Ross Priddy sworn in as new Jackson City Councilman

Omer Yusuf, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

New Jackson City Councilman Ross Priddy was sworn in Tuesday at City Hall as the newest member of the City Council.

The Jackson City Council voted Priddy to fill the District 5’s vacant seat after former City Councilman Scott Conger resigned in November.

“It feels humbling and exciting all at the same time,” Priddy said. “I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot of hard work in front of me, but I’m excited to get to work.”

Priddy, a Jackson native, is a mortgage loan officer at Leaders Credit Union. He began his term as city councilman following his swearing in.

“I think being a lifelong resident of this city goes a long way for anyone seeking public service, because they’ve been here,” Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist said. “They know the issues in the city.”

Priddy said he’s had the opportunity to speak with Conger about serving District 5 and what to expect in his new role.

“He’s been great in offering advice, and he says he is available in the future and I appreciate that, and I’m sure I’ll have many questions for him,” Priddy said.

Priddy will have to run for re-election in August 2018 to keep his seat.

New city court building

The City Council approved the construction of a new $2.9 million city court building that would built on vacant city property next to the Jackson Police Department.

Judge Blake Anderson and City Court Clerk Daryl Hubbard raised concerns about the current facility at East Lafayette Street, including city court clerks working out of closets and inmates being transported in and out of city court in an alley next to the building.

 “It’s just not a secure environment for sensitive documents, logistically speaking; the judge is right, if somebody wanted to get someone out of that alley it wouldn’t take a whole lot,” Hubbard said. “The judge’s parking (spot) is an issue for me, too, because he walks in and out (of the building). I just think we need a more secure environment.”

Gist said the $146,000 a year the city is currently spending to lease the property of the current city court building would be used toward funding for the new facility.

“It will not cause an increase or decrease in the budget,” Gist said. “We’ll use that same funding to pay back that loan over an eight-year period.”

Gist said the city will now meet with architects to discuss the size of the future city court building.

Expanding McClellan Road

City attorney Lewis Cobb has been given approval by the City Council to implement eminent domain to set prices on property for the potential expansion of McClellan Road.

The city’s negotiations with several property owners at McClellan Road have stalled as parties could not agree on the price for the property, which the city would use to expand the road for public safety reasons as it has been the site of many accidents.

“We’ll set the price and have them hopefully agree to it, and go ahead sign the deed and get along on construction,” Gist said.

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