The Candidates were asked: Why are you running? What do you hope to accomplish over the next 4 years?
Mayor Paul Becker – Incumbent
To begin, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the citizens of Jacksonville, for allowing me to serve as your Mayor this past term. It has been an honor and a privilege and, with your vote and approval, I look forward to serving you during the next four years. We have traveled a busy road, and a review of where we have been and what we have accomplished will help to understand the tasks that lay ahead.
As your Mayor, and with the help of most members of the City Council, we have been successful in:
- After eleven years of discussion and review, we were finally able to sell off part of the excess acreage in Forest Park resulting in a net profit of $680,000. This also benefited Jacksonville by reducing motorcycle traffic, and securing a forty acre parcel with a parking lot for hikers using trails in Forest Park.
- Paying off an almost $300,000 loan on the police station.
- Embarked upon and successfully restored relations with the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.
- Then accepted from those Commissioners, the Courthouse and the full city block on which it stands, together with other properties such as the historic Beekman House. This transfer was worth millions to the City and was accomplished