Politics, IN SEE Culture

Hope Mills Board of Commissioners Inauguration

The Town of Hope Mills hosted their inauguration last night in the Hope Mills Town Hall boardroom. Hope Mills’ new mayor, Jessie Bellflowers, took the oath of office. Bellflowers will succeed Jackie Warner, Hope Mills’ twelve-year mayor.

During her last meeting, Warner expressed her gratitude for serving her role as mayor of Hope Mills. She also highlighted the town’s development, accomplishments, and growth during her time serving as mayor and looks forward to continuing the work of the town.

Warner stated, “I’m looking forward to the team that’s coming on board now because there are things that need to be completed,” as she challenges the board to complete Heritage Park, open the splash pad, and continue making progress for the betterment of Hope Mills.

“Hope Mills has grown to over 18,000 people, and we’re growing every day, and it’s important to me as I watch you grow, I will still be here as Hope Mills evolves,”

Jackie Warner

Outgoing Commissioner Grilley Mitchell reflects on the board’s continuing progress for the betterment of Hope Mills by working together as a board through thick and thin. “You have to work together to get things moving forward,” Mitchell stated.

Newly Appointed Board of Commissioners, L-R: Bryan Marley, Joanne Scarola, Kenjuana McCray (Mayor Pro Tem), Jessie Bellflowers (Mayor), Elyse Craver, and Jerry Legge.
? Tracey Morrison/The Exclusive Press

He shared that he’s looking forward to serving the town of Hope Mills. Incoming Commissioner Elyse Craver will replace Mitchell.

Dr. Kenjuana McCray, who was re-elected as Mayor Pro Tem for the third time, Jerry Legge, Bryan Marley, and Joanne Scarola will continue to hold their positions as Board of Commissioners.

McCray’s swearing was extra special to her, as her sister swore her into office using their maternal grandmother’s bible, for the assembled crowd to witness.

She shared how honored and pleased she was to serve the citizens of Hope Mills again. “I go to sleep thinking about Hope Mills and wake up thinking about Hope Mills. I work hard for the citizens of this town,” McCray stated.

She thanked those leaving office, sharing the guidance and mentorship from Warner and her appreciation for Mitchell’s servitude and leadership.

In his first formal meeting as the new mayor, Bellflowers left a message for the assembled public.

“Everyone in the room, all of us (the Board of Commissioners), represent you. On behalf of the board, we may not get it all right, but we surely will not intentionally get it all wrong, and that’s our pledge as we go forward from tonight,” Bellflowers stated.

The board’s next meeting is Monday, December 18, 2023, at 7 p.m. at Hope Mills Town Hall.

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