James Lucas, New Athens City Councilmember, District 3

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

The City of Athens, specifically District 3, has experienced a great deal of loss in the last few years. Two councilmen, Jimmy Gill and Frank Travis, served our city, fought cancer fiercely, and then passed on. Jimmy Gill had the distinction of being one of the longest sitting city council men in the history of the State of Alabama. After Jimmy’s death, Frank Travis was appointed to take his place. He finished out Jimmy’s term, ran unopposed for the District 3 seat, and was a part of the Council, including as president until April 2022. Frank did everything from produce plays to a documentary about Dr. Eric Lincoln. How does a city begin to fill the shoes of deeply loved public servants? — through interviews, discussions, and prayer. And it is with pleasure that the City of Athens announces that the position has been filled.

Monday night June 27, 2022, our City Council voted to appoint James Lucas to the position left open by Frank’s passing. Mr. Lucas will serve through 2025. James has his own record—he has served as a school board member since 1995, the longest in that position. Mayor Ronnie told me that James is someone who always is at meetings and is deeply involved in the community we all love.

Mr. Lucas attended Pine Ridge School in Tanner, and graduated from Trinity High School. After graduation, he was drafted and served in the US Army and was stationed in Germany. He served as an artillery unit’s crew leader. After honorably serving, he earned an A.A. degree from Alverson Draughon Business College in Business Administration. James went on to work on Redstone Arsenal for Radio Corporation of America (RCA), and also worked for 31 years for Amoco Chemical.

James Lucas began to serve the Athens City Schools as a board member in 1995. He has been both vice-president and president of the board, and was designated a Master School Board Honor Roll member. Mr. Lucas was additionally honored with being chosen as part of the All-State School Board in 2015.

Holly Hollman, Communications Specialist for the City of Athens, said this about James: “He actively attends community events and is well known throughout our community. We look forward to working with Councilman Lucas in this new role.”

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner