By Bill Short
Position 7 Alderman Mike Caruthers is unopposed for a third term in the Nov. 8 Millington city elections.
He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in industrial technology from Tennessee Technological University and a Master of Arts Degree in business management from Central Michigan University.
He retired from the U.S. Army after 26 years in various Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Ordnance Commands, while completing his career as a staff officer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C.
Caruthers is the owner of USA Properties in Millington. Elected an alderman in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, he has been a member of the Millington Municipal Planning Commission for the past four years.
He chaired the Transition Team to assist in the creation of the Millington Municipal School System. As a member of the Millington Kiwanis Club, he served as its president in 2001 and 2002 and its treasurer for the past 12 years.
He and his wife Claudia have two children and five grandchildren.
After the newly elected or re-elected mayor is sworn in, Caruthers will recommend that Millington’s ordinances and resolutions be reviewed to ensure that they are “supportable and enforceable” and have “no negative impact” on the city’s residents.
He also believes every effort must be exerted to emphasize making Millington a more “business-friendly” city.
Asked to list three significant issues in this election, Caruthers cited ensuring the success of the school system, attracting more businesses and industries and soliciting more input from residents to help guide the mayor and aldermen.
“We’ve bet our future on two things in Millington,” he noted. “One is our own school system, and the other is Veterans Parkway. Both must succeed.”
He said the Board of Mayor and Aldermen needs to schedule “quarterly meetings” with the school board to discuss funding, status of the school system and future capital improvements. He also believes each alderman should attend the school board meetings as often as possible to “stay abreast” of school issues.
While acknowledging that the city is “trying really hard” to market Veterans Parkway, Caruthers said the “codes and standards” for it may need to be re-examined.
“We’ve got it pretty stringent,” he noted, “as far as building codes and what they have to build in there to get it started.”
Caruthers said a board comprised of business owners, aldermen and interested residents should be appointed to develop a “detailed plan” to attract more businesses and ensure that existing ones are successful.
He said the city board can improve its communications with the public by using “various media outlets” to encourage residents to contact the aldermen and attend various meetings.
Calling the lack of residential growth the biggest concern facing Millington at this time, Caruthers said very few houses have been constructed here in the past eight years. He also noted that several businesses have closed, and nothing has moved into their vacant buildings.
Without residential growth and the increased property taxes that accompany it, Caruthers said the city’s main source of income is its sales tax.
“That’s why it all revolves around making Millington a place where people either want to live or spend their money,” he concluded. “Millington has to grow businesses and rooftops to sustain both the schools and infrastructure.”