Stokes to Resign from City Council | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Stokes to Resign from City Council

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Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes said he plans to resign from City Council to serve as Hinds County Supervisor for District 5.

Jackson Ward 3 City Councilman Kenneth Stokes said he plans to resign from City Council in order to serve as Hinds County's new District 5 supervisor.

Final uncertified numbers from the Aug. 2 county's Democratic primary show Stokes winning the race with 54 percent of the vote, beating incumbent and Hinds County Board of Supervisors President George Smith.

"I can do both, but I'm not going to do both," Stokes told the Jackson Free Press today. "I'm too old to do both of them. I got out of the hospital a few weeks ago. When I decided to run for supervisor, I did it because I want to try and help more people. ... I don't want to shortchange anyone."

The councilman said he hasn't yet determined when he will resign, but expects to do so in early 2012. He said he wasn't ready to name prospective candidates to fill his seat, but said he would help recruit a replacement and support that candidate.

Stokes, who is in his mid 50s, has served on the city council since 1989. Stokes often introduces city ordinances that would creation restrictions on the city's youth such as teen curfews or age requirements for nightclubs. He also introduces numerous ordinances to change street names, swimming pools and the Jackson airport. He called for a boycott of The Clarion-Ledger last year after the paper wrote articles questioning his absences from city work sessions and taxpayer-funded trips.

Stokes also ran for the supervisor seat in previous years.

"People realized what we want to do," he said. "We haven't changed our message. We want to improve swimming pools in the county so young people don't have to swim in creeks and ponds. We want to fight hard to get Highway 18 four-laned. It was supposed to get done years ago. There are a lot of things that need to get done."

The Hinds County Executive Democratic Committee will meet at 6 p.m. tonight at the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance office on State Street to certify the Hinds County elections.

Smith was not immediately available to comment on whether he will concede or challenge the election results. Smith has served as supervisor since 1980.

Mississippi Ethics Commission Director Tom Hood told the Jackson Free Press yesterday that no state law governs whether city council members can also serve as supervisors. If challenged, the Mississippi Supreme Court would have the authority to rule whether or not an election official could serve in both capacities.

Previous Comments

ID
164336
Comment

I'm sure the citizens of Hinds County can expect Stokes to give them the same service and representation that he's given to Ward 3 since 1989.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2011-08-09T14:31:27-06:00
ID
164345
Comment

Stokes is a giant of a city council person. I hope the City of Jackson can make it without him. Our loss is Hinds County's gain. I've watched his fine work on the City Council for nearly two decades. I hope the ward can find someone of his remarkable stature to replace him.

Author
Walt
Date
2011-08-09T16:38:34-06:00
ID
164353
Comment

My computer must lack the sarcasm font.

Author
RobbieR
Date
2011-08-09T20:04:35-06:00
ID
164357
Comment

@ Walt - dude you are something else! lol!

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-08-10T06:54:59-06:00
ID
164361
Comment

If only the fine voters of Ward 3 could elect a Kenneth Stokes, Jr.

Author
jbreland
Date
2011-08-10T08:38:42-06:00
ID
164362
Comment

The next time Stokes shows his ass, at least it won't be Jackson's problem. I don't know why he even entertained the thought of holding two elective offices at the same time. Does the state constitution prevent this?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-08-10T08:39:35-06:00
ID
164365
Comment

The article suggests state law doesn't prohibit an elected official from holding 2 offices, but I'm sure the MSSC or the AG would rule that a "legislative office holder" can't serve the same type position at the City and County level simulaneously. I'm sure 10 or 15 years ago Stokes would have tried. And no, RobbieR, I think the voters of Hinds just traded one old, tired, ineffective politician for another. I wonder how many county roads and facilities are in need of renaming?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2011-08-10T10:00:04-06:00
ID
164368
Comment

Jeff, I believe we were agreeing.

Author
RobbieR
Date
2011-08-10T14:06:50-06:00

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