Meeks passes torch to son

Published 10:56 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Even though the transfer isn’t official, Troy residents at the city council meeting Tuesday watched a passing of the torch.

Charles Meeks, who has served the city for 33 years, chose not to run for re-election and his son Greg Meeks is now councilman-elect after qualifying for the District 2 spot unopposed.

“Mr. Meeks has been absolutely fabulous for the city,” said Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. “You’ve got some big shoes to fill,” he joked with the younger Meeks.

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Meeks said that he felt blessed to have been able to serve the community and was grateful to the city and county for making him at home.

“I may break up a little bit, as I get older I get emotional,” Meeks said. “But I’m not quitting.”

Meeks said he will continue to work in the community to better the city.

The city council on Tuesday voted to declare Meeks, Jason Reeves (mayor) and Johnny Witherington (District 4), elected without opposition.

Reeves’ family was present for the declaration in place of the current councilman of 16 years, who was out of town watching his son win the Pitching Machine Region 2 World Series.

Witherington wasn’t originally unopposed, but candidate Nancy Scott withdrew from the race citing conflict of interest noted in her work’s policy.

“To say that I am not relieved would be an out-and-out lie,” Witherington said with a laugh that triggered chuckles around the room. He noted Scott would have been a formidable opponent if she had remained in the race.

“I am a sentimental person,” Witherington noted before unfurling a campaign poster created by his then 8-year-old son when he first ran for election. It read, “I love Johnny Witherington. Vote for my Daddy.” The sign also was home to a marker-drawn portrait of Witherington.

“You hold things together,” Lunsford said to Witherington at the meeting. “He’s fussed at me. He’s been nice to me. Johnny, you have my utmost admiration.”

The mayor called Witherington his “confidant” who exhibits “decorum,” “strength,” and “fairness.”

Also at the meeting Tuesday, the council voted to appoint election officials; to set the salaries for poll workers at $100 for election day and $25 for a day of training; to allow the mayor/city to apply for assistance as part of the Federal Transit Act to obtain a new vehicle for the Nutrition Center; to reauthorize the Federal Transit Program Agreement; and to authorize matching funds (to be split with the county and Brundidge) of $148,633 for public transportation.

The mayor also was approved to retain expert help to advise the city during choosing a power supplier.

The next scheduled meeting is set for Aug. 15.