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ON THE BALLOT 2016: Ervin challenging Huffman for Alderman in Position 1

By Bill Short
MLS-09-01-ON THE BALLOT 2016 SIG

Bethany Huffman

Bethany Huffman

Missy Ervin

Missy Ervin

Position 1 Alderman Bethany K. Huffman, seeking her second term, is being challenged by Missy Boyd Ervin in the Nov. 8 Millington city elections.
A 1991 graduate of Millington Central High School, Ervin has a bachelor’s degree in financial services from The University of Memphis and is employed as a Special Education assistant at Millington Elementary School.
She is a member of the MES Parent/Teacher Association, Millington Middle School Parent/ Teacher/Student Association and its Band Boosters, the Delta Gamma Alumnae Association and is involved in the children’s ministry at West Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Ervin and her husband Joe have two children – son Tate and daughter Rilee.
A 1990 graduate of The University of Memphis, Huffman has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in accounting. Since 2003, she has been the owner of Huffman CPA in Millington.
She is a graduate of Leadership Millington’s 1996 inaugural class and, since 1999, has chaired its Steering Committee for program content and delivery.
Huffman has been a member of the Millington Rotary Club since 2004 and served as its president from 2008-09. She is the District 6800 treasurer and its governor-elect for the 2017-18 year.
A member of the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce since 2001, Huffman served as chairman of its Board of Directors in 2004 and received its Person of the Year Award in 2007.
She is a founding member of the Patriot Bank’s Board of Directors and has chaired its Audit Committee since 2001.
A lifelong member of the Millington First United Methodist Church, Huffman currently chairs its Finance Committee.
She is a member of the Advisory Board for The University of Memphis School of Accountancy and District 8 secretary for the Tennessee Municipal League.
Both candidates recently responded to the following questions prepared and distributed by The Millington Star:
1. What suggestions would you make to the newly elected mayor regarding ordinances or resolutions to be passed or amended?
Ervin said the existing ones should first be enforced, and the public’s opinion should be sought before any new ones are adopted.
Huffman said the “thorough review” of ordinances approved during the past four years should continue. And any that are “outdated” or no longer applicable should be removed, while the remaining ones continue to be enforced “fairly and consistently.”
“The Sign Ordinance has been greatly improved,” she said. “We need to formally identify a business/commercial zone in our beer/alcohol-related ordinances to allow for smart growth.”
2. List three significant issues in this election.
Ervin cited the municipal school system, the city’s employees and the need to provide a “safe outlet” for children and families, while Huffman listed economic development, the school system and quality of life.
3. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues if elected or re-elected?
Ervin said she will work with the Millington School Board to “stay on top of” its needs and be aware of possible grants/programs to help the school system.
She will examine the budget to reallocate money for the city’s employees and benefits and supply the Millington Arts, Parks and Recreation Department with “adequate tools” and funding.
Ervin also plans to seek “family-friendly” businesses to build or locate in “vacant spots” around the city.
Huffman said she will continue to “partner” with the Chamber, Millington Industrial Development Board, Shelby County and the state of Tennessee to attract quality commercial, residential and industrial growth that will enhance the city’s tax base and bring “skilled jobs and housing opportunities.” She will also encourage businesses to locate along the Navy Road corridor and Old Town area.
She pledged to continue “fiscally responsible” funding in partnership with the school board to balance the needs of the school system’s five-year capital improvements plan with those of the city to support a “strong quality of education” for Millington students.
Huffman also plans to continue working in partnership with the county and state to ensure that the projects for the Resiliency Grant (flood control) and the Discovery Nature Park (Greenprint/Farmers Market) are completed to enhance amenities for the city’s residents.
4. What do you think is the biggest concern facing the city at this time?
Ervin said residents leaving the area because of a lack of “amenities and activities” for families results in a “lack of stability.”
Huffman cited the requirement to balance the needs of an “aging city infrastructure,” along with “smart growth” attracting development and enhanced amenities for all residents, while maintaining a “stable tax rate.”
She said working to provide a “cohesive, financially sound” strategic plan will help residents have faith in elected leaders to guide the city forward.
5. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking or seeking to retain?
Noting that she is a “lifetime” Millington resident, Ervin said she is the treasurer of West Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the former treasurer of the DGAA and MES PTA.
“I have a degree in financial services with a concentration in real estate,” she said. “So, I know the importance of understanding budgets and how they work.”
Huffman said her “hometown heart,” combined with her business training and leadership capabilities, allowed for “smart, fiscally minded” decisions representing all Millington residents during her first term in office. She said that will continue if she is re-elected.
“I bring a sense of pride and lifelong appreciation for the history of Millington,” she noted, “coupled with a desire for a progressive, economically dynamic future and strong quality of life.”

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