Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


May 7, 2013

Election 2013: Candidates share thoughts on governance, city policy

JACKSONVILLE — Kenneth Melvin:


I have greatly enjoyed serving as Mayor for the last two years, and I ask you to consider re-electing me in the upcoming election. If re-elected, I will continue to serve all citizens of Jacksonville.

Let's go back to the Mayoral Debate of April 22. I brought up the fact that the City had invested around $400,000 to purchase a Ladder Fire Truck. Mr. Gowin did not deem this as a wise expenditure. He thought the money should have been spent on beautification of downtown; i.e., new sidewalks. Now let's go back to Sunday, April 28, when a fire at Yum Yum's restaurant occurred.

It has been said by fire officials that had it not been for our ladder truck and trucks from Rusk and Tyler, the fire would not have been contained to one building. My question to Mr. Gowin is "what good are new sidewalks, when there are no store fronts left standing?" Mr. Gowin also said during the debate, that he would increase property taxes in order to beautify downtown; is this tax money well spent?

Mr. Igbokwe and Mr. Gowin both said what they would do if elected. Gentleman, please be advised that neither of you can do nothing alone. It takes a majority vote to approve or deny any motion.

You get a single vote, as do the other council members.

To the Citizens of Jacksonville: Please know that I would appreciate your vote to re-elect Kenneth Melvin as Mayor for the City of Jacksonville.

Thank you so much.

Kenneth  Melvin


Rob Gowin:

Dear Jacksonville,

A friend told me the other day that I was crazy for running for Mayor. My response to him and others who have questioned my candidacy is this: I love my hometown.  After graduating from Baylor University, I moved home to be close to my family; a family that has lived here for generations.  Jacksonville is the best place to live in East Texas, but I always say, even the best can do better. Improving Jackson-ville and the quality of life for our residents and business community is my only goal. If you think there is room for improvement in our town, Let’s Get Gowin!

As your Mayor, I believe we can do better.  

I am running for Mayor of Jacksonville because I love Jackson-ville.  My love for our city can be seen in the investment I’ve made in the heart of Downtown at Sadler’s Restaurant– where we turned an old building into a thriving business.  My love for Jacksonville can be seen in the jobs I have created for our residents.  

Because I love Jacksonville, I get upset when I’m told our city is doing “good enough,” that “everything is fine,” and that “we cannot do better.”  

As your Mayor, I won’t be satisfied with “good enough;” I won’t be satisfied with the “status quo.” I travel throughout East Texas and see cities being redefined. I see cities that are successful in economic development.  And I see cities around us that are successful in their progress and forward momentum.

If you agree that we can create new opportunities and move our town forward, Let’s Get Gowin!

Jacksonville is in good shape financially, and the Council and Mayor Melvin deserve credit for that.  But I don’t see financial stability as an accomplishment; I see it as an opportunity.   Many people are scared because of the economy.  For years, our country’s economy has struggled to recover.  We have lost jobs and industry to foreign markets. We have lost local businesses.  

And as a small businessman, I feel the pain so many of us are going through. Tough times call for tough decisions. It is proven that those who invest during a down economy, those who take advantage of opportunities, can be the most successful.  

Now more than ever we should invest in Jacksonville. If you share in my belief that our town is worth investing in, Let’s Get Gowin!

For Jacksonville, we must look at each challenge as an opportunity. Tourists from big cities aren’t taking weeklong vacations to faraway places – so let’s bring them here.

Jacksonville has plenty to offer, from shopping and dining, to our outdoor activities. Lake Jacksonville and Love’s Lookout, and our many historical buildings are unique to us. We enjoy a diverse culture.

But we have to tell our story, and we must have a strong business community when people visit. If you believe we can tell our story better, Let’s Get Gowin!

We can revitalize our downtown and the city at large to create jobs. We can create a friendlier business environment with a city hall that works for the community. We can turn the jobs we create into investments in parks and beautification for our city. And in these tough economic times, we must strengthen the relationship between the Chamber of Commerce, JEDCO, and city government.

It is only through a strong working relationship between all of these groups responsible for our success as a city, that we can accomplish our goals of prosperity and progress. If you believe in a united front for our city, Let’s Get Gowin!

My question to the voters of Jacksonville is simple – can we do better? Can we clean up our city and build a better downtown? Do we invest in our current infrastructure, or build new buildings? Can we attract more tourists and create more jobs? Can we redefine our town?  

I believe in Jacksonville, I believe in our people, and I believe we can accomplish any goals that we set.

If you share in my goals and vision, then I ask for your vote.

If you believe we can do these things, Let’s Get Gowin!

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