Former newspaper publisher and a previous chair of the Blount County Industrial Board Jerome Moon will run for the Blount County Commission in District 4, Seat C.
Moon announced his candidacy Wednesday in a press release. The Vietnam veteran and community leader said he was born, raised and educated in this community and “I am now asking the voters of the fourth district to allow me to serve again.”
Moon earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Tennessee with high honors after he served six years of active military duty. He has served as chairman of the Blount County Industrial Board, the Pellissippi State Technical Community College Foundation Board of Trustees and president of the Blount County United Way. He has served as a director on numerous state and local boards, both for private companies as well as non-profit foundations and organizations.
“My business experience as the publisher of the local paper has given me a unique point of view about our entire county,” he added describing his years as general manager and then publisher of The Daily Times from 1981 until the paper was sold to Persis Corp. in December 1989. He also served as treasurer of the Tennessee Press Association, and as a director of the association’s for-profit corporation the Tennessee Press Service. Moon was also a co-owner of a community newspaper.
Former Maryville mayor Steve West has worked with Moon in his community service positions. He praised Moon’s educational and community-oriented background. “I worked with him on the Industrial Development Board,” West said. “That was when we signed both Denso and Rubbermade. He was an especially integral part in working with Denso.”
Moon served as a site visitor for the National Schools of Excellence (Blue Ribbon Schools) program after having been asked by the U. S. Secretary of Education. He chaired the Governor’s Better Schools Task Force for Blount County and recently served as chairman of the site selection committee for Pellissippi State Community College’s new Blount County campus, which will open this fall.
Working with Penny Piper, Moon began the Academic Letters Program recognizing the top performing Blount County students and their parents.
“I have seen schools that are world class, and I would not trade those experiences for anything,” said Moon. “Outstanding schools have parents and teachers working together.
“Vocational education has a new name now -- workforce development. Preparing our young citizens for a rewarding life or providing a ‘new career’ education for a single parent of school-age children has been and will continue to be a very high priority for me.”
Moon has been honored with a distinguished service award from the Tennessee Advisory Council on Vocational Education. He is a member and was a founding member of the Volunteers for Progress (VIP), a program where private support supplements the Blount Economic Development Board’s job development efforts. Moon said that quality job creation must be a priority of county government.
“My life experiences and community service have prepared me to serve and my time spent meeting and listening to Blount Countians has strengthened my passion to see Blount County remain strong, vibrant and financially responsible,” he said.
Moon is married to Debbie Bradford Moon, and they have two daughters, Sarah Spinosa of Memphis and Amy Dunaway of Powell, two grandsons and a granddaughter.
Moon will run in the Republican primary on May 4. Incumbent Commissioner Wendy Pitts Reeves, a Democrat, has a public reception scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Blount County Public Library where she says she will announce her plans for the upcoming election.
The qualifying deadline is noon on Feb. 18. Potential candidates have until the qualifying deadline to take out petitions.