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After 8 years, Jones is sworn back into office of Mayor

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Jones, center, was sworn in with the city's Board of Aldermen Bethany Huffman, Hank Hawkins, Frankie Dakin, Larry Dagen, Thomas McGhee, Chris Ford and MIke Caruthers.

Jones, center, was sworn in with the city’s Board of Aldermen Bethany Huffman, Hank Hawkins, Frankie Dakin, Larry Dagen, Thomas McGhee, Chris Ford and MIke Caruthers.

It has been a long wait for Terry Jones to be sworn in again as mayor of Millington.

The last time Jones participated in the ceremony to be the leader of Flag City was back on New Year’s Day of 2005. Since then Millington has had two mayors, elected five new aldermen and is currently changing the charter for a new form of government.

But among all the proposed and coming changes, Jones was elected by the residents to take the office of mayor again beating Dr. Ken Uselton in a runoff election on Nov. 6.

“I’m honored and humbled that the people did come back and decided to vote me in for another term after being out for four years,” Jones said. “They understand we need to get the city going back in the right direction. I’m looking forward to working with the new board of aldermen.

“I think we made history today in Millington,” he added. “We have five new board members. I would say we do have the most diverse board that Millington has ever had.”

Jones sat on the Harvell Civic Center stage with the newly elected board to be sworn in by City Judge Wilson Wages. Position 6 and 7 aldermen Chris Ford and Mike Caruthers were reelected.

Among the newly elected aldermen sworn in with Ford and Caruthers were Bethany Huffman, Hank Hawkins, Frankie Dakin, Larry Dagen and Thomas McGhee.

After the ceremony was completed New Year’s Day 2013, Jones reflected on the change since his last day of being mayor Dec. 31, 2008.

“The whole time when I was mayor four years ago, during the time frame since then, they have gotten Veterans Parkway completed,” he said. “During then, talking to businesses they would say, ‘If you have the roads we’ll come.’ So we finally got the road built. So now we’re waiting on the industries to come. That’s one thing that is key to Millington’s growth and future.

“Taking care and providing the services that our citizens require and that is by economic development,” Jones continued. “I’ve already started working. I’ve been working with the Industrial Development Board and Charles Gulotta. He’s doing an outstanding job out there. I look forward to working with him.”

Jones has also been working with the new board the past few months trying to hire a City Manager among the final four candidates Thomas Christie, Ellis Mitchell, Jack Miller and James “Jim” Coleman. Christie emerged as the favorite for the position. At the time of the swearing in, no contract was approved for the city manager.

During the campaign, one of the top issues for discussion was the new city charter and the mayor coexisting with a city manager. Jones said he is ready for that new challenge for the mayor of Millington.

He added his 8-year of experience in Millington city government will be an asset with a new-look board adjusting to a new form of government.

“From day one, we do have five new aldermen,” he noted. “And we have two that are one-termers. Chris Ford has had half a term before that. Just to have the experience to move forward, I know I was just sworn in today, but I’ve been working with the IDB and the new board. We’ve got the new charter that is in place now.

“One of the first things I said we’re going to do, we’re going to get a charter review committee made up of the people,” Jones added. “So the people can review the charter. Because we know and the board now knows there are some changes in there we still need to get made.”

Jones and the Board of Aldermen were off and running with a special-called meeting held last Thursday. And Monday was the first official regular meeting for the new board.

But the long-awaited moment of being sworn in again as mayor of Millington would be remembered by Jones as a new dawn for Flag City.

“It’s going to be (remembered as) a bright day in Millington’s future,” Jones concluded. “I really feel confident working with the new board. We’ve got so many new and bright ideas coming aboard. They’re not going to be afraid to step outside of the box. With that coming aboard we really have a bright future for Millington.”

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January 2013
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