Eldreth named new Jefferson mayor

Wil Petty Staff Writer

December 24, 2013

In the monthly meeting of the Jefferson Board of Aldermen, Bluferd Eldreth was sworn in as mayor of the town of Jefferson.

Eldreth took the oath on Monday, Dec. 23, at the Jefferson Town Hall. He replaces Dana Tugman, who passed away earlier in the month.

“We thank everyone for their support,” Eldreth said, after taking the oath of office. “We’re sorry that we lost our mayor. I wish he could on and served his term. We’ll carry on the best we can.”

Eldreth had won reelection to the Jefferson Board of Aldermen in last month’s elections. In last month’s meeting, Eldreth became mayor pro tem following the resignation of former mayor Tugman.

Following Eldreth’s acceptance of the office, the Board then moved to nominate a replacement for Eldreth’s position on the Board. The Board nominated and unanimously approved Jefferson citizen Mike Herman, who serves as a member on the Museum of Ashe County History’s Board of Directors, to take Eldreth’s place as alderman.

The Board elected to have Herman take the oath of office at the meeting so he could start voting and fulfill his role as alderman immediately.

Herman will serve the remainder of Eldreth’s term as alderman, which will run through November of 2017.

The board unanimously selected alderman Charles Caudill to serve as mayor pro tem.

Remembering Mayor Tugman

The Board unanimously approved a resolution honoring the former mayor of Jefferson.

Town Manager Cathy Howell read the resolution to the Board before its approval.

The resolution touched on the former mayor’s recent resignation and passing, as well as his accomplishments as a community leader.

“The board recognizes Mayor Tugman’s outstanding service to the public in his capacity for many years serving on several boards, such as the Jefferson Board of Aldermen, High Country Council of Governments, Ashe Civic Center, Ashe Partnership for Children, Ashe Services for Aging, Skyline telephone and Ashe Memorial Hospital,” the resolution reads. “(Tugman) was given the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award and the numberless contributions he has made in his role of leadership in the church, cultural, civic and political affairs of Ashe County.”

The resolution reads that “a deep and affectionate appreciation to be expressed to Dana Tugman for his great and good guidance in the affairs of the town.”

“I wish he could have gotten (the resolution) before he passed away,” Eldreth said.

Alderman Mark Johnston, in response, said Tugman knew how the Board felt about him.

In other action:

. The Board unanimously approved November’s minutes.

. Jefferson Town Hall will be closed for New Year’s Day.

. The Board will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014.

. In attendance were: Aldermen Charles Caudill, Mark Johnston, Mike Herman and Luther Anderson, Mayor Bluferd Eldreth, Town Manager Cathy Howell and Water Resources Director Tim Church.