Doraville Mayor Pro Tem Donna Pittman will serve as acting mayor after the death of mayor Ray Jenkins on Feb. 2. Jenkins died of complications from pneumonia, according to a Doraville spokesman.
A special election will be held in June to fill Jenkins’ seat.
“We are devastated by the loss of mayor Jenkins,” Pittman said. “He was a great man and a great public servant. He will truly be missed.”
After serving one term on the city planning commission, Jenkins was elected to the Doraville City Council in 1974. He was re-elected to the council for eight more terms before winning the election for mayor in 2003. He was re-elected mayor in 2007 and that term was to expire at the end of this year.
As a city councilman, Jenkins was instrumental in setting Doraville’s millage rate at a time when most homeowners paid no city taxes on their residences. He was a key supporter of the Doraville parks program and founded the city’s Animal Control Service.
Jenkins was instrumental in the city being designated as a “Certified City of Ethics”. Under his direction the city had a balanced budget for four straight years, keeping the city out of debt and financially strong enough to weather the worst economic crisis in 80 years, according to a city spokesman.
His last five years in office were marked by planning of the General Motors Plant redevelopment, professional staffing, reductions in crime, multi-million dollar public works projects, the launching of a new Website, numerous green initiatives and an overhaul of the city’s zoning ordinance.
Since April 2009, the city has secured nearly $2 million in funding for park renovations, sidewalks, road and drainage improvements and the design of bicycle and pedestrian improvements throughout the town center area and New Peachtree Road.
After high school, Jenkins worked for a motion picture distributor before joining the United States Navy in 1950. He served two tours of duty aboard the USS Wisconsin during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1954.
He began a career with the U.S. Postal Service after leaving the Navy and retired in 1986.
Jenkins is survived by his wife Luella, three children and four grandchildren.