Eight Vie for Ward 6 Seat | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Eight Vie for Ward 6 Seat

Ward 6 forum

Ward 6 forum

When Mayor Tony Yarber was elected back in April, his previous position as south Jackson's Ward 6 councilman became available and several people came forward to take on the challenges that currently face it. Jackson Free Press interviewed six of the seven people seeking the seat. One candidate, Rashaad Crisler, did not respond to repeated attempts to schedule an interview. The candidates emphasize improving the area's infrastructure, promoting economic development and controlling crime as the most significant challenges of the ward. See full interviews at jfp.ms/jxnward6.

Daniel "The Veteran" Myers

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Daniel "The Veteran" Myers

What would be your main priorities during your first few weeks on council?

My first few weeks would be an assessment of all the needs of Ward 6. ... I think we have to tackle that crime situation starting with neighborhood policing and then establishing and keying people in on the importance of neighborhood associations because they are very important.

What's a vote the city council has taken in recent years that significantly affected Ward 6? Did you agree or disagree with the vote of the Ward 6 council member at the time? Why?

I would have to say the 1 percent sales tax. I think they voted on that too soon without thinking it through. They voted for it, but they didn't put anything on paper (about) exactly how that money should be allocated. ... They should have done more investigative work before they passed that 1-percent sales tax because there are a lot of flaws that go along with it now.

When Mayor Tony Yarber served in the Ward 6 seat, he talked how economic development was one of the greatest challenges for the area since it is mostly residential. What are your plans in regard to economic development for the area?

We need a movie theater in Ward 6, that's for sure. I want to bring a movie theater to Ward 6. And the business that are already in Ward 6, we need to go and seek their needs.

We want to make sure we talk to them and see what can we do to keep them there. That's No. 1. Then once we decrease crime and get the neighbored straightened out, visitors are more inclined to come to a neighborhood that is more safe.

—Jared Boyd

Robert Amos

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Robert Amos

What would be your main priorities during your first few weeks on council?

During the first few weeks of my tenure as Ward 6 councilman, it is very important that we organize. We organize the neighborhood associations. We organize the neighborhood watch associations. ...I'm all in favor for strong, and I really mean strong, law enforcement presence in Ward 6. I'm in favor of ordinances that are business-friendly. So, it is very important during those first few weeks and first few months that we organize in south Jackson because this seat isn't about Robert Amos or any other candidate, it's about the people in Ward 6.

What's a vote the city council has taken in recent years that significantly affected Ward 6? Did you agree or disagree with the vote of the Ward 6 council member at the time? Why?

I think one of the votes that has significantly affected Ward 6 is the vote that involved the water-rate hike. ... It was a very important vote during that time and it has significantly not only impacted residents of Ward 6 but residents across the city. And I think it was important for the people in the area to just know the councilperson's position on it and why he would have said yea or nay.

When Mayor Tony Yarber served in the Ward 6 seat, he talked how economic development was one of the greatest challenges for the area since it is mostly residential. What are your plans in regard to economic development for the area?

I think the most important aspect for economic development in the area will be to maintain the existing businesses that are already here. It's a challenge, and I agree with our former councilperson but it's not an excuse not to try to attract any new businesses.

You don't want to lose the existing businesses that are already there, but we got to continue to look to create more incentive and more ordinances that may be business friendly, and we have to do a better job of continually decreasing the crime in the area.

—Mary Kate McGowan

Dennis Sweet IV

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Dennis Sweet IV

What would be your main priorities during your first few weeks on council?

What I would do is make sure we are organized and work with building community in Ward 6. We also want to work with current council members and establish working relationships with them.

What's a vote the city council has taken in recent years that significantly affected Ward 6? Did you agree or disagree with the vote of the Ward 6 council member at the time? Why?

I think the biggest decision the Council made was to put the 1 percent sales tax up for vote for the people of the city. I agree with their decision to do that. We want to make sure that the people's voice and the vote for that is heard and that they money is generated from the sales tax is properly allocated to fix the infrastructure and the city, like the people voted for it to.

What are your plans in regard to economic development for the area?

We have to ensure that there is training for the residents of the ward. We need to make sure that the ward is zoned to develop businesses. We need to make sure that we expand the zones for the new- market tax credit (program) to allow more businesses and jobs to come into the ward.

—Mary Kate McGowan

Wayne Lewis

What would be your main priorities during your first few weeks on council?

My main focus, if elected, would be to obtain knowledge on what's critical for the ward at the time and then develop a plan to implement action to see the quality of life improve.

What's a vote the city council has taken in recent years that significantly affected Ward 6? Did you agree or disagree with the vote of the Ward 6 council member at the time? Why?

I am unaware of any vote the council has made that has impacted Ward 6.

