Newly-elected mayor looks ahead, not back

David Thompson
David Thompson

By Bobbie Poynter

David Thompson can’t wait to get back in the saddle.

The newly-elected mayor is looking forward to building a working partnership with the new city council and community-based organizations with the hope of continually moving the city forward.

“I want everyone to get along, and I have no problem helping anybody if I can,” said Thompson. “but, when you treat others in a wrong way, expect to be treated the same in return. Hopefully, things will go a lot smoother this time around.”

In his last two terms as mayor, Thompson saw numerous improvements to the city of Barbourville, including the city’s park systems, updating of the baseball fields, a boat ramp installed at Thompson Park, the addition of a 100-yard football field and 30 new campsites, just to name a few.

“I felt privileged in becoming mayor behind my father,” said Thompson. “I was there watching him as they developed the Artemus industrial site, raised the floodwall, and got the Stivers Wellness Center project started. I felt it was my job to finish the projects my dad started, and I’m happy to say we did.”

As an independent contractor, small business owner and self-made entrepreneur in the Knox County area for over 30 years, David Thompson is no stranger to hard work.

“While I was still in high school, I learned my work ethics from Linda and Sam Davies and Vance Mills. I worked two jobs while still going to school, afternoons at Mountain Valley Insurance and nights at Crossroads Market. Thanks to these people I have always carried this kind of work ethic, even into adulthood.”

Although Thompson has seen the steady progression of new businesses come to Barbourville, he’s still looking for that one business that will serve as a boon for the city’s future.

“There are so many empty buildings or lots in Barbourville that have been filled with new businesses since I first became mayor,” he said. “But, we still don’t have that one company or corporation that can sustain our adults at a higher rate of pay and keep our people here in town.

“It’s easy to talk about, but it’s a lot harder to accomplish when you have every surrounding town shooting for the same goal. Everyone wants to pull these companies into their community.”

Thompson’s final goal for this term is to see a stronger line of communication between the city and Union College.

“I’d like to see Union’s students get more involved in local activities,” said Thompson. “That way, the students will feel that the town is more like a home away from home.”

David Thompson and his wife Wendy Marie have been married for 12 years. Wendy is the director of Tiny Tots Child Care. The Thompsons have six children, Brittany Trent, 26, who currently works at the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, Candace Thompson, 23, a secretary at the Paul Baker law offices, Landon Gambrel, 19, currently a student at Somerset Lineman Tech Center, Adam Gambrel, 17, a senior at Knox Central High School, Torri Thompson, 16, a sophomore Knox Central, and Devin Thompson, 13, who is in the eighth grade at Knox County Middle School.