As the lobby full of supporters urged him on, Banyas delivered a short, emphatic speech during which he gave reasons for running and took some current commissioners to task for their voting record.
"I know the potential our city has, it's been studied and re-studied. If I'm elected ... growth plans will have my full attention, so we can realize that potential," Banyas said. "While I'm proud of all we've accomplished, I'm still saddened by some of the irresponsible voting that has slowed down this carefully considered progress."
Banyas mentioned "one commissioner" who voted against the Iris Glen methane-to-energy program and "two commissioners" who voted against the city's support of the East Tennessee State University College of Pharmacy.
A dentist for more than 20 years and president of the Johnson City Sports Foundation, the organization which resurrected the financial status of the Johnson City Cardinals, Banyas said his sound business background and ability to deal with people give him the skills and experience necessary to serve on the commission.
Several in attendance agreed with this assessment, including former Mayor Dan Mahoney.
"What it takes in this city is making some good business sense," Mahoney said. "City Hall needs somebody like Jeff."
Vice Mayor Phil Roe, who is seeking re-election in the April 24 election, attended Thursday's session. Incumbent Commissioners Ricky Mohon and Pete Paduch are also seeking re-election, while Johnson City Board of Education member Marcy Walker, Roger Bryant and William "Bud" Hill are seeking their first term on the commission.