2014 has already brought numerous changes to the city of Graham. To name just a few, the burglary rates are down so far this year, the Chamber of Commerce/CVB merger is still running smoothly, and a new visitor center on the square is in the works.

But probably one of the biggest is that Barry White, Graham’s mayor for the past six years, is passing the torch to Jack Graham, himself a Graham City Councilman for the last six years. The city council voted last Thursday to cancel its May 10 election due to no competition on the ballot, and Graham will be sworn in on May 22, the first city council meeting after what would have constituted the city election.

Because of his stint on the city council, Graham is only eligible for four years as mayor, but he plans to make his mark while he has the job. Graham said that one of the most important projects on the city’s agenda is the ongoing, $15 million water project.

“It’s definitely one of the biggest projects in Graham in the last 30 years,” Graham said.

He also wants to continue fostering the cooperation effort between elected officials in the judicial sector, such as the district attorney and district judge, and local law enforcement agencies.

To Graham, this cooperation is crucial to the continued discouragement of criminal activity, as stiffer penalties and substantially larger bonds put forth by prosecutors mean that criminals stay in jail longer and law enforcement officers aren’t consistently arresting the same people.

Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.