Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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January 30, 2014

First day of filing draws 2 council candidates

JACKSONVILLE — Filing for city council and school board seats opened Wednesday.

Filing continues until 5 p.m. Feb. 28, according to City Secretary Betty Thompson.

In Jacksonville, council seats for District 2 and District 4 are up for grabs.

District 2 City Councilman Jeff Smith filed Wednesday morning for his seventh term on the council.

"I am tremendously proud of the progress we have made together as a community. I know there is still a lot more that can be done to improve our city, and I am committed to working every day to make Jacksonville the absolute best that it can be," Smith said.

Smith added that in his time as a councilman, the council has kept a balanced budget for five years and the tax rate the same. He also said the council has reduced the city's total debt by more than half; made more than a million dollars in street improvements; removed or repaired more than 40 dilapidated homes through the Federal Home Grant Program; and applied for and received millions of dollars worth of state and federal grants for various city projects.

Local attorney Arron Swink, 28, also filed Thursday.

Swink filed for the District 4 council seat, currently held by Ann Chandler.

"I just always wanted to be back at home and be involved," said Swink, a 2004 graduate of The Brook Hill School. "I've lived in Jacksonville (area) my whole life. I just want to give the community a voice in District 4."

Swink also attended UT-Tyler and SMU law school. He was the president of the Cherokee County Bar Association in 2013.

To file for a city seat, a candidate must meet the following qualifications as outlined int he City Charter:

• Have to be a resident of the District they are filing in for at least 12 months.

• Must be 21 years of age

• A Councilman shall not be indebted to the City at the time of election

• Will need their voter registration card to record number on filing papers.

• There is no filing fee involved.

A candidate has not officially filed until they have appointed and submitted

a campaign treasurer.

Filings are accepted at Thompson's office at City Hall between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, several individuals picked up candidate filing packets for places open on the JISD Board of Trustees, but only one had filed by 3 p.m. Wednesday, said Yvonne Bergert, administrative assistant to the JISD Superintendent's office.

Filing opened Wednesday and continues through 5 p.m., Feb. 28, for a May 10 school board election.

School board trustee Place 3 – held by Jimmy Brown – and Place 4, held by James Houser, are up for election this year.

Cassie Devillier has filed for the Place 4 position, Bergert said.

Candidates may apply at the Jacksonville ISD Administration Building, 800 College Ave., between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, as well as during 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fridays.

For more information, contact Burgert at 903-566-6511 or mail Burgert at P.O. 631, Jacksonville, TX, 75766.

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