N. AUGUSTA, SC (WJBF)– The longest-serving mayor in the history of North Augusta leaves office tomorrow (Monday).
Mayor Lark Jones and the city of North Augusta have accomplished countless projects during his time in office.
Mayor Lark Jones will forever hold a special place in North Augusta’s history. Over his 5-terms, Jones has worked part-time as Mayor and full-time as an attorney.
He says stepping down from office will definitely be a change he will have to get used to: “I’m going to miss it… there’s a real possibility I’ll get really busy at the office on a Monday and it’ll be 6:00 and I’ll jump in the car and drive down here and start walking in the building and realize I don’t have to do that anymore,” Jones said.
After 32 years of service to the City of North Augusta, 20 years serving as mayor, Lark Jones will walk into Monday night’s Council meeting as mayor, then leave as a citizen.
“It’s time. I’ve told folks it’s kind of unusual. This doesn’t happen very often. Usually, someone who serves for a long time either get defeated, they die, or they get indicted for something in our world today, and fortunately I’ve escaped all of those,” Jones told NewsChannel 6.
“Mayor and I joke about it– he was actually elected to city council five months after I was born. It’s kind of funny. He’s all I’ve ever known in North Augusta. My whole life he’s been North Augusta,” North Augusta Councilman, Fletcher Dickert, recalled.
Jones said the city’s biggest controversies always centered around whether or not to do a project. He said Project Jackson is one he’s proud to stand behind.
“I’ve told folks I’m not going to feel like it’s accomplished until people are checking into their room, eating at the restaurants and balls are being thrown at the ball park. We’re hoping by this time next year, there will be some excitement down there,” Jones said.
“I’m just so excited for Lark Jones’ service and Christy, his first lady. North Augusta has been very, very fortunate. What a legacy of the extraordinary number of jobs that will be provided throughout the region due to the success of Mayor Lark Jones.” Congressman Joe Wilson said.
Mayor Jones said he feels a new focus on downtown North Augusta is in store.
Bob Pettit will be sworn in as North Augusta mayor Monday evening.