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Posted on: January 9, 2024

Councilman Bill Jones Announces He Will Not Seek Another Term

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Salem City Councilman Bill Jones has announced he will not run for reelection once his current term expires on December 31, 2024. The longtime and highly respected public servant made the announcement at the conclusion of Monday night's City Council meeting.

"Being on Salem City Council has been an incredible honor and I am beyond grateful for the trust Salem's citizens placed in me over the years,” Jones said. “When I was elected in 2008, I said I would serve as many as four terms and then that would be it. I am at peace with my decision and thankful for the many opportunities I have had during my time on council.”

During his tenure, Jones has been a member who took great pride in voting for what he felt was best for the entire city and not just certain factions or areas.

“Whether you are in business or politics, you simply cannot let your personal agendas creep into the decision making when you are representing other people,” Jones said. “I’ve tried to always shoot straight and be honest with folks. You may not agree with me, but you always know where I stand.”

Jones graduated from Glenvar High School in 1977 and later studied business at Virginia Western Community College. For 21 years, he worked in the Human Resources department at Salem-based Yokohama Tire. In 1998, he went into private business when he took over the area’s FASTSIGNS franchise.Salem City Councilman Bill Jones

His strong business background and unlimited connections throughout the region have made him a valuable member of not only city council, but the city’s Audit-Finance Committee, the Western Virginia Regional Jail Commission, and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission.

"During my extended time on council, I have learned that for Salem to be successful it has to be willing to work with its neighbors for the good of the entire region,” he said. “We all have unique features to offer and by working together, we have experienced tremendous success in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.”

Much of Jones’ time as a councilman has been defined by the Great Recession, which began shortly after he was elected, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to have impacts on day-to-day life for some.

“We had to modify services, adjust employee pay and also maintain a high level of customer expectations with a shrinking workforce,” he said. “I would be lying if I said any of that was easy. Still, I feel incredibly blessed to be part of all that was accomplished during these difficult times."

Jones was part of the council teams that approved funding for the Salem School Division to build its first new school from the ground up in South Salem Elementary. He also voted to provide funding to revitalize and drastically improve the current high school and field house. The strategic timing of both projects allowed the city to save its taxpayers millions of dollars.

He has also been instrumental in the ongoing downtown improvements, the greenway expansion, the Moyer Complex revitalization, and the establishment of the Salem Rotary Dog Park. The city’s bond rating also improved to AA+ with the S&P Global Rating while he was on council. That rating enhancement gave Salem the ability to borrow money at a lower interest rate.

“I have been a businessperson my entire adult life, but in order to get things done you have to be a people person,” he said. “Our employees in Salem have worked very hard to make these projects a reality for our citizens and visitors.”

Jones isn’t just a workforce cheerleader. For decades, he has been one of Salem's biggest sports fans and supporters. He has served as a coach and referee at various levels for more than 30 years and he is a member of the Salem Sports Foundation. He continues to work as the official scorekeeper for area high school basketball and football games as well as NCAA events.

“All of my sports experiences got me used to being yelled at by the public,” he said jokingly. “But anyone who knows me will tell you that I will miss helping people and the problem-solving part of being a city council member.”

Jones met his wife Mary Ann while the two were high school sweethearts at Glenvar, and the couple has two sons. Andy is a Clemson graduate, who is an administrator of a nursing home in Blacksburg. He and his wife Jessica have three children. Their other son, Adam, is a West Virginia University graduate, who is a mortgage lender in Roanoke. He and his wife Katie have a set of young twins.

“It’s time to spend more time with my family, especially the grandkids, and less time on the phone and in meetings,” he said. “I could not have served this long without the support of my wife and kids. They have sacrificed a great deal the last 16 years.”



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