The City of Townsend was chartered in 1921 by folks who were involved with the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company. Those folks saw the benefit to the citizens with a collective voice representing the needs and desires of the people. The City operates under a charter by which the parameters of its boundaries and codes are defined.
The main source of revenue is the state sales tax collected by city businesses. The City of Townsend has no property tax. Some of the other sources of revenue to the City are: in lieu of taxes, franchise taxes, beer taxes, and road taxes.
The City provides services to the people. Some are police protection; street maintenance; street lighting; fire protection through paid subscriptions for City residents to the Townsend Volunteer Fire Department; planning; zoning and recreation.
The City of Townsend holds to the commission form of government. The Commission is made up of 5 commissioners. The five commissioners are elected to 4 year terms. Seats are staggered so 3 are elected and then two years later 2 are elected.
The 5 elected commissioners then elect one of their number to be Mayor. The Mayor serves for two years. In the same manner the elected Commissioners then elect one of their number to serve their City in the capacity of Vice-Mayor.
The Current commission is made up of the following elected public officials:
- Mayor: Michael Talley
- Vice-Mayor: Becky Headrick
- Commissioner: Ron Palewski
- Commissioner: Jackie Suttles
- Commissioner: David Wietlisbach
Kenneth Myers was appointed as the City Council Representative liason to the Townsend Alumni Association as they work toward restoration of the old high school building, which is now being used as the Townsend City Office, Townsend Police Headquarters, and Alumni Association meeting facility.
The City of Townsend holds it regular monthly meeting the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Sometimes that has to change for reasons not predicted by the staff and Commission so please check the local paper to see if we have had to re-schedule a meeting.
The City of Townsend employs a full-time recorder, part-time building inspector, a full-time maintenance person, a full time police chief and three police officers.
Office hours are Monday-Thursday: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and Friday: 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
If you would like to speak with someone about the city, a new permit, or any issue pertaining to our fine city please call 865-448-6886.
The City of Townsend also has a Municipal Planning Commission that meets the second Thursday of every month at the City office. These folks have the responsibility to follow the guidelines of the Zoning and Sub-division laws of the City and to review and approve site plans and sub divisions.
The Members of the Planning Commission are : Chairman Sandy Headrick, Vice Chairman Jo Anne Funk, Secretary Steve Fillmore, Mayor Mike Talley, Commissioner David Wietlisbach, Alicia McClary, and Chester Richardson.
If you would be interested in volunteering to serve on the Planning Commission please contact the Mayor.
Please direct any comments to P.O. Box 307, Townsend, TN 37882.
2015 Annual Townsend 4th of July Fireworks.
An estimated 6,000 people were in attendance this year.