|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Mulberry's Jones up for 2013 Kansas Mayor of the Year

  • Randy Jones may be the top mayor in Kansas.

    He’s just deeply appreciative that those he works with and serves felt him worthy of nomination for the 2013 Kansas Mayor of the Year Award.

    • email print
  • Randy Jones may be the top mayor in Kansas.
    He’s just deeply appreciative that those he works with and serves felt him worthy of nomination for the 2013 Kansas Mayor of the Year Award.
    He said that Tammy Wyland, Mulberry city clerk, and Becky Walden, assistant clerk, told him they had submitted the nomination form to the Kansas Mayors Association, in care of the League of Kansas Municipalities.
    “It was a total surprise to me,” Jones said. “We got  a call last week and they said I’d been picked for the final four. The League goes through all the nominations and picks the finalists, then our peers will vote for the mayor of the year.”
    The award will be presented during the Governing Body Institute and Kansas Mayors Conference, scheduled May 10 and 11 in Topeka. The annual event also includes a selection of workshops and general sessions designed to provide insight into local government issues for elected and appointed city officials, as well as provide useful strategies they can take back to their communities.
    “It’s pretty humbling that the city clerk and employees think that much of me to submit a letter to  the League,” Jones said. “They’ve all been very nice to work with, always looking for something to make the city move along, or at least not  go backward.”
    He grew up in Frontenac and attended elementary and junior high school there before  his family moved to Hutchinson. He returned to  the area in 1980.
    “We lived in Franklin, then we moved to  Pittsburg,” Jones said. “My wife, Mary, grew up  in Mulberry. We saw some positive  changes taking place there and wanted to be part of it, so we moved back there.”
    He and his family have now been in Mulberry for 17 years.
    “The people of Mulberry are very welcoming,  very friendly,” Jones said. “It’s unbelievable the number of events we have in the community, from the homecoming to the Domino Ladies who play dominoes every Wednesday. They just make you want to help out.”
    Big events will include “Orange and Black Night,” the annual Mulberry High School reunion, named in honor of the school’s colors, and the July 4 celebration.
    “We will serve watermelon and hot dogs at the park and we will have fireworks,” Jones said.
    He was elected to  the Mulberry City Council  on April 10, 2006 and was appointed as president of the council. On Oct. 11, 2007, the mayor at that time relocated and resigned the position.
    “Under our rules, the president of the council takes over the mayor’s position if it becomes vacant,” Jones said. “Then I was elected twice, and I’m in the middle of my second elected term.”
    Mulberry has a population of 520, and they all seem to know that they can come to  the mayor with their problems and concerns.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I don’t know how many phone calls the Pittsburg mayor receives, but every night I get a call or somebody pulls into the driveway with a complaint or concern,” Jones said.
    Just this week he has asked to join the Mulberry Volunteer Fire Department. He also served 1 1/2  years on the Northeast USD 246 Board of Education,  has been on the Lighthouse Tabernacle board of directors and was Arma Recreation president for several  years.
    “I love kids,” said Jones, who has a son and a daughter. “I think you have to make sure they  have activities they can participate in. We need to instill in them that what they do will represent them, their families and communities, and maybe they can do better than the last group of people that was here.”
    According to the nomination letter, Jones helps with cooking hot dogs and cutting watermelon on  July 4, cleans the park restrooms every weekend and helps with the flower beds. In the winter he shovels snow for elderly Mulberry residents.
    He also uses vacation time to check grants and different resources that may be available for the community, which has no businesses to generate tax revenue. Jones is proud that Mulberry now has a new backhoe, and hopes there’s a new municipal building in town’s future.
    “Funding is tight and we want to squeeze every penny to get the best building for the best price,” he  said.
    Jones works full-time as purchasing manager at Atkinson Industries, Pittsburg. He has been with the company since 1982.
    The other three finalists for 2013 Kansas Mayor of the Year are Dion Avello of Derby, Kay Jones of Lyndon and Joshua Watson of Ensign. All are small communities.
      • calendar