Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

February 12, 2013

Jacksonville mayor files for reelection

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Incumbent Mayor Kenneth Melvin formally filed for reelection Monday, characterizing his decision to seek a second term as a vote of confidence in the way Jacksonville officials currently are managing city affairs.

"These people do such a wonderful job," Melvin said. "If we can just keep the management team we have in place now – the city manager (Mo Raissi), fire chief (Paul White), police chief (Reece Daniel), public works director (Will Cole) and other department heads – without losing them to larger cities – I think we can continue to operate as efficiently as we are now."

The mayor, who will turn 73 in May, joins two veteran council members who recently announced their intentions to jump on the reelection campaign bandwagon. District 1 Councilman Hubert Robinson and District 3 Councilman Bill McDonald are  also seeking reelection, Betty Thompson, Jacksonville city secretary, has confirmed.

Melvin, who first won the mayoral seat by 31 votes over opponent Jeff Smith in May 2011, said he hopes voters will have the same confidence in him that he has in Jacksonville city officials and residents.

"I have enjoyed working with all people from all sides of town," the mayor said. "I treat everyone the same and always try to consider how doing things can effect other people."

If the city can continue to operate in the future as it does now, Jacksonville will continue to be a fantastic place to live, Melvin explained.

"In the last eight to ten years, we have not had a tax increase, we've built some reserves and I personally think the city has been operating very effectively and efficiently," Melvin said. "I really want things to go well so this trend can continue."

McDonald, meanwhile, originally could not be reached to comment when he first announced. However, the incumbent councilman has since submitted comments on his reasons for running once again.

McDonald said service to the citizens of Jacksonville has been a high point of his time in the city spotlight.

"I feel that I have approached concerns of the citizens with an open mind and the decisions made, I feel, were always in the best interest of the whole city," McDonald said.

McDonald said as part of the council and with the assistance of the city staff, the council has started a number of projects he wishes to see completed.

"As a member of the finance committee we have been improving the city's financial status and we are striving to make our city one of the more stable cities, financially, in East Texas," he said.

Interested candidates file applications through March 1, with paperwork available at district administration offices.

Early voting is from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 29 through May 7.

On the May 11 election day, polling hours are from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.