By Meg Dickens
Locals have been in an uproar since word about the possible displacement of the Annual Sunflower Festival became public. During the August City Council meeting, officials looked into this “unpopular opinion” after receiving complaints from a few local business owners. City Mayor Jerry Jordan reached out to The Tomahawk to set the record straight for the public and clear any misconceptions. According to Jordan, this debate stems from a series of misunderstandings leading to “townspeople getting crucified.”
During a previous statement, Jordan mentioned getting “flack” for letting down local businesses. It seems that both the city and suspected businesses are getting the same from the public. Many have been calling for boycotts and are attempting to figure out who exactly complained.
“What these people do not seem to realize is that both supported the festival,” Jordan said. As previously reported, the business owners were upset about their blocked properties, which reportedly were supposed to be clear during the festival. Jordan believes miscommunication is the crux of this issue.
“We need to squash the rumors,” Jordan explained. “This is all a misunderstanding between the town and event organizers. The town is not against having things on Main Street. The businesses are not against the festival.”
When asked about his position on the displacement, Jordan’s views were similar to Alderman Dustin Shearin’s remarks during the social media debate. Discussion is necessary, but adjustments can make this work. The review will most likely come up at the next scheduled City Council meeting.
“I believe it can be worked out to stay on Main Street, but the Board will have to approve it,” Jordan confirmed.
In the end, it seems unlikely that the Sunflower Festival will move from its current place on Main Street, although there may be some adjustments in the upcoming years. The final decision will come through the City Council but, locals can breathe easy knowing that, if recent replies mean anything, an overwhelming majority of people want the festival to stay at its current location.
The Mountain City Council meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm at City Hall. For more information on the Mountain City government, visit mountaincitytn.org.