New M’Hall aldermen clarify hopes for city

By MARLAN JONES,

Election season has come to an end in Mendenhall, and with its closing two new members have been named to the Board of Aldermen.

The incoming Mayor and Board of Aldermen consists of Mayor Todd Booth, Alderman at Large- Tim Gray, Ward 1-Donnie Thomas, Ward 2-Robert Mangum, Ward 3- Jana Miller, Ward 4-Sandra Weeks.

We had an opportunity to speak with the incoming aldermen and get a clear picture of their expectations entering office.

Sandra Weeks, incoming alderman of Ward 4 said, “I’m excited about working with the mayor and other aldermen.” Weeks explained that she plans to listen to the people and their issues and present them to the board in an effort to find solutions. Her efforts in progress revolve around attracting more businesses and residents. She said, “I want Mendenhall to be a better place for people to move to. I love Mendenhall and I’ve lived here all of my life.” She revealed that she was married outside on the front lawn of the courthouse. She also said that improving streets and the water system would be a priority.

Weeks explained that the only way to move forward would be through working together. She invited members of the community to come and be a part of the board meetings and listen to the discussions and decisions being made. Weeks said, “The community should be more involved because it’s their town and we need to work together.”

A desire for teamwork was the driving force behind Weeks’ decision to run for office. She said, “Working together is the only way to make it better.”

Weeks’ background is in nursing. She explained that she began her nursing career in 1992 and worked for Simpson General Hospital for 25 years. She is recently married and most of her family still lives in Simpson County. She said her passion is the elderly, which is evident from her part time employment at Strong River Villa. Weeks said she recently transitioned to part-time so she would be able to give more to the city.  She said, “Elderly people are very important to our city. If I could be an advocate for anyone it would be the elderly.”

Weeks is a newcomer to politics, and this will be the first office she has held. When asked about making the transition as an alderwoman she said, “I’ve been going to board meetings for almost six months, and I have been really trying to educate myself and learn the ordinances and bylaws of our city.” Even though this recent election was her first, Weeks said she has enjoyed every moment of the experience.

In closing Sandra Weeks said, “I am a woman who speaks her mind and I will stand up for what I believe is right. I didn’t take the position for the money; I didn’t even know what it paid till recently. I believe in our town and I want to see it prosper.” She said, “We need all the support we can get, and any advice or opinions people have I’m always willing to listen.”

Alderman-elect of Ward 1 Donnie Thomas was also available for comment. Thomas said, “This is all new and all I can say is that I want to improve the quality of life in Mendenhall and Simpson County.”

Thomas said that he plans to be the eyes and ears of the people in Ward 1. He said, “I am not going to try to run and change things over night. I am 1 of 5 votes and I am going to vote the way the people in my ward would want me to.” This is Thomas’s first political office and he said he plans to do whatever can be done to make Mendenhall a better place.

The Mendenhall Mayor and Board of Alderman are scheduled to be sworn in on June 30 at 9:00 a.m.