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Familiar faces ready to help Millington continue to progress

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Back August, Millington Aldermen Chris Ford and Mike Caruthers were reelected to their positions. On New Year's Day they were sworn back with five new colleagues and a new mayor.

Back August, Millington Aldermen Chris Ford and Mike Caruthers were reelected to their positions. On New Year’s Day they were sworn back with five new colleagues and a new mayor.

Among all the new faces that will make up the new Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen, two men sat in the same seat they occupied four years ago among the festivities on New Year’s Day.

Aldermen Chris Ford and Mike Caruthers were sworn into positions 6 and 7 respectively last week in the Harvell Civic Center with first-time peers Bethany Huffman, Hank Hawkins, Frankie Dakin, Larry Dagen and Thomas McGhee. Among historic elected aldermen, the returning Mayor Terry Jones and contemporaries they’ve worked with for years in other capacities, Ford and Caruthers took a moment to reflect on being reelected among so much change.

“I feel honored,” Ford said. “You talk about the humility. You just want to serve the city of Millington. We’re glad the people of Millington recognize and trust us to return to the board to have open minds to serve and be willing to do it again four more years.”

Ford also served half a term replacing Jim Phillips. He is the longest tenure alderman. Caruthers was elected in 2008 and is happy to be back to serve the residents of Flag City.

“I’m very honored and humbled that I was reelected,” he said. “I have to agree with Chris, I’m looking forward to the next four years. The challenge is going to be changing the form of government. It’s going to be some growing pains and some difficulties with it. There have been some concerns from citizens about it. I understand that. I think we’re doing the right things going forward.”

Moving forward, the duo will work with the youngest alderman ever elected in Dakin. The 20-year old Rhodes College student will serve in Position 3. Another history-making alderman is Thomas McGhee at Position 5. The pastor and civic leader is the first African-American elected to a post in Millington.

Huffman, Hawkins and Dagen bring leadership experience from the business world, Millington Central High athletics, Leadership Millington and more.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Caruthers said working with the new board. “In the past I was sort of the outcast of the board because I didn’t always go along with the others. That’s fine and I don’t mind that. But I hope I’m not anymore. I hope we have seven people who are independent thinkers.”

Ford noted a good board isn’t afraid to disagree to find out what is best for the city.

“It’s going to be exciting,” he said. “But it’s also going to have it’s challenges too. We can all learn from each other, new and old. We’re all going to have a different idea of what things need to be done.

“As long we keep an open mind, we can discuss things professionally,” Ford continued. “Millington is the first and foremost of what we’re trying to do. As long as nobody has any agendas, and I don’t think anybody does, I think we’re all willing to work together and discuss things.”

Ford and Caruthers were a part of several discussion over the past four years ranging from forming a new city Charter, creating a municipal school system and Veterans Parkway.

“We have bet our future on Veterans Parkway,” Caruthers said. “We’ve done a real good job of marketing and getting some businesses in here to make it come to fruition. That’s the main thing I see is Veterans Parkway. We need to make some improvements to some of the intersections that we know about already.”

Ford said Veterans Parkway is just one of the foundations of the city that the new board will use to improve the quality of life for Millington residents.

“We’ve worked real hard on a lot of things the people don’t normally see everyday,” he said. “The infrastructure we’ve built is pretty solid. We’ve worked hard on Veterans Parkway on getting things ready for expansion and the growth. We’re poised for that. And we’re excited that what we know behind the scenes, people well start to realize over the next four years.”

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