Not much changes in the sleepy little town of Jersey and the residents like it that way.
Still, some change is inevitable, as the town discovered in recent months as it found itself with a new mayor.
In true local fashion, however, the change was as minimal as possible.
Randy Carithers, 61, owner of Carithers Landscaping and Lawn Management, was elected as the new mayor of Jersey after running unopposed in the town’s most recent election and it wasn’t much of a promotion for the lifelong resident, who had previously served as vice-mayor for years.
“It was the first election we’d had in I don’t know how long,” Carithers said. “I ran un-opposed.”
Ronnie Thompson had served as mayor of Jersey for years until recently, when an accident temporarily took him out of commission. The aging mayor fell off a ladder and was seriously injured, leaving Vice-Mayor Carithers to take up the reins for a time.
Even after Thompson recovered, though, he felt it was time for someone else to sit in the mayor’s seat on the council, a position he had been trying to shed for some time.
“Ronnie had been wanting to retire and no one wanted to take the job,” Carithers said. “Somebody’s got to do it.”
With no one else in the wings, Carithers ran for the mayor’s seat and won with no opposition and now he’s looking to put his own stamp on Jersey — mostly by not changing a thing.
“I’d like to see Jersey stay as it is,” Carithers said.
Still, he’s also dedicated to making sure what changes do come will help, not hurt, his beloved hometown.
“I know growth is coming to our quiet community,” Carithers said. “We’re trying to get our zoning ordinances up to date. And we’re putting in new sidewalks with (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) money.”
Overall, Carithers looks to continue to lead Jersey as best as he can until someone else comes along for the job.
“I’ll do it as long as I’m able,” he said.