published Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Red Bank Vice Mayor Greg Jones leaving for church ministry job... in Alaska

Red Bank Vice Mayor Greg Jones is leaving the city and his elected position to accept a church ministry job in Anchorage, Alaska.

"I've gotten a once-in-a-lifetime, God-given opportunity and I'm taking it,"Jones said Monday.

He declined to give the timetable for his departure, saying he wanted to discuss that with the Red Bank Board of Commissioners at a meeting today.

"One thing that is very important to me is to help the city find a new city manager," he said.

Jones was one of three commissioners who abruptly voted to terminate former City Manager Chris Dorsey in early October.

Mayor Monty Millard said Jones broke the news of his own departure to him Saturday.

"Greg has been a wonderful person to work with on the commission," Millard said. "I hate to see him leave, but this is a calling he feels he's had from a higher power, and he's very serious about his work with youth."

After Jones submits his resignation, which Millard said he expects by the end of the year, the board of commissioners will interview candidates and vote on Jones' replacement.

Jones is a district commissioner, so his replacement must live in his district, which extends from Newberry Street to Stringer's Ridge Tunnel and south of Martin Road.

The board does not have a mandatory time limit to name a replacement, said City Attorney Arnold Stulce Jr., but an appointment will last until the city's November 2012 elections. At that point, whoever is voted in will finish out the remaining two years of Jones' term.

Jones lived in Anchorage from 1991 to 1999 when he served with the U.S. Air Force. He met his wife at the church where he will be working, he said.

Jones moved to Red Bank after retiring from the service in early 2008 and has served as children's pastor at Bethel Temple Assembly of God for three years.

He was elected Red Bank commissioner in November 2008, and became vice mayor in November 2010.

"I've got a lot of roots in Chattanooga, and I'm obviously very committed to the city," he said. "I would never uproot my family if this wasn't a God-thing."

Contact staff writer Kate Harrison at kharrison@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6673.

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