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READERS’ CHOICE MAN OF THE YEAR: Ed Haley

Man of Year Ed Haley 2Last February a familiar name was rumored to be the next Millington city manager.
By March 1 native son Ed Haley stepped into the position of helping Flag City stay on track with public services, help development and continue the progress of the Millington Municipal Schools.
Less than a year Haley has faced  challenges like the city’s budget and naming a new Millington Police Chief after some controversy. Through it all he has made himself available to department leaders, the Board, Mayor Terry Jones, those affiliated with the school district and residents.
Some of those residents have witnessed Haley’s work since March and voted him 2016 Millington Star Reader’s Choice Man of the Year.
“Surprised and thankful,” Haley said of his honor. “My response would be, ‘It’s not Ed Haley. Just the work of a lot of good people I’ve been associated with. It’s a team-building effort to address some of the issues and challenges we face.’
“It’s been 10 months,” he added. “It’s been exciting and a challenge. Of course I enjoy people. With problems come opportunities, we’ve had some problems. But we’ve had a lot of opportunities. It gave us a chance to work with the Board, the mayor and the department heads. And we’ve worked with the citizens who we provide the services for. We let them give us input on what they see our weaknesses are and where we can make improvements. We’re stretched but we’re trying our best to address the issues we’re aware of.”
One issue that sparked controversy in Millington in 2015 was the city’s budget and how much money would be given to MMS. In some people’s eyes it was the Millington Board of Alderman and Mayor vs. the Millington School Board and Director of Schools Dr. David Roper.
“The largest challenge I faced and addressed was getting the local mayor and board working with the superintendent, education Board,” Haley recalled, “with the municipal school district to understand clearly that we want to support the municipal school with everything we possibly can afford. Education is critical to the well-being this city.
“I think Dr. Roper, Don Holsinger and now Mr. (Cody) Childress who is the current chairman of the school board and all the members have worked hard to address the issues they face,” he continued. “At the same time, I think the Mayor and our Board are trying to do the same thing and share equally where we can. At the same time provide sanitation service that is good, a fire and police department that can respond, pubic works department that can address the water, sewer and street maintenance.”
Haley said the situation gave Millington a chance to unite and move forward for the sake of the children.
“I see it as the greatest accomplishment, because of unity, getting the schools and the city working together and understanding that nobody wanted to take their money away from them,” he said. “We wanted to make the money expand to where it could fill all the needs for the services that are required.”
Haley said part of his job is to serve all the students sitting in a desks at EA Harrold, Millington Elementary, Millington Middle or Millington Central High schools. He also has a responsibility to their parents, workers and others who live in Flag City.
“That’s the most important thing to let the people know we work for them,” he said. “We serve the citizens of this town. Sometimes that gets into the wrong direction. I’ve been in some areas to where they thought the people worked for us instead of us working for them. In government that’s not the way it is.”
The man who grew up on a farm in Millington said it takes good people and help from Above to be in a position to receive an honor like Man of the Year.
“If I had any success, my faith and trust in Jesus Christ gives me direction to go,” he said. “The other thing is the ability to work with our department heads and our city’s elected officials to let them know that we are committed to provide the very best services our limited funds will allow us to do. Including that of making sure our budget can take on what we can for our school on and above what is required by state law.”
Now Haley joins the list of Readers’ Choice Man of the Year honorees.
“I’m very humbled that anybody would vote for a almost 78-year old man to be a Man of the Year for the city that I love,” he concluded. “You’ve had a lot of good people in prior who have been selected because of their dedication and support of the city. I’m honored to be among those.”

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