By Bill Short
Position 5 Alderman Thomas McGhee, beginning his second term, was elected vice mayor Monday night by his fellow board members.
He was one of two members nominated for the position at the board’s regular monthly meeting.
Alderman Frankie Dakin’s nomination of McGhee was seconded by Alderman Larry Dagen, and Alderman Don Lowry’s nomination of Dagen was seconded by Alderman Al Bell.
McGhee was elected by a 4-3 vote, while Dagen received the support of Alderman Mike Caruthers along with Bell and Lowry.
He succeeds former Position 6 alderman Chris Ford, who was defeated by Mayor Terry Jones in the November 2016 city elections.
Shortly after Monday night’s vote, Dakin noted that the board had “pretty much” just nominated the same vice mayor during the past four years. He said the members should consider “moving it around” next year.
Concurring with Dakin, McGhee said it should be a “rotational position” and not one that becomes “automatic.” He thanked the members who voted for Dagen, calling him “an outstanding alderman.”
“All of you are worthy of this role,” McGhee acknowledged. “But I’m honored to serve in this capacity, and I’ll do so to the best of my ability.”
Then, on a motion offered by Lowry and seconded by Bell, the board voted to make McGhee’s election unanimous.
Under the Millington City Charter, the vice mayor serves a one-year term and is eligible for re-election. In the absence, sickness, inability or disqualification of the mayor for any reason to perform his official duties, the vice mayor is authorized to act in the mayor’s place.
All powers and authority that the Charter gives the mayor are conferred on the vice mayor when he is acting as mayor. And while fulfilling those duties, the vice mayor has the right to vote on all matters coming before the board.
McGhee is the pastor of Little John Missionary Baptist Church and vice president of Jordan’s Lighthouse Ministries, as well as a member of the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce and the Millington Airport Authority.
He and his wife Mary have four children.
McGhee has said three significant issues facing Millington are school funding, economic growth in jobs, businesses and industry and keeping a “steady hand” on the budget. And he has promised to work with the city’s department directors to ensure that “mission-essential” items are included in the budget.
He has said that he has spent the time required to learn and understand the policies and procedures that govern how Millington “does business.” He has also established relationships with municipal leaders from across Shelby County, the state of Tennessee and the nation that benefit the city.
“As an alderman for all,” he has noted, “I am beholden to no particular group. I have well-rounded life experiences that benefit me in making tough decisions.”