesse Wood
On Thursday evening, all five members of the newly-elected Boone Town Council – Jennifer Teague, Lynne Mason, Loretta Clawson, Charlotte Mizelle and Jeannine Underdown Collins – and new Mayor Rennie Brantz were sworn into office for their respective terms by Judge Gregory Horne.
In addition, outgoing Councilmen Fred Hay and Quint David, both who did not seek re-election, received a Service Appreciation Resolution that states their “exemplary dedication to the best interest of the community as [they have] worked constantly for the betterment of its economic, cultural and aesthetic development.”
In a brief speech at the podium, Hay commended the employees of the Town of Boone.
Collins was the last member to sit on the board as the other four elected council members had to pick through four applications to fill the vacancy caused by Brantz’ election as mayor. Collins was chosen over Eric Plaag, David Welsh and Jim Buchanan.
Collins received a nomination from Mason, and Buchanan received a nomination from Clawson. Collins, however, received the majority of the votes from her her soon-to-be fellow council members on Thursday.
Mason noted Collins’ ties in the county and with the university and said she brings a diversity to the council. Collins, a small business owner and real estate appraiser, has been on the ASU Board of Trustees, the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority, the Watauga Economic Development Commission and an advisor for the Turchin Center.
The new council also selected Mason as Mayor Pro-Tem. Brantz was the prior Mayor Pro-Tem.
After Mason became the first person nominated (by Teague) for the position, which assumes the mayor’s duties in the event the mayor isn’t present at meetings, Clawson chimed in, “I would have like to have been considered for this position, but I understand how politics work.”
Clawson ended up voting for Mason as Mayor Pro-Tem with her other colleagues. Mason was unanimously selected as Mayor Pro-Tem.