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Mayoral Runoff: Ready to Lead Again

Star Staff Reports

Terry Jones spent four years in Millington City Hall before losing to Richard Hodges in 2008. He is seeking a return to the office of Mayor on Nov. 6.

In a month, Terry Jones hopes to make a return to the post of mayor of Millington after four years away.

Jones lost a close race to Richard Hodges back in 2008. And with the encouragement of friends, family and the some of the business community he tossed his named back in the pool of candidates earlier this year for the position.

On Aug. 2, Jones earned nearly 40 percent of the votes to finished second to Dr. Ken Uselton and ahead of Debra Sigee. With no one earning more than 50 percent of the vote, Jones and Uselton are now in a runoff for mayor.

Jones said economic gains he help bring to Millington during his four-year term from 2005-09 show he is the man for the job. With some of his visions like Veterans Parkway under construction, Jones’ impact is still benefiting Millington.

1. How does it feel to be in a runoff?

It is always disappointing to not win outright in the primary election, but I was pleased with the outcome.  You had three great choices to choose from and all had very good showings.  Mrs. Sigee had a strong showing and Dr. Uselton had a very strong showing with the support of his congregation.  I can say that this is a situation that I have been in before.  This is my fourth time to run for public office in Millington and it is my third runoff election.  I will say that I was disappointed in the voter turnout of a little over 25% of the total registered voters in the city.  I look forward to the runoff election with the Nov. 6 General Elections, due to the fact that it usually brings out hundreds of more voters in Millington.  The extra time since the primaries has allowed me more opportunities to talk with more citizens and to listen to their concerns and recommendations, which I look forward to implementing if elected.  I encourage every registered voter to exercise their right to go to the polls and vote and have a voice in the future of the direction they would like to see their city go.

2. What will be your mindset working with the new board, form of government?

I look forward to working with the incumbents and the newly elected board members.  The citizens let their voices be heard in this election and gave Millington the most diverse board in its history.  The new members can offer new and fresh ideas which opens up great opportunities to get a new perspective for our city’s government.  New perspective may not be the best term to use with all of the recent changes in our form of government.  I have been dedicated to the pursuit of being Mayor throughout the changes from a full-time to a part-time position as Mayor.  We all know that there is no such thing as a part-time Mayor.  You only have to look at the Mayor’s position and the job that they are doing in surrounding communities with City Managers.  So, full-time or part-time I look forward to the challenges that will come with the position and will give the time and effort that is required to accomplish the goals set by the board.  I chose to make Millington my home and I only want to improve its image, take care of the city’s most valuable asset, its employees, and see it flourish with all of the economic opportunities that lie ahead.

3.  What is the biggest issue moving forward?

It is tough trying to prioritize the wants and needs of a community this size.  The biggest issue really depends on whom you are talking with.  Personally, I think that the biggest issue right now is building trust with the citizens of our community and taking care of needs and the services that the citizens of this community expect and deserve.

Millington is a diamond in the rough and with the infrastructure improvements that have happened over the past few years, the city is poised for the economic growth and development that will bring the industries and businesses to our community to provide the jobs that are needed to secure our future.  We have the third largest runway in the state, railway access, I-69, I-269 and now Veterans Parkway to provide easy access to the industrial property.  The economic development of our community will ensure the tax base that we will need for all the services that the citizens deserve, including schools, providing a minimal tax burden on the property owners.

4. Why should you be the next mayor of Millington?

Millington has gone through significant changes in the past year.  We can not afford to dwell on the past because we can not change it, but we can look forward to the future and work on a vision to make our city a better place to raise our families, live, work and worship. As part of the state’s Three Star Program, Millington leaders came up with Vision 2010 and it was updated annually until the state replaced the program a few years ago.  I have been involved and worked with city leaders since the late 1990s while still on active duty with the Navy, transferring the excessed federal property to the city of Millington.  I have served as Alderman and Mayor for this great city and I believe that it is that experience that Millington needs to move forward.

The citizens have voted to change more than 70 percent of our board and with that we have lost a great deal of corporate knowledge. We do not have time for on the job training in this critical leadership position.

Millington needs someone that has maintained contact with developers and others that are interested in investing in our community and to follow up on those leads.  I am and will remain focused on the future of our city.

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