Council members seek re-election

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Jane Johnson-- Photos courtesy City of Salem.
Jane Johnson– Photos courtesy City of Salem.

Bill Jones
Bill Jones
Salem City Council members William “Bill” Jones and Jane Johnson are seeking re-election in the spring.

Councilman Jones and Councilwoman Johnson made the announcement during the Monday, Feb. 8 Salem City Council meeting. Both Jones, who has served two terms on council, and Johnson, who has served three, are running as independent candidates.

A third seat, which is currently occupied by Jim Chisom, will be up for election. Chisom was appointed to council in December after Councilwoman Lisa Garst resigned to serve as the director of Livable Roanoke Valley. Chisom will fill in for the rest of Garst’s term, which is set to expire on June 30, but said he will not seek election.

Jones said his priority will continue to be the school system, as well as water, sewer and public safety improvements. Since he was first elected in 2008, Jones said the cooperation between current council members has been pivotal.

“The current members of the Salem City Council bring different views and opinions to the table,” Jones said in a statement. “We spend the time necessary to hear everyone’s opinions and give them all due consideration. However, when the time comes, we all put aside differences and make the decision we feel is in the best interest of Salem’s residents.”

He is married to Mary Ann Jones, and the two have two sons. Jones is currently employed with Hart Motor Company. He also serves on the City Audit Finance Committee, Western Virginia Regional Jail Commission, Alleghany Regional Commission, and Western Virginia Workforce Development Board.

He has been involved in several facets of the community, and has been a member of the Salem/Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce for 17 years. He is also a score keeper for Salem Stadium and the Salem Civic Center, as well as helping with the score table for Salem High School basketball.

“My time on council has been one of great pleasure to be involved in decision making with the citizens of Salem in economic times that are very challenging,” he concluded. “I take this job personally and work hard to spend the citizens’ money as if its my own. I want to continue to use my knowledge and experience for the citizens of Salem.”

Johnson was first elected to council in 2004 after serving on the Salem City Planning Commission for two years. Johnson owns R.M. Johnson & Sons Jewelers in Salem. Johnson said she is proud of council’s work as a whole and the strides it has for the community, especially involving education.

“We all bring something unique to the table and spend a lot of time in work sessions aside from regular meeting time brainstorming,” Johnson said in a statement. “At times, we’ve made some very difficult decisions. But, at the end of the day, I feel very good about how far we’ve brought the city despite tough economic challenges. We still have work to do and I have the energy and enthusiasm to do the job if our citizens see fit to re-elect me.”

Currently, she serves on the Economic Development Committee and is chair of the region’s Transportation Planning Organization. She is involved in the Salem Rotary Club, and is also a member of the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce. She is the widow of Robert “Bob” Johnson, and the mother of two sons.

“My biggest motivation as a city council member is to continue to help drive economic growth in Salem,” Johnson said. “I believe a vibrant downtown is essential in taking care of our needs as a city and in making sure our citizens’ needs are met as well.”

The Salem City Council election is set for May 3.