Debbie B. Kessler was chosen by the Town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen as the town’s new city recorder. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

The Town of Unicoi officially has a new city recorder.

During a special called meeting on Monday, Aug. 5, the Town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously voted to hire Debbie B. Kessler as its new city recorder and treasurer.

The motion was made to approve hiring Kessler by Alderwoman Wanda Radford and seconded by Alderwoman Kathy Bullen. Mayor Johnny Lynch, Vice Mayor Doug Hopson and Alderman Jeff Linville then joined Radford and Bullen to hire Kessler.

Kessler, whose first day on the job was Tuesday, Aug. 6, comes to the Town of Unicoi by way of Elizabethton.

“I’m the former finance director at the Elizabethton Clerk’s office,” Kessler said. “I was there about 13-and-a-half years,” Kessler told The Erwin Record. “I’m a graduate of ETSU and I majored in accounting.”

According to Kessler, the opportunity with the Town of Unicoi was too good to pass up.

“I’m excited to join the staff here and I really appreciate Mayor Lynch and board for considering me,” Kessler said. “For a small town, I feel that Unicoi really does well.”

Lynch acknowledged that the BMA had received numerous applicants but Kessler stuck out. “We’ve been through two different interview sessions and we narrowed it down to three finalists, and Debbie came out on top,” Lynch said. “The cream always rises to the top.”

Kessler replaces former city recorder Michael Borders who left the town in April to take the position of city administrator at Pittman Center, Tennessee. Former Town of Unicoi City Recorder Larry Rea has filled in on an interim basis since Borders left and will stay until the transition is complete.

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Following the special called BMA meeting, the BMA held a private executive session to discuss undisclosed issues with the Town of Unicoi Attorney Lois Shults-Davis. When asked about what the BMA will be discussing during the Executive Session, Shults-Davis replied: “We are not at liberty to discuss litigation.”

The next BMA meeting will be held at the Town of Unicoi Town Hall and is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 19, at 5:30 p.m.