Eric Young on the “Fine Art” of Being County Administrator

by Billy Chandler

Different strokes for different situations. But it was “brush strokes” that really won the hearts and minds of Eric Young’s neighbors.

Eric Young serves as the County Administrator for Tazewell County. He’s been in that role since 2018, and served as the county attorney for 12 years prior to that. During his tenure as Administrator, he’s had to deal with some big issues. In addition to all the routine issues of water and sewage and trash collection, he has also had to maneuver the intricacies of a worldwide pandemic. 

Painting of a man in a baseball uniform E&H alum Lou Peery (E&H Class of 1970) is among the outstanding Tazewell County residents featured on the mural.But Eric has really made his mark by overseeing a recent art installation. 

The county held a referendum about whether the the Confederate statue in front of the courthouse should stay or go. Citizens voted to keep the statue, so the Board of Supervisors opted to add monuments instead of taking one down.

What they added was a beautiful, colorful, lively mural that is featured on a large brick wall next to the old statue. The mural features some of Tazewell County’s outstanding African American citizens. There’s an attorney, a police officer, teachers, a druggist, and an E&H grad – beloved high school coach Lou Peery (Class of 1970, deceased).

The art tells a broader and more complete history of Tazewell County, and it has been embraced and celebrated by the whole community.

Eric says the mural is dedicated not to those who are painted on the wall, but to those who will see it in the future. “I hope children will see this monument and won’t think of the past – but will think ‘if those folks did all they did against so many odds, how much more can I do.’”

Nothing could have prepared Eric for all the challenges he has faced in his job, but he says he often references classes he had with Dr. Samir Saliba and Dr. Dan Quinlan and Dr. Stephen Fisher. In particular, Dr. Quinlan’s class on the “making of the modern world” gave him a new perspective on all the ways he had previously seen the world.

You can enjoy a conversation with Eric on the Duck Pond Wall podcast, and you’ll catch a crazy story about how a Saliba class prepared him for something he never expected!

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/572-class-notes-updated-fall-2018"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.jpg" alt="Debbie Robinson, son Kristopher, and Eve Solomon during Homecoming 2018." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/454,1152,2310,3008/5629_Debbie_Robinson.rev.1541624931.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1856" data-max-h="1856" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/572-class-notes-updated-fall-2018">Class Notes, Updated Fall 2018</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Keep up with news of your fellow alumni <a href="/live/news/572-class-notes-updated-fall-2018" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3051-friends-of-copey-celebrates-10th-anniversary"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.jpg" alt="People posing on the street smiling." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/409,1350,2259,3200/14301_IMG-6477.rev.1691697676.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1850" data-max-h="1850" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3051-friends-of-copey-celebrates-10th-anniversary">Friends of Copey Celebrates 10th Anniversary</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Ten years of experiences, and 10 years of friendship.</p><a href="/live/news/3051-friends-of-copey-celebrates-10th-anniversary" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1646-eamph-in-the-city-volunteers-honored-by-eamph"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/347,0,887,540/681_EHCITY.rev.1506460929.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/347,0,887,540/681_EHCITY.rev.1506460929.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/347,0,887,540/681_EHCITY.rev.1506460929.jpg" alt="E&H in the City routinely involves more than 60 volunteers. (From Abingdon's event in 2017.)" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="540" data-max-h="540" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1646-eamph-in-the-city-volunteers-honored-by-eamph">E&H in the City Volunteers Honored by E&H Alumni Association</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Emory & Henry in the City Volunteers have been named the 2021 recipients of the Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award. (<a href="https://www.ehc.edu/alumni/get-involved/alumni-awards/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Read more about E&H Alumni Awards</span>.)</a></p><a href="/live/news/1646-eamph-in-the-city-volunteers-honored-by-eamph" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>