Collierville ballot begins to take shape

By , Daily Memphian Updated: July 24, 2020 10:25 AM CT | Published: July 24, 2020 4:00 AM CT

The Collierville ballot is taking shape as candidates qualify for the Nov. 3 ballot, including a number of incumbents.

Candidates have until Aug. 20 to qualify, and the Position 3 school board race is the only contested position so far.


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Mayor Stan Joyner picked up his petition June 22, the first day, and will seek a fourth term. Joyner, a State Farm insurance agent, served as alderman for three terms before he was elected mayor.

<strong>Stan Joyner</strong>

Stan Joyner

Joyner has recently been part of numerous countywide calls discussing the fight against COVID-19. The challenges it brings were part of his decision to seek another term.

“There are going to be a lot of things I think the town of Collierville needs a steady hand to guide it through,” Joyner said of his decision to run again. “This is such a trying time with the COVID-19 we’ve been experiencing since the first of the year, and it’s not over.”

With those challenges, he was proud the town was able to continue to provide services and care for its employees without a tax increase in the 2020-21 budget.


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He hopes residents choose to move forward with experienced leaders and said he has enjoyed his time serving.

<strong>John Worley</strong>

John Worley

Alderman John Worley is seeking his third term in Position 3. Worley is a local homebuilder and serves on the Planning Commission.

“The next two to four years will be challenging to look at revenue.” Worley said, noting the coronavirus will negatively impact sales tax revenue. “If we have to pull back, we will.”

Additionally, he said the next 18 months are “crucial,” as some department heads will be eligible to retire. He wants to be part of seeing highly qualified staff lead employees.

Alderman John Stamps is seeking his second full term for Position 5. Stamps was appointed to the board in 2015 following Alderman Jimmy Lott’s death. 

“I have enjoyed being an alderman and I feel the work is not complete.” Stamps said. “I feel I am still learning and growing and I would like an opportunity to still learn and grow and give back to my community.”


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Stamps is a broker and owner of Stamps Real Estate Company. He has served with various nonprofits and on multiple Collierville boards and commissions.

Two school board members have expressed their plans to serve four more years.

<strong>Wanda Gibbs</strong>

Wanda Gibbs

Wanda Gibbs pulled a petition and qualified for Position 1. Gibbs was appointed in November to finish Kevin Vaughan’s term after he stepped down due to legislative responsibilities in Nashville. Vaughan is a state representative.

“I was selected by a few, and now I want to be elected by many,” Gibbs said. 

Gibbs, a 45-year resident of the town, enjoys serving on the board and is hoping for a full term.

She spent three decades as an elementary teacher, including 23 years at Collierville Elementary. Her children attended Collierville Schools. One of her grandchildren graduated last year from Collierville High School and others are still students in the suburban district.

Since her appointment, she’s been at numerous school and community events where she has met students and families.

“It’s a joy to be a part of it, and I want to continue,” she said.

<strong>Wright Cox</strong>

Wright Cox

Wright Cox has served on the suburban district’s school board since its inception. He will seek another term for Position 5.

“I don’t feel like I’m quite through with what I would like to see us accomplish,” he said.

Cox’s family has served in elected positions in Collierville for generations. He said serving the town is in his blood.

“It’s been honestly one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my entire life,” he said. “Collierville has always worked to take care of itself.”


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He said decisions for the district need to be made and kept inside the town.

Position 3 is also on the ballot, which is held by Chairman Mark Hansen. His plans have not been announced, and two residents are seeking the position so far.

Eelco Van Wijk pulled a petition and Madan Birla has received enough signatures to qualify. Both applied for the school board when Vaughan resigned, and Birla interviewed for the position before Gibbs was appointed.

<strong>Eelco Van Wijk</strong>

Eelco Van Wijk

Van Wijk ran for school board in 2018 but lost to Frank Warren. However, he is regular attendee at meetings and writes blog posts about the business conducted.

He is the father of three Collierville Schools students and his wife is a teacher in Bartlett. He wants to run so students, parents and teacher input is heard by the board. 

“Where the early years of the district were focused on getting into smooth operations, followed by necessary facility realignment and expansion, we are now facing opportunities for community cohesion, and really building on the strengths of the district,” he said.

Van Wijk is an information has spent 20 years with Federal Express. He currently serves as a technology audit manager with FedEx Services.

<strong>Madan Birla</strong>

Madan Birla

Birla has lived in Collierville 25 years and spent 22 years at FedEx, where he worked closely with founder and CEO Fred Smith and senior leadership. While with FedEx, he earned prestigious awards.

Birla is an adjunct professor of leadership at the University of Memphis. He is an author of three books and he travels around the world to speak to college students. He is passionate about education and believes it has contributed to his professional success.

“In today’s knowledge economy, the key to a successful career and a fulfilling life is education,” he said. “A person’s earning capacity is determined by his or her learning capacity.”

If elected, he wants to work with fellow board members, the superintendent and staff to guide the district “to the next level of excellence.”


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Alderman Position 4 may also be on the ballot. The position was held by Tom Allen, who died earlier this week. The Board of Mayor and Alderman must formally declare a vacancy before Aug. 10 and the Shelby County Election Commission must place it on the ballot.

Topics

Collierville Collierville Board of Education Collierville Board Of Mayor And Aldermen Stan Joyner John Worley John Stamps Wanda Gibbs wright cox Eelco Van Wijk Madan Birla
Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


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