What does it take to be the mayor of a small town like White Pine, TN? How much do you know about the town’s current mayor? To give you some insight into who he is and what he does for the town, we interviewed Mayor Glen E. Warren. Here are his answers to our questions.
What inspired you to run for the office of Mayor of White Pine?
I’ve always had a love for the town. When the previous mayor decided he was going to retire, I saw the opportunity to be able to serve the town. I realized it was an opportune time for growth in retail and industrial while still maintaining the small hometown feel of the town. Before becoming mayor, I was an employee of the town for 5 years in Public Works in the Water Department, and when I left, I was the Recreation Director. I had also previously served as Fire Chief for the town. So, I had a broad understanding of what the daily operations of the town were and thought that would be a benefit for the town.
Can you describe what the process was like to become the mayor?
After I decided to run for Mayor, I went out into the town and met with people to see what they thought the needs of the town were. I really enjoyed that time of seeing the people and talking with them about the town and its needs.
What are your main duties as mayor?
Right now, we’re seeing a lot of potential retail development, so I am working with retailers to show them that White Pine is a good fit for their retail locations. Another thing I am working on right now is improving the infrastructures of the town. We have a few projects going on, such as waterline extensions and things like that.
What is your favorite thing about the position?
My favorite thing about being the Mayor of White Pine is probably when we get to see the work that’s being put in come to fruition. Being able to actually see the positive outcomes from the hard work we do is what makes it all worthwhile and keeps me motivated to continue working for the town.
What is the most challenging thing about the position?
The most challenging thing about being the Mayor of White Pine is that sometimes it can be difficult to get everyone to see that we should put the town’s needs first instead of our own personal desires. We all need to work together for the good of the town in order to accomplish what needs to be done and to make the necessary improvements.
You currently hold a job outside of being mayor. How do you balance your responsibilities as mayor with your other job responsibilities?
There’s a lot of time that goes in during the evenings and a lot of vacation days taken to see that the business of the town is done efficiently. Whenever I am not working at my other job, I am working on my mayoral duties. When I first took over as mayor, there would be nights when I was at Town Hall until 11:00 at night so that I could get work done. It has since gotten a little bit easier with being able to check emails from home and things like that.
What is your biggest goal as Mayor?
My biggest goal as Mayor was to try to bring other revenues into the town so that we would not have to rely so heavily on property taxes. We are doing this by bringing in retail and industrial businesses. That is one of the reasons why I got the Industrial Board active once again.
What is your favorite thing about White Pine, TN?
My favorite thing about White Pine would be the hometown feel and how everyone gets along. With our small town, all of our community just feels like everyone is part of one big family. Everybody knows everybody.
How do you like to unwind after a stressful day?
I enjoy going up to the mountains and trout fishing. I like being in the middle of a stream with no one around to have some time to just think and relax.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
It would probably be Spain. I’ve hosted foreign exchange students from Madrid, so I would like to go see them and see their cultures. We have actually had the opportunity to host a total of three foreign exchange students, two from Spain and one from Vietnam. So, I would like to go visit them and see where they live.
What is your favorite movie? Why?
Secondhand Lions. I love that movie. The two older gentlemen just live carefree—they had all the money, but it didn’t mean anything to them. Happiness is what was important and meaningful.
Tell me something interesting about you outside of your work.
I’m a musician. I can play almost every type of instrument. My favorite types of music to play are Bluegrass and Gospel. I got my start in music when I played trumpet in band in middle school, and then it just grew from there.
What drives you the most in life?
I’m driven by my love for the town and what the town has done for me. It has been such a big part of my life. My father retired from being a town employee, and the town has taught me that a feeling of home is more important than most things.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
“No matter what you do, you can’t please everyone.” This is something that I have had to remember both as mayor and in life.
Living in East Tennessee
White Pine, TN, is a charming town with a backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. Our community is proud of our history and are always looking forward to our future.