New Jackson City Council members take oath of office

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson City Council meeting was packed with attendees as the newly elected council members took their oath of office Thursday morning.

Mayor Scott Conger says it is always great to have a good turnout.

“It is great to see a room full of people here anytime we have a council meeting,” Mayor Conger said. “We have five brand new council members, so it’s great to have the opportunity that they want to serve. We’ve had some great conversations already, and I am looking forward to serve with them.”

The five new members are JP Stovall, Candice Busby, Julie Holt, Frank McMeen and Larry Lowrance.

A new state law was put into effect at this meeting regarding the public being able to speak at these City Council meetings. You can now write your name down at the door prior to the meeting, choose one of the items on the agenda you want to speak on, say whether you are opposed to, in support of, or neutral to the item, as well as provide your address. Mayor Conger then called their name out to come speak to the council.

“I think that the public comment piece is a work in progress for us,” Mayor Conger said. “We’ve had a public comment section for items on first reading. So the new law went into effect July 1st from the legislature. So we’re trying to make sure everyone’s voice is heard and following the law. I think we have to tweak a couple of words in there to make everything clear. But yeah, we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to be heard.”

Mayor Conger went on to say that the meetings are not the only opportunity to be heard. All of the council members have their contact information published and they are able to reach out to his office as well.

Mayor Conger talked about a two-day orientation that the council members recently had. New council member Frank McMeen of District Five talks about that experience.

“That was very helpful, when you begin to look at all of the aspects of the city and how the city serves,” said McMeen. “That was good for us to know. Like today, we were able to touch base with some of those folks again. It will be nice to learn more about how the city serves our communities and how we can help.”

McMeen talked about how excited he and his fellow council members are to work together to serve the city.

The council also elected council member Russ McKelvey as the Vice Mayor, and Councilman Johnny Dodd as Treasurer.

Mayor Conger said the orientation was very strategic in trying to have the councilmembers familiar with their roles.

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