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Taking the Oath Newly elected mayor, aldermen sworn in at Civic Center ceremony

By Bill Short
As family members and friends watched, the newly elected Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen was sworn in this afternoon in the Harvell Civic Center Auditorium. With City Judge Wilson Wages administering the Oath of Office, the board members vowed to support the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions, the new Millington City Charter and ordinances and to “faithfully and impartially” perform all their duties. They affirmed that they are not under any direct or indirect obligation to approve the appointment of any person as a police officer, firefighter or any other position in the city. And they swore that they will not become interested directly or indirectly, “nearly or remotely,” for themselves or for others, in any contract for “work, materials, supplies, services or purchases” of any kind made by the city. Newly re-elected Mayor Terry Jones succeeds Interim Mayor Linda Carter, who was elected by the board last January to serve the remainder of Richard Hodges’ term after he retired. Jones previously served as mayor from 2004-2008. He is currently the owner of Jones Insurance Agency in Millington, working with Farmers Insurance Group. He has said the first action he will take in his new term is to “open the doors and ears” of City Hall to listen and act on the concerns of Millington residents. “I know there is a lot of misinformation,” he has noted, “and there are also a lot of great ideas out there right now for improving Millington’s public image.” Jones will preside at a special called meeting of the new board at 6 p.m. today in the Board Chamber at City Hall. Position 1 Alderman Bethany K. Huffman succeeds Keith Barger, who chose not to seek re-election. A certified public accountant, she is the first woman elected to the board since Carter retired in 2008. Huffman has recommended a “thorough review” of all city ordinances, repeal of outdated or inapplicable ones, and the fair and consistent enforcement of those remaining. She also recommends appointment of a “broader, more diverse range” of qualified residents to fill vacancies on the city’s other boards and commissions. Position 2 Alderman Hank Hawkins succeeds Jimmy Pike, who chose not to seek re-election. A teacher at Millington Central High School, he believes a committee comprised of residents and a few elected officials should be appointed to review the new City Charter and annually recommend potential changes. Frankie Dakin succeeds Don Lowry as Position 3 alderman. A student at Rhodes College in Memphis, he is the youngest person elected to the board in the city’s history. Dakin has recommended the passage of an Adequate Information Ordinance. “I will make it my responsibility to ensure that the city provides residents with detailed information about city services and how the city spends their taxes,” he has said. “A better flow of information will ensure transparency, engage residents and provide adequate answers when they have questions.” Larry Dagen succeeds Jim Brown as Position 4 alderman. Owner and operator of Dagen’s Living Water Bookstore, he believes the city ordinances should be regularly reviewed with input from residents for possible amendments. Citing an example, Dagen has said the existing Sign Ordinance must be revisited to ensure that both the community and businesses benefit. Position 5 Alderman Thomas McGhee succeeds Brett Morgan, who was elected by the board in May 2011 to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Albert Hutcheson. A conflict resolution specialist for the Department of the Navy and pastor of Little John Missionary Baptist Church in Woodstock, McGhee is the first elected African-American board member in the city’s history. Like Huffman and Dagen, he also recommends a thorough review of all existing and proposed city ordinances. But to allow for public comment, he f

Wages puts the official stamp on one of the aldermen's form.

Wages puts the official stamp on one of the aldermen’s form.

 

Moments before being sworn in, the eight members of the new Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen gather for a quick review of the ceremony with City Judge Wilson Wages.

Moments before being sworn in, the eight members of the new Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen gather for a quick review of the ceremony with City Judge Wilson Wages.

avors postponing the implementation of any proposed changes to ordinances or resolutions. Position 6 Alderman Chris Ford and Position 7 Alderman Mike Caruthers were both re-elected. A State Farm Insurance agent, Ford has recommended that the board “closely examine” the new City Charter and “carefully consider” the qualifications of the applicants for the new city manager position. He also believes the board needs to protect the city’s future growth possibilities by reviewing the Zoning Ordinance and annexed areas. The owner of USA Properties, Caruthers has recommended revision of the Zoning and Sign ordinances to make Millington more “business-friendly,” while retaining its “small-town values.”

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