Erwin’s Doris Hensley named Mayor of the Year by Tennessee Municipal League

Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley was named the 2019 Mayor of the Year by the Tennessee Municipal League at their 80th Annual Conference in Memphis.
Each year since 1954, the Tennessee Municipal League has honored a city mayor that typifies the attributes of intelligence, effectiveness, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice.
To honor her service to her community as a leader not afraid to take innovative approaches to better her community, TML is proud to announce Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley has been selected as the 2019 Mayor of the Year.
Hensley was working to serve her community long before she was first elected mayor of Erwin in 2012. She spent 30 years as an administrative assistant and town recorder for Erwin before retiring and then took a job as a part-time municipal budgeting advisor for UT-MTAS in 2007.
She also served as part-time executive director of the Unicoi County Economic Development Board and has worked as the accountant for the Unicoi County Emergency Communications District.
When Judy Dulaney, city recorder for nearby Bluff City, became ill in 2015, Hensley also stepped up to help out as a part-time budgeting assistant in addition to her mayoral duties in Erwin.
That same year, Erwin faced one of the biggest challenges in its history. The CSX railyard that had been the backbone of the area economy for decades closed, leaving around 360 area residents without jobs.
The domino effect saw the closure of another company, creating the loss of 180 additional jobs in the town of around 6,000.
In response, Hensley created a brain trust of young Erwin residents, a group of Millennial professionals and residents who created the group RISE Erwin. Working with the city council, RISE Erwin helped create a new annual outdoors festival for the town, a weekly farmers market, and residences popping up above downtown retail shops after changes to town zoning ordinance. The addition of liquor-by-the-drink has also allowed restaurants to expand their offerings.