When Mayor Tony Yarber served in the Ward 6 seat, he talked how economic development was one of the greatest challenges for the area since it is mostly residential. What are your plans in regard to economic development for the area?

I disagree with Mayor Yarber. I believe it symbolizes a strength and represents a strong tax base because we are residential. There are some opportunities that need to be addressed in order to have economic development, and first we must stabilize the tax base, and we do that by addressing the crime.

—Deja Harris

Robert E. Green Sr.

What would be your main priorities during your first few weeks on Council?

My first week would consist of making sure we come together as a community and commit to a better South Jackson along with repairing communities and getting out to all the areas and finding out what they need.

What's a vote the city council has taken in recent years that significantly affected Ward 6? Did you agree or disagree with the vote of the Ward 6 council member at the time? Why?

As far as the votes, I haven't seen too many things that have been done. There has been talk, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

When Mayor Tony Yarber served in the Ward 6 seat, he talked how economic development was one of the greatest challenges for the area since it is mostly residential. What are your plans in regard to economic development for the area?

It needs more economic development. I've seen businesses that have left and not enough of them are moving into south Jackson. Being a service to the people is very important because that's what this position is all about.

—Deja Harris

Tim Rush

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Courtesy Tim Rush

Tim Rush

What would be your main priorities during your first few weeks on council?

Crime and recreation for the kids.

What's a vote the city council has taken in recent years that significantly affected Ward 6? Did you agree or disagree with the vote of the Ward 6 council member at the time? Why?

Certainly I support the 1-percent sales tax, but, of course, we haven't seen that come to fruition, yet. But that's probably the biggest one other than Siemens, and that's a contract.

What are your plans in regard to economic development for the area?

Hopefully revitalization, but obviously unlike other wards, Ward 6 don't have large shopping center areas.

—Mary Kate McGowan

Sylvester McDonald

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Sylvester McDonald

What would be your main priorities during your first few weeks on Council?

To get the crime under control. Go directly toward the crime.

What's a vote the city council has taken in recent years that significantly affected Ward 6? Did you agree or disagree with the vote of the Ward 6 council member at the time? Why?

The vote that has been taken that I disagreed with was the (one-percent) sales tax. They raised the taxes on water bills. Nothing has been done with the money. So, I was wondering why did they take another vote on it.

They haven't done anything with the money that already got allocated to be on the water bill.

And, the monies for putting the new leaders in. The contract for $90 million. and they had one for $30 million, and they turned it down. So why did they go with the highest bidder?

When Mayor Tony Yarber served in the Ward 6 seat, he talked how economic development was one of the greatest challenges for the area since it is mostly residential. What are your plans in regard to economic development for the area?

First, try to get the crime under control. You can't do anything because nobody wants to come while the crime is high. Try to get it under control, and then go toward some of the businesses and try to get the businesses to come in there. Talk to other businesses in other areas, and go to Madison and talk to some people that are in Madison and see if we can get them to come to Jackson.

—Mary Kate McGowan

Tyrone Hendrix

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Tyrone Hendrix

What would be your main priorities during your first few weeks on Council?

Hands down, in the first few weeks I'll be going to the residents of Ward 6. ... At that particular time I think we'll have to reinforce what we think the biggest issues are. ...We have problems with our children not having a place to go so they walk the street, they stay at home, they get in trouble.

The park areas that we have in the ward, if they are open, they are unsightly. It's not inviting for people to want to come and spend time in that green space, which would be a great place for kids to go.

What's a vote the city council has taken in recent years that significantly affected Ward 6? Did you agree or disagree with the vote of the Ward 6 council member at the time? Why?

There are two things that I want to take a harder look at... One of those things is the Siemens contract. ... Not only is it a contract that grew in cost to the taxpayer, but it also has a financial impact directly on water rate payers.

Things are going on all the time that affect them so being able to knock on doors like we're doing now and make phone calls like we're doing now and having an active Facebook and Twitter page like we're doing now to directly engage residents. I think is extremely important to the facilitation of making Ward 6 a better place.

When Mayor Tony Yarber served in the Ward 6 seat, he talked about how economic development was one of the greatest challenges for the area since it is mostly residential. What are your plans in regard to economic development for the area?

Ward 6 is largely residential, but I see it as not only a challenge but as opportunity. The one thing that south Jackson has that many other areas in the city don't have is we have land. We have residential land because Jackson as a whole has a scarcity of real estate for young professionals and folks who want to move into Jackson. But that also goes to make sure our neighborhoods are cleaned up and dilapidated properties are taken care of so we have that housing stock that we need. ... We have land for businesses and development to come in. We have almost 70,000 residents below Highway 80 that makes up south Jackson. Within Ward 6 we have almost 25,000 (people).

—Haley Ferretti

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