Jones won't seek fifth term as mayor
MOUNT CARMEL - Mayor J. Kevin Jones won't run for a fifth term in the 2013 election.
Jones notified borough employees of his decision Tuesday, and said he wanted to make the public aware early in the election process that he won't be running.
"I just feel everyone needs to know this," he said Wednesday. "And now there's enough time" for those who would consider running, he said.
Jones, 56, said he hopes to see quality candidates emerge.
"The more the merrier," he said. "I think this is good for the process."
A history buff, Jones noted an old saying that the only two ways to remove a politician from office is to throw him out or through death. He said he's always enjoyed the quote, but doesn't want to live it.
Jones' first term began in 1998 and he was re-elected three times.
He said Elmer Delcamp served the longest of any Mount Carmel mayor, 24 years from 1930 to 1954, and Lawrence Joyce served the second most amount of years, 21, although his terms weren't consecutive. Jones will have served third longest in number of years, 16, and said he has one distinction over the others in that he never lost an election for mayor.
Jones had competition in both the primary and general elections in his first race for office, and beat out competitors in the general election for this third and fourth terms. He was unopposed in his second term.
He said the years he'll have served represent half the time of his full-time occupation, which was as a teacher. He retired at the end of the 2010-11 school year from Southern Columbia Area. He also served about 10 years as a member of the Mount Carmel Area School Board, including a term as president.
Jones said he enjoys his role as mayor - attending every parade, every program, every event in town, not to mention presiding at some 250 weddings - but that he's looking forward to having more time for traveling and other activities. He said he'll remain active, however, with the various civic groups with which he's involved.
Those duties will allow Jones to continue with one aspect of the mayor's job that he'll wish he still had.
"I'll miss helping people," he said. "We were able to help so many people with various issues over the years. That makes you feel good."
Jones extended a special thanks to his wife, Donna, for her support during his time a mayor.