‘A new Stone Mountain’: Mayor-elect aims to unite council, rebrand city

Beverly Jones, a former Stone Mountain councilmember, will become the city’s next mayor after winning 57% of the vote

Credit: Beverly Jones

Credit: Beverly Jones

Stone Mountain will have new leadership next year, and the newly elected mayor said she’s already working to address some of the city’s recent issues.

Mayor-elect Beverly Jones, who beat out two opponents by getting 57% of the vote, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that one of her top priorities is reuniting a split City Council and marketing the city to out-of-town visitors.

Several recent council meetings have turning into shouting matches, with elected officials accusing each other of censorship and grandstanding. Jones said she’s started to meet with the current councilmembers and those who were newly elected to begin her unification effort. She said she wants to get everyone on the same page without relitigating past debates.

“I’m not coming in like a bulldozer trying to dig up the bones,” Jones said. “I want to meet with each council member individually, find out what their goals and expectations are and work with everyone collectively. I want to build a team.”

Jones, a former councilwoman herself, has lived in Stone Mountain for about 24 years. When she was on the council, she said each member chaired a specific committee, which gave each person a chance to own their own area of expertise. She intends to bring that back.

She also plans to closely work with the city’s two new councilmembers, Gil Freeman and Teresa Crowe.

“I remember when I was on the council, and I felt kind of alone because we were just another council that was pulling in all different directions,” Jones said. “Things did not get completed or done as progressively or as good as it could have been if we worked as a team. So I definitely want to work with them.”