Crawford sworn in as city mayor

Dec. 5—The Crossville City Council welcomed a new member last week with the swearing in of newly elected councilman Mike Turner. But the council will need another new member in the coming weeks to fill the remainder of RJ Crawford's term as a councilman after he was sworn in as mayor.

The appointment of a fifth member of the council is on the agenda for the work session set Tuesday at 5 p.m. The council will also discuss the appointment of the city judge and an appointments to the Crossville Regional Planning Commission.

Crawford thanked the large number of people on hand for the swearing-in ceremony, which included a number of his family, he said.

As he looked ahead to his four-year term as mayor, Crawford thanked outgoing Mayor James Mayberry.

"We've been very fortunate to have a mayor the past eight years who's done a phenomenal job for the city," Crawford said.

"My goal is to make sure all the things he's tee'd up, I can take and say I did it, knowing he has done that," he added with a laugh.

Crawford then turned serious, noting the growth taking place in the city and across the county.

"What James has done by partnering with [Cumberland County Mayor] Allen Foster has been very strategic," Crawford said.

He also praised the city's staff, noting they are talented professionals and said they help Crossville "punch above its weight."

"I think we're mighty for the size that we are," Crawford said.

"We're going to keep moving forward. We have an awesome council before us. We've got some decisions to make. For us to continue to have sustained growth, we need to make sure we look at our long-term strategies and not just what the next two or four years will bring us," he said.

Crawford asked the community to get involved and to reach out to him with concerns or "old history" they want to discuss.

"The buck stops here," Crawford said. "Reach out to me.

Turner was joined at the ceremony by his grandsons, Tennessee Turner and Knox Turner, who held a Bible for him as he repeated the oath of office administered by Crossville Judge Ivy Gardner Mayberry.

Turner said, "Thank you, Crossville, for believing in me. I will work hard. I have a lot to learn, a lot of reading to do and a lot of decisions to make. I just want to do like my daddy taught me — use your common sense and study it, and then make a decision."

Turner previously served as fire chief for the Crossville Fire Department.

Councilman Art Gernt was sworn in for his second term on the city council.

"It's been an honor," Gernt said, noting this will be the third council he's served with. "I'm looking forward to working with our new Mayor RJ Crawford.

"I think we're going to have an amazing four years. Crossville's been doing great, and I think it's going to continue to do so."

The Crossville City Council meets the first Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. for a work session followed by its monthly meeting the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. Meetings are held at Crossville City Hall, 392 N. Main St.

Tuesday's meeting will also include discussion of an offer from the owner to sell the Village Inn, purchase of the license plate reader camera system included in the 2022-'23 budget, discussion regarding the Cumberland Plateau Water Authority, repairs to the Palace Theatre wall, and various contracts.

The work session begins at 5 p.m. The council will review items on the agenda and set its agenda for the monthly council meeting, set Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.

The public is invited to attend the meetings.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at