Jones to step down from Pacific City Council seat

Pacific City Councilman John Jones will resign his Position 2 seat at Monday's City Council meeting.

Pacific City Councilman John Jones will resign his Position 2 seat at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Jones, who is battling pulmonary fibrosis, or scarring of the lungs, said he also plans to medically retire from his job at The Boeing Co., sell his house in Pacific, and move to Phoenix with his wife, Ruth, to be with his two youngest daughters and three grandchildren.

Doctors diagnosed Jones with pulmonary fibrosis in 2010, the year he first ran for a seat on the Pacific Council.

“It’s slowly been progressing, and I’ve been taking medications to try to suppress it,” he said. “I’ve been seeing a lung specialist at the University of Washington, Doctor Ganesh Raghu, and we decided it was time to progress through all the preliminary stuff to a lung transplant.”

Unfortunately, Jones said, cirrhosis of the liver, probably tied to the pulmonary fibrosis, caused the lung transplant advisors to deny his request for a transplant either of the lungs or of the liver.

“It’s basically my immune system breaking down, so they rejected me as a candidate for a lung transplant,” Jones said.

Jones retires from Boeing on Sept. 3, so he’ll sell his house as soon as possible and hopefully be in Arizona by the end of September.

“Basically, I’m progressing to the point that I’ll succumb to this,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to moving to Phoenix and spending some time with family and relaxing for the rest of the time I have left, which is approximately a year.”

In his five-plus years on the council, Jones made his mark by helping to save the Valentine Avenue and Stewart Road construction projects, which, despite being almost abandoned owing to mismanagement during former-mayor Cy Sun’s administration, are nearing completion.

“I’ve enjoyed the trials and tribulations,” Jones said. “I’ve learned a lot and taken the task of doing my civic duty seriously. Between the Valentine and Stewart projects, I see them as the shining stars of getting the City to the next level where residents can have good places to shop and the City can start to have a financial base. Unfortunately, I won’t be around to see it, although I’ve done my part.”

Mayor Leanne Guier, who opposed Jones for mayor when the council was moving to appoint a replacement after Sun’s recall, said Jones contribution to the City has been vital.

“John sat on our civil service, and I first met him when we sat on the planning commission together,” Guier said. “Then he ran for council before I did. He has a very fair way of looking at things. When he makes decisions or votes on something he takes into account how it will affect the whole city. He and Clint Steiger were instrumental in saving the Valentine project. If not for them, the City would have lost a lot of money and that project.”

The City is now taking applications for Jones’ soon-to-be-vacant seat.

The application period closes on Aug. 31.

“Provided we get enough applicants, the council will invite the applicants down, interview them, and the following week have an executive session to discuss and appoint somebody through 2017,” Guier said.