Back to the County

Jimmie: So, after a second eight years, term limits got me. (Laughter.) Camilla: The same thing you initiated? Jimmie: Yes, it came back to bite me. I would have loved to run again. I didn’t aspire to go back to the county. The last two and a half years that I was mayor, I’d sold the cleaners. I gave full time to the City. I didn’t get more money. I got $400 a month that last eight years. I was fortunate. I always won in the primary. I got as high during the course of 14 elections as 83% of the vote and that was my last term as mayor.

I was asked to run again for Supervisor. All the kids had graduated from college and two of my girls were married. Some of the expensive things were over. “Would you consider coming back?” The supervisor, at that point, had said he was thinking of running for state senator and or County Recorder. I agreed to run, announced, lined up some money to help me campaign, and then, Mr. [Dean] Weatherly, the incumbent Supervisor, decided he WOULD run again. He was not too happy with me, but I was committed. I beat him in the primary. I didn’t announce until April when I was in my last year because it’s state law that you cannot announce earlier without resigning. My wife said, “Don’t you want a gap, some time to yourself?” But, quite honestly, I didn’t want to test fate and I wouldn’t have had any insurance during the time between one office and the other. So I served until December 31 as Mayor and took office as Supervisor on January 1. I’m currently in my third term back and my 40th year as an elected official. The combination, 16 years as Mayor and four years as Councilman, means that I’ve served twice as long as any other mayor. Mr. [Bob] Mitchell had put forward a ballot measure to do away with term limits, but the voters chose not to do that. But it wasn’t a planned thing on my part to go from the City to the county and back.

If you look at 1985 to 2004, I went 20 years straight years in elected office both in the City and in the county, forty years total with one year and a half break (1963-2004). My Dad always told me, “It’s a two way street. You don’t just take, you give back.” Later years, he got a little upset because he thought maybe I was spending too much time with the City, but he encouraged me to be active in the community. In practice, he’d give money and support to his town. This town has been very good to me and to my family. People helped guide me including teachers, neighbors, parents of friends. We raised our family here and we still have two businesses here and live in the same home. This town is what supported us and it was an honor for me to represent the people of this town. I’ve seen a lot of progress and am proud to have been a part of it.

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