‘I have some huge shoes to fill.’ Jim Ross pledges hard work as new Arlington mayor.
Jim Ross promised to work hard and serve the entire city during his first term as mayor, as he reminisced about the support from the community since he moved to Arlington in the early 1980s.
Ross took his oath before a full City Council from Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Mary Tom Curnutt, and before a council chamber that was nearly standing room only through the ceremonies.
“I like to say we’re a community that cares,” Ross said. “I felt it every inch of the way during the campaign, and I feel it tonight.”
Ross also noted that he has “big shoes to fill” as Jeff Williams, who ended his term as mayor Tuesday evening after six years in office, steps down. Williams said he will help start a leadership institute within the National Medal of Honor Museum, which is expected to open in 2024. Williams will also continue to chair the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition.
In his final remarks to council, Williams said representatives should encourage unity among residents while supporting the newest class of city leaders. Williams also published a letter thanking residents and staff for the past six years and received congratulatory messages from President Joe Biden and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Devan Allen, as well as several councilmembers.
On his way out, former Mayor Jeff Williams thanked Ross for his service as a resident and running for public office.
“He is going to bring a lot of talents here to this office as mayor,” Williams said.
Ross thanked Williams and pledged to build off Williams’ work in office.
“I have some huge shoes to fill — massive shoes to fill,” Ross said. “I’m not going to be able to do it alone. I know I don’t have to do it alone.”
Ross, an attorney, businessman, former Arlington police officer and U.S. Marine, was the victor of Arlington’s mayoral runoff against minister and former at-large councilmember Michael Glaspie. Neither secured the amount of votes necessary to win the seven-person race May 1, though Ross fell just under 3% shy of the outright win.
Ross has said he will target job growth and economic development during his term as mayor.
The meeting was also a changing of the guard for District 3, which generally covers southeast Arlington. Nikkie Hunter, a health care administrator, took the helm from retired air traffic controller Marvin Sutton, who ran for mayor instead of a second council term. Hunter secured the seat after a June 5 runoff and five-person general election.
“Thank you so much for your support and just trusting in my leadership for District 3,” Hunter said after taking her oath.
Council gained two new councilmembers in 2021, in addition to a new mayor. Rebecca Boxall, an architect, was sworn in as District 5’s representative last month, as well as incumbents Andrew Piel in District 4 and at-large councilmember Dr. Barbara Odom-Wesley.
Five new faces have joined since last November, after District 2 councilmember Raul Gonzalez and District 6 councilmember Ruby Faye Woolridge won their seats in an unprecedented municipal election cycle held in November due to health concerns surrounding the pandemic.