By Bill Short
The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously appointed Gregory Ritter this week to fill the vacancy created on the School Board by Mark Coulter’s resignation.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Mike Caruthers and seconded by Alderman Don Lowry.
With Mayor Terry Jones administering the Oath of Office, Ritter vowed to “faithfully discharge” the duties of the office of Millington School Board member and to uphold the city’s Charter and ordinances, as well as the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions and statutes.
He also vowed to perform his duties without favor or partiality and not affected by “personal consideration, gain or conflict.”
Coulter’s resignation was effective on Feb. 10. He was initially elected in November 2016 to a four-year term in School Board Position 3 and re-elected on Nov. 3, 2020.
While publicly announcing his decision at the end of the School Board’s Feb. 1 meeting, Coulter cited a need to focus more attention on Par-Cou, the local business he co-owns, which has recently experienced significant growth.
Ritter will serve in Position 3 until the November 2022 election. Then, the winner of that election will serve during the remainder of Coulter’s unexpired term, which ends on Dec. 1, 2024.
Shortly before the vote, Jones said the board received five applications for the appointment and had an opportunity to review all of them.
The other applicants were David Bodkin, Roger Christopher, Donald Holsinger and Deanna Speight.
Any applicants who attended the meeting were each given two minutes to address the board, and Holsinger, Ritter and Speight responded.
The mayor then asked each alderman to independently rank the applications in order of preference by using a secret ballot.
The numbers were totaled by City Clerk Karen Findley and City Finance Director John Trusty.
In the November 2013 election of Millington’s first municipal school board, Ritter was an uncontested candidate for an initial three-year term in Position 1.
He was defeated by Christopher in 2016, when he sought re-election to a four-year term.
With Christopher not seeking a second term in the Nov. 3, 2020 election, Ritter was defeated by Marlon Evans for the open Position 1 seat.
Ritter earned both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in business administration and a Master of Science Degree in accountancy at Rhodes College. He served 13 years in public accounting and subsequently in private accounting.
He is employed as a controller at TopRx in Bartlett and is also an adjunct professor of accounting at The University of Memphis.
Ritter is a member of the First Baptist Church in Millington, the American and Tennessee Societies of Certified Public Accountants and a volunteer youth baseball coach for the Millington Arts, Parks and Recreation Department.
He and his wife Kelly have three children.