By Anna-Claire Terry
Staff Writer

“People have invested in me, and that speaks volumes to me,” were the words of Opelika City Council President Pro-Tem Patsy Jones.
Jones was celebrated at Tuesday’s city council meeting for 20 years of “distinguished service.”
Jones was first sworn in on Jan. 31, 1995. She has been re-elected five more times in contested races. She was the first African- American woman on the council.
“When I represent the city of Opelika, I represent Ward 1 first because they elected me, but I have always considered myself a councilperson of Opelika,” Jones said.
Jones had a number of her family members and friends in attendance, who, she said, were vital to her success. There was a reception in celebration of Jones’ service before the meeting.
Jones said she has always loved her job and recalled the support she received from her father when she decided to pursue her career as a city council member.
“Let me just say that this is not retiring,” Jones said. “Make sure you understand that I still have another 20 years left in me.”
Jones was not the only employee who received an award at the meeting. Nathan Mallory received an employee performance award for his service as a dedicated network engineer to Opelika Power Services. Mallory has saved OPS over $100,000 through his hard work during an outage and continued efforts to make sure that OPS is running smoothly.
The council also approved Lee County’s request for a 5K run/walk for Autism, Resource and Advocacy, set for April 18.
Among other orders of business approved were:
– Request by Red Clay Brewing for a retail beer and wine premise license plus an alcohol manufacturer license.
– Public hearing to amend zoning ordinance and map, R-4M to M-1. Old Columbus Road.
– Purchase of 2016 American RoadALC30 leaf collector.
– Grant application to ADEM for partnership in a recycling program with Lee County, city of Auburn and Auburn University to divert materials from the landfill and protect the environment.
– Agreement with the city of Auburn to split the cost of traffic signal installation at the intersection of Pepperell Parkway and Commerce Drive.
– Public hearing dates were set to fix costs for demolition at 406 S. 5th St., 903 York Ave., 105 Vaughan Ave., 502 and 504 S. 4th St., 411 Palmer Ave., 300 Cedar Creek Drive, 202 N. 22nd St. and 3313 Pepperell Parkway.