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By PEYTON ELLIOTT
Comparing his first mayoral stint in 2001 to now, former educator Lanny Thomas said there is one drastic difference – the money.
Thomas’ second stint as Mayor of Trion is underway after Chattooga County Probate Court Judge Gary Woods swore him in and returning council members Jeff “Fro” Wilson, Becky McWhorter-Wright and Mickey McGraw on Monday morning.
“It feels a lot better to be mayor now because we actually have money,” Thomas said. “When I came in before, I think we had $500k total. Now, as of Dec. 29, the total for all our funds is over $3.3 million. That’s a huge difference when you take over and have some money.”
Not only has Trion’s monetary situation improved, but Thomas has added needed experience to his resume, serving the town council for several years.
“When I was mayor 20 years ago, I had no experience whatsoever,” Thomas said. “This time, I’ve been on the council side of the town’s affairs. I understand those now. I feel as if those will make me a much better mayor this time around.”
Thomas resigned from his seat on the council and beat out opponent Richard Greeson for the position in the November election.
Jeff “Fro” Wilson joined the council four years ago. He prides himself on being visible and accessible to Trion residents so they can express changes they would like to see in the community.
“I am honored to serve the people of Trion for the next four years,” Wilson said. “Making our community a better place has always been my goal and I look forward to listening and making decisions to accomplish that goal.”
Becky McWhorter-Wright is on her third term as a councilmember and is humbled to be able to spend another four years making decisions on behalf of Trion residents.
“I am honored that the citizens of the Town of Trion have given me the opportunity to serve as a council person for the next four years,” McWhorter-Wright said. “I look forward to serving the citizens again.”
Mickey McGraw just finished his 20th year on the council and is thankful to be back for his sixth term.
“I’m just looking forward to it,” McGraw said. “Today brought back a lot of memories. About 20 years ago, I stood here with Gary Woods (as a town councilman) and we were getting sworn in together. Today, he was the one swearing me in, and it felt good.”