John Mann’s legacy is all about serving the public

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JOHN MANN FAMILY – The John Mann family members were present at the Aug. 8 meeting which was his last as a county commissioner after serving 55 years. On the front row from left are daughter Amalie Mann Moody, daughter Melissa Mann, John and Ruth Mann, and daughter Pamela Mann Evans. On the back row from left are grandchildren, Aaron Evans, Patrick Evans, Chester Evans, and Silas Mann Moody.
AT LAST MEETING – Commissioner John Mann sits among fellow commissioners at his last meeting on Aug. 8 at the Office Complex while County Clerk Darlene Kirk takes notes. At the table (from left) are Mann and commissioners Hal Eason, Ronnie Murphy and Lana Suite. Murphy also retired retired after 32 years of service. County Mayor Joseph is standing in the door. Photo by Shirley Nanney
PRESENTATION – County Mayor Joseph Butler presents Commissioner John Mann with a plaque signifying his 55 years as a county commissioner.

shirleyNANNEY

Editor

John Mann, 85, who served as Carroll County Commissioner for 55 years, decided not to run again this year. He served District 4 that is in Hollow Rock, Vale, and Mixie Community areas. He lives in the Mixie Community with his wife Ruth.

He was given a round of applause as he accepted a plaque from County Mayor Joseph Butler at the Aug. 8 meeting.

He says it has been a pleasure serving the county. Fifty-five years are across the terms of 12 US presidents and nine state governors.

“I love Carroll County where I have lived most of my life,” he said. “I’ve always tried to assist the people and do what would best benefit them all.”

Over the years he has put his shoulder to the wheel to move along projects that would better the lives of countians and make it a better place to live, work and raise children. 

He assisted in organizing the Carroll County Rescue Squad, Rural Fire Departments, E911 System, and Recycling Program. 

He was a charter member of the Rescue Squad, working with Dr. Dan Riddick and others to start that program. He assisted County Judge Pat Williams and Carroll County Emergency Management director and County Fire Chief Charles Barnhart to  put in place the Rural Fire Departments. The first one was situated at Vale.

He made long trips to drive used fire trucks back to Carroll County. 

“Once these programs were started, I supported every effort to help raise funds and continue the work of these programs,” said Mann.

County Executive Wesley Beal enlisted him to help implement the E911 Emergency Program. The County Commission voted to place it on the ballot and it passed by 93 percent. He served on that board for a number of years, among which he was named chairman. 

The county had a trash problem that needed solving. Again, Beal sought Mann’s expertise in successfully developing the Rural Waste/Recycling Program.

Mann served on several different committees throughout the years. Through his looking after the county’s money and seeing that the funds were spent wisely, he served on the  Budget Committee for 36 years. He also was a member of the County Highway Department and Resolution  Committees for that number of years as well. For 30 years he was on the Rural Fire Department, Solid Waste Committees and E911 Board for 30 years.The County Beer Board and the Indigent Care Board were also a part of his service. He worked with the county mayors and Commission to help build a first class airport in the county.

He feels like rural garbage pickup was probably one of the biggest crises during his tenure. State law mandated that each county develop a rural recycling and waste program.

“I feel that many of the county citizens may not have fully understood that this was mandated by the state and felt they had a right to rebel against it,” he said. “The Commission worked diligently to make the program as equitable for all as we could while following the state law.”

The county was sued four different times during Mann’s years on the Commission. Two were due to personal injuries of citizens on county properties which the Insurance paid both. Another one was when county employees sued for pay increases after which the pay increases were given. Another time was when citizens sued over the garbage program and the county won the case.

Mann was first elected in August 1967 when Brody McMackin moved from the district to Huntingdon. Mann served for three years until the commissioner districts were consolidated. In 1970 he ran and was selected to the County School Board. He served there until he was re-elected to the county commission for District 4. He then served continuously until August 2022. His first county meeting was on Aug. 31, 1967.

When he was first elected, Noreen Taylor was County Judge. After that, he served under County Judge Pat Williams as County Judge. Wesley Beal was elected next and the name was changed to County Executive. Walter Butler followed as the County Executive. He later resigned to take a job in state government and Billy Murphy followed as the county executive. Kenny McBride was elected and the name was changed to county mayor. He has last served under County Mayor Joseph Butler. Commissioners at one time were called Justices of the Peace and met ever three months in what was called the Quarterly Court.

 Later it became the County Commission and is also called the County Legislative Body. He was paid $2 a meeting and 33 cents in gas mileage for each meeting when he was first elected. Now the  pay is $100 per meeting and $50 for a committee meeting.

For 28 years he worked for L& N, Seaboard Coast, and CSX Railroad.

Elected state and county officials are allowed to marry couples in the State of Tennessee.

“Since the county has been keeping record of this, I have married 40 couples and several more before records were kept,” he said.

He still has an agenda from the first meeting he attended.

His daughter Dr. Pamela Evans says he always valued a balanced budget and its never been about his money or your money, but the peoples’ money.

“He’s a champion of the worker,” she said. “He’s been to lots of fish fries and cakewalks and chili suppers and a lot of community centers and volunteer fire departments over the years to help raise money.”

When asked why he did it, his reply told much about how he feels about service.

“It’s because they elected me to do a job and I need to listen to them and know what they need,” he said.

About John Mann

County Commissioner 55 years

Married to Ruth Ann Schantz Mann on Aug. 19, 1967, RN

Three daughters: Pamela Ruth Mann Evans, MD OB/GYN with Paris Women’s Center, lives in Mixie Community; Jennifer Katherine Mann Austin, PhD, Professor of Mathematics, University of Texas, lives in Austin.  Melissa Jane Mann Moody, manager of Lab Operations, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, resides in Atoka. 6 grandchildren: Aaron, Patrick and Chester Evans; Zoe Hope Austin; Silas and Amalie Moody.

Service

John Mann served in US Army in Germany. Girl Scout Cookie Volunteer, New Hope United Methodist Church member, Chapel Hill Cemetery board member, and caretaker of Chapel Hill Church.

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