Hawthorne welcomes new mayor with deep ties

Jacquelyn Randall has served on the Hawthorne City Commission since 2017, and now she’ll lead it as the mayor after the commission granted her a 12-month term beginning July 20.

Randall said she’s been adjusting over the last few weeks as she prepares to lead the commission.

“Learning processes from a different perspective has been probably the biggest challenge, but it’s fun because I like to learn and do new stuff,” Randall said in a phone interview. “I like the challenge.”

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She wants to keep Hawthorne headed on its path to success.

“I don’t want to derail from that,” Randall said. “It’s going in the right direction.”

As evidence, Randall pointed to the major grants the city has received, including $500,000 for a downtown facelift and more than $26,000 to renovate the Hawthorne Historical Museum and Cultural Center.

At the same time, Randall said some processes need fine-tuning, and she challenged commissioners to work through those issues.

“Right now, the commission has granted me 12 months as mayor, and during that time I just plan to do the best I can to execute where my strengths are and lean on the commission where my weaknesses are,” Randall said.

Randall grew up in Hawthorne and the mayoral skills needed might just be in her blood.

Randall’s mother, Eleanor Randall, served on the commission from 2004 until her appointment as mayor from 2009 to 2011. She then returned to the commission until she died in 2013.

“I also have the unique privilege to connect mom and daughter as mayors,” former mayor Matt Surrency said in a Facebook post recapping his 10 years as mayor. “It was an honor to serve with my friend “Kit” Eleanor Randall and to carry the gavel until now and pass it to another friend and her daughter Jacquelyn Randall.”

Randall’s grandfather also served on the commission and her great uncle had ties to it as well.

“It’s extra special with my mom holding the actual seat of mayor and now that torch is kind of being passed to me,” Randall said. “It’s something special. It’s kind of hard to describe.”

Seeing her family actively volunteering in Hawthorne made it natural for Randall and her siblings to get involved.

“Hawthorne is the foundation of who I am,” Randall said.

And she wants to ensure that foundation is available for the next child to have success and bring that achievement back to the community.

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