Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our beloved Doraville Mayor Ray Jenkins who passed away earlier today. It is a great loss. He will be missed dearly by the employees and citizens of our City.
The City of Doraville has lost a truly remarkable man, leader and pillar of the community. At approximately 5:30 PM on Wednesday, February 2, 2011, Mayor Ray Jenkins succumbed to complications from pneumonia.
Jenkins had been battling the illness since late 2010. Jenkins seemed to be recovering well, but, according to family members, his condition took a turn for the worse Wednesday when he slipped into unconciousness.
He is survived by his wife Louella, three children (Beverly Evans, Karen Young and Douglas Jenkins) and four grandchildren (Willie and Brandy Jenkins and Emily and Phillip Evans).
Funeral arrangements are yet to be made. Once plans have been finalized they will be publically announced.
Mayor Pro Tem Donna Pittman will serve as acting mayor until a special election can be held in what will most likely be June. “We are devastated by the loss of Mayor Jenkins. He was a great man, and a great public servant. He will truly be missed,” said Pittman.
After serving a term on the City Planning Commission, Willie Ray Jenkins was elected to the Council in 1974. He was reelected to Council eight consecutive times before being elected Mayor in 2003 and re-elected in 2007. A native of Doraville, Mr. Jenkins attended the old Doraville School for several years. He graduated from Chamblee High School.
Before embarking on his career in public service, Jenkins worked for an Atlanta motion picture distributor before joining the U.S. Navy. He served two tours of duty aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin during the Korean Conflict and received an honorable discharged in 1954. After his discharge, he returned home to Doraville and began a career with the U.S. Postal Service, retiring in 1986.
As a councilman, Jenkins was instrumental in setting the City's millage rate at a point at when most homeowners paid no city taxes on their residences. He has also been a key supporter of the Doraville parks program and founded the City's Animal Control Service.
As mayor, he was instrumental in getting the “Certified City of Ethics” designation, and, Jenkins, the consummate saver, balanced the budget for four straight years, keeping the City out of debt and financially strong enough to weather the worst economic crisis in eighty years.
His last five years in office have been marked by the diligent planning of the General Motors Plant redevelopment, professional staffing, establishing senior programs, reductions in crime, the reinstatement of a popular police chief after defying the Council’s termination, multi-million dollar public works projects, the launching of a new website, a litany of green initiatives and a quality growth 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 groundbreaking bicycle and pedestrian improvements throughout the town center area and New Peachtree Road – the City’s Main Street.
Since 2005, Doraville has been named a Tree City U.S.A, became and ENERGY STAR Partner, was the first city in the southeast to effectuate a LEED ordinance, retrofit public buildings with LED lighting and launch an energy efficiency business incentives program, which combined with savings from public facilities, will reduce the City’s carbon footprint by nearly 700 million grams of CO2 over the next five years.
Since his election to City Council in 1974, Mr. Jenkins has represented Doraville on the DeKalb and Georgia Municipal Associations (GMA). He is a past president of the DeKalb Municipal Association (DMA) and the GMA's Fourth District, Georgia Municipal Association.