Jinright looks back on short but busy term as mayor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- The past two and a half months have proved a whirlwind for Charles Jinright as he took the corner office at Montgomery's City Hall.

"We went through an exceptionally tough time in the world economy, and it came back down to the City," Jinright explained.

The economy sent Jinright into action, responding to drops in sales tax revenue by cutting millions from the city's budget.

"We think Montgomery is recession proof, but not in [an economy] this bad," he said.

Along with governmental duties, Jinright's short term was hit hard.  Just nine days in, Montgomery Police officer Josh Broadway's death shook the city and its leaders.

"That was one of my biggest nightmares," Jinright explained.

"That's just one thing--you never want to see it, but I didn't want to see it on my watch."

Now, Jinright is looking toward the future of Montgomery.  His colleague and friend, Todd Strange, will soon take the reins, bringing his biggest opponent, Michael Briddell, back to City Hall.

"You're talking about 86% of the vote between the two guys.  They're both well liked by the City of Montgomery and well respected.

The biggest issue for the new mayor?  Jinright says schools should be the top priority.

"[We need to] get our education level to the point that it's a positive thing for the City of Montgomery.  Not something that drags us back."

As Todd Strange takes over, Jinright leaves the empty office with a sense of satisfaction.

"It's a pleasure to have been able to serve in this job. I'll look forward to going back, but I'll always know I did it," Jinright said.

Strange will take over as Montgomery's mayor on Monday, March 23rd.