Christi Sayles has no doubt why she supports Ed Mitchell for county mayor.
Sayles, Maryville school board chair, said Mitchell is the salt of the Earth. Years ago, Sayles said, when her mother died and then her father died two weeks later, Mitchell and his wife, Kim, were there to help.
“Ed and Kim came and took care of my 2-year-old and my just-out-of-the-hospital neo-natal baby. They helped get the yard work done and did the laundry. Then, when dad died, they came and did it again,” she said. “We absolutely need him in Blount County. We need cohesive government. It is not easy right now, and we need somebody who can make it work.”
The July 13 barbecue at Smithview Pavilion was sponsored by Christi and Brad Sayles and Cheri and Greg Jones.
Mitchell thanked them for organizing the get-together and said he was happy with the turnout and the enthusiasm of the guests.
“I thought we had 50 or 60 people even with the weather being unfavorable. People still showed up, and everybody was interesting to talk with,” Mitchell said. “There were a lot of people I had not met who I got the chance to listen to and share ideas with. Anytime I can do that, I feel that’s important.”
Mitchell said residents want a county mayor who is honest and has their best interests at heart. Mitchell said he feels the same way. “That hasn’t changed nor will it change. I hope that I am the candidate they want for county mayor because those are exactly the same ideas and mission and vision I have for what the county mayor should be,” he said.
Drew Osborne came to meet Mitchell, and said he wants a mayor who can keep the county going in the right direction. “We need someone who can control spending and make sure everybody is making equal sacrifices,” Osborne said.
Cheri Jones said she and her sister Christi Sayles have known Mitchell a long time. “I believe he has the communication skills and interpersonal skills necessary to effectively manage the county as we face a time of genuine challenges,” she said.
Sharon Hannum was unequivocal in her opinion of Mitchell. “Ed is my kind of people. He is a man of integrity,” she said.