By Cody Thompson
CROCKETT – History was made in Crockett when Joni Clonts was elected the city’s mayor on Saturday, May 6.
Clonts is the first female to be elected to mayor in the city’s 180-year history.
“I would like to thank the people of Crockett for voting for me, and for having the confidence in me to move forward with our city,” Clonts told the Messenger on Friday.
Clonts, 56, beat her mayoral opponent, Billy “Hollywood” Groves, by a margin of 587-397. She will be replacing Robert Meadows, who announced earlier this year that he would not be running for another term as mayor.
“Maybe it hasn’t really soaked in yet. It’s a bit of a surreal feeling,” Clonts said. “I know I have to learn a lot, but I did tell (the voters), ‘I’m a hard worker and I’ll learn it.’ We’ll get it done.”
Clonts is the owner and operator of two local businesses in Crockett: Moosehead Cafe and Crockett Printing.
“Moosehead has been in business for about 16 years now and Crockett printing is on its fourth year, I think,” Clonts said.
Her experience as a business owner and work ethic will be of great benefit to her as she takes on her mayoral role, Clonts said.
“I know what it’s like when times get tough and the tough get going and you have to buckle down,” Clonts said. “Like I said, I’m a hard worker who knows how to get things done.”
Clonts intends to use her business savvy to try to bring in new businesses to Crockett and to help boost the city’s tax base.
“We need to focus on bringing businesses and industry to this town,” Clonts said. “I’ve already been asking people that I know if they’d like to move their businesses to Crockett.”
Clonts moved to Crockett in 1992 and has been involved in the community since she first arrived. She claims that her years of community involvement were a major driving force in her decision to run for mayor.
“I’ve always been very involved in Crockett,” Clonts said. “I was talking to Robert Meadows and he said that he wasn’t going to run again, so I decided to run.”
Clonts stated that she hopes that she and her opponent, Groves, can work together in the upcoming years to benefit the city, Clonts said.
“I did try to call him and he didn’t answer, but I hope we can work together,” Clonts said. “We all have to work together. We all live in Crockett and this is our home, so we don’t need to be split or divided. When something is divided it will fall apart, so we need to be together, united and work together to make Crockett what it can be.”
Clonts will be sworn in at the Crockett City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 15 at Crockett City Hall.
“I think when I am sworn in on Monday, it will finally start to sink in,” Clonts said. “I just want to do my best for the people of Crockett.”
Cody Thompson may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.