Early voting is underway, with election day right around the corner. Texarkana, Arkansas is voting for City Director in Wards 1, 2, and 6. Each candidate wrote their own profile for Txk Today, so voters can learn a little about them and their reasons for running. These are the candidates for ward 1.
It is with great excitement and pride that I announce my candidacy for the Texarkana, Arkansas’ Board of Directors, Ward 1 position. I have lived in Texarkana, Arkansas my entire life and I graduated from of Arkansas High School, class of 1990. I have been afforded many opportunities in both work and education. I am currently the Chief Clerk for Judge Nancy Talley and have been for many years. Prior to working for Bowie County, I worked for Century Bank / Wells Fargo, as a Branch Manager. I hold a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA), and volunteer at Hospice of Texarkana in pastoral care. Volunteer work brings me great joy and it is a blessing to be a light for families in their darkest hour.
I have three priorities on which I feel our great city should focus. One is infrastructure and the delivery of necessary services. Second is public safety and third is promoting an environment that attracts and retains business. Anyone who knows of me, knows that I am integrity-driven. It is how my parents raised me and it is certainly something I practice in both my personal and professional life.
My pledge to you, as City Director of Ward 1, is to listen. Not only to hear you, but to make a conscious effort to understand what the needs are or concerns may be. I believe in follow-through and with this practice I pledge to always follow-up with the people of Ward 1. Texarkana, Arkansas is in a unique position as an economic hub. By working with our elected officials and business leaders, I believe we can thrive beyond the current standard. I believe we have the opportunity to flourish economically while also providing a stable tax base.
In closing, let me reiterate that I believe we live in a great city. Let us work together to make it an even better place to work, play, worship and call home.
Ward 1 Director
First and foremost, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the citizens of Texarkana, Ar for the privilege of serving as the Ward 1 City Director and Assistant Mayor for these past several years. I have gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge and insight into the workings of our great city and will forever be grateful of the experience that was afforded to me. I would be honored to serve the city of Texarkana again and would relish the opportunity to continue the work that I have started.
As a citizen of Texarkana for over 55 years, I am committed to being involved and helping to make this city grow and prosper. I have been in public education at both the high school and collegiate level for 32 years, and I look forward to finishing my tenure at the school I graduated from, Arkansas High School. I feel that my experience in working with youth, fellow professionals, and the public has helped me become an involved, caring, and problem solving adult. Being involved in other civic organizations and non-profit agencies has also helped shape me as a person. Through work with with Habitat for Humanity, Opportunites, Inc, Harvest Regional Food Bank, the National Honor Society, Randy Sams Homeless Shelter, National Night Out, Texarkana Ar Citizens Police Academy, and numerous other agencies have all made me a better person and made me more acutely aware of the many needs in our community and the great services that are available for our citizens.
As I have stated in earlier interviews, the epitome of service, integrity, and commitment is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
The citizens of Ward 1 need more access to retail businesses, restaurants, and grocery options. Many of the residents must shop outside our ward, so I would like to see more incentives and economic opportunities for growth and development. I believe wholeheartedly that citizens will become more involved and back their communities and neighborhoods when they feel a sense of ownership and responsibility. Citizens who own businesses and/or homes are of vital importance to the growth and prosperity of a region, so I feel that property tax paying citizens are the backbone to a thriving area, and it is imperative that we invest and insure that the tax base for our ward and our entire city is solid, especially when those citizens may be involved in determining budgetary and financial decisions in the city of Texarkana.
As your Director, I will continue to support and push for businesses and manufacturing to create more jobs and economic development for our city. Improvements and expansions at FedEx, Cooper Tire, Old Dominion, UPS, and Texarkana Regional Airport are examples of this economic development, and I will continue to strive to enhance existing businesses and to bring more development/industry to our city.
The Board voted this week to adopt a resolution for the city to participate in financing the purchase of a large industrial site for the purpose of securing and developing much needed industry. In cooperation with the Public Facilities Board and with the support of state officials including Governor Asa Hutchinson, the future for economic development is looking exceptional. The project will be funded through the issuance of revenue bonds, and the board has granted the city manager and mayor authority to negotiate with interlocal agencies in a cooperative agreement with other public entities for the financing of this project, and working closely with the non-profit ArTx REDI will greatly enhance our exposure.
As a graduate of the Texarkana Arkansas Citizens’ Police Academy, I saw firsthand how our police department is overworked and often misunderstood and not appreciated. Both our police and fire departments work tirelessly to serve and protect the citizens. So to help bridge the political divide our country is experiencing right now between police reform and social justice and safety for all – additional training, equipment, and support services funded through federal/state grants are essential to enhance both the effectiveness and cooperation for our city to thrive and promote civility and trust.
Facing a national housing affordability crises along with declining federal resources, we must address this issue and deal with new and innovative ways to support affordable housing and adopt policies to protect our residents from payment increases and evictions at this critical time. Also, many zoning restrictions and outdated land-use regulations can lead to housing shortages, drive up costs, and further widen economic inequalities. By cutting red tape and increasing affordability to more citizens, our local governments can work together with state/federal programs to improve the opportunities for more of our citizens.