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Commission remembers Mike Ford


Staff Writer

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Commissioners learned of the passing of long-time Washington County Commissioner Mike Ford early Monday morning after a brief hospitalization.

Currently serving his third term, Ford was elected to represent District 15.

“I was blessed to know Commissioner Ford for a little over three years. In that time, I came to recognize him as a true servant leader, who was held in great esteem by many. He was a wholly genuine person, who spoke his convictions boldly as much when he disagreed or criticized something as when he agreed or gave praise,” Commissioner Jodi Jones said. “My deepest condolences to the Ford family and the large community of friends and former co-workers who knew him well. We have lost a great man in Commissioner Ford’s passing.”

Ford served on the Agriculture Extension Committee, Committee for Resale of Land, County Owned Property, Emergency Communications District 911 Board, Rules and Employee Compensation and Benefits. He was a strong voice for county employees, especially his co-workers in the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

“Commissioner Ford served his district well and his first commitment was always to his constituents,” said Commission Chairman Greg Matherly. “He loved his community, and I will miss him.”

Ford retired earlier this year from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office where he was in charge of food services for the detention center. According to those that served with him, he maintained the lowest cost per meal of any detention facility in the State of Tennessee and was known for his “jailhouse cookies” that he baked for prisoners, commissioners and county staff.

“Commissioner Ford was a great representative for his constituents, and a thoughtful commissioner when it came time to vote,” said Mayor Joe Grandy. “He will be greatly missed, especially the way he led the Pledge of Allegiance at most commission and committee meetings. He always began with ‘let’s honor America’ and for him, it was an honor to lead the pledge and to serve his community.”

According to those who knew him, Ford was a humble man who was never afraid to ask questions for the good of the county.

“Mike Ford was an enthusiastic advocate for all citizens of Washington County and particularly those of his District. He had the ability to see both sides of an issue and always worked for what he saw as the benefit of the people,” said Commissioner Jim Wheeler, who is also Town of Jonesborough attorney. “Mike never met a stranger. He was easy to talk to and made people feel appreciated and listened to. The work he did at the Sheriff’s department taking care of inmates and employees alike, and the work he did as a county commissioner set a high bar for those who came after him. I will miss my friend.”