By Ashley Rader
After nearly five years as Elizabethton’s city manager, Fred Edens prepares to say goodbye as his retirement draws
closer … but hopes it will not be a permanent departure from city government.
Edens, who will retire Jan. 4, said he plans to run for a seat on council in the next election, in 2014.
“It is not goodbye for good,” Edens said.
“I hope to be back in two years as an active participant and council member. I didn’t want to become disengaged with the community and the government. I still care about the people, the employees, everybody. I pretty much know it from the inside out. It has sort of become a part of me. It is hard for me to let go.”
Edens was hired as city manager in April 2008. He served in the Army for 22 years and with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services before coming to work in Elizabethton. While this was Edens’ first city manager position, he said it was not very different from his previous managerial experiences in the military and with his other jobs.
“My entire life has been in roles of leadership of various kinds,” Edens said. “Managing the city was not that different from other management positions I have had. From the time I stepped into the office and assumed the position, it was basically doing the same thing I had done several times before in my life, but in a civilian role. I feel very at home here.”