SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — Major changes will be coming to the city government this fall after both Mayor Mike Killian and Vice Mayor Charles Reynolds recently announced they will not seek re-election in November.
Killian said he decided not to seek re-election "some weeks ago" and has had discussions about the job with two possible candidates.
So far, only Marion County Commissioner Jane Dawkins, who in the 1980s was the first woman to serve as a South Pittsburg city commissioner, has announced she will run for mayor.
"I went into this telling the people who supported me that I would serve two terms, and I have almost served those two terms," Killian said. "I will serve out my term the same way that I have served it thus far."
Killian said he wanted to clear up any confusion about his plans and leave plenty of time for anyone interested in the position to prepare.
"I wouldn't try to interfere with the way [the next mayor] governs the city after I'm not here, but I would be here if they needed me," he said. "I'd be happy to advise them, and do anything they needed me to do as long as they didn't want me to do too much."
The town is being left in a good position for whoever takes over as mayor, Killian said.
"We've done a lot of good work here, and there needs to be a lot of good work done in the future," he said. "I think things are going well, and we need to keep it up. I have every confidence that will be done."
Reynolds, who soon will wrap up his 23rd year as a city commissioner, said he has served on the board long enough.
"I'm not going to stay too long. I think [23 years] is long enough," he said. "Give somebody else a chance."
Though the job can be stressful, Reynolds said, he will miss it.
"I've enjoyed a lot of it, and I will miss it," he said. "I'll miss the people because I love working with people."
Killian said he doesn't know what his political future will hold.
"Someday I may run again, or I may not," he said. "The ones who have supported me and the ones who didn't support me but have supported this city, I want them to know that I appreciate all of them."
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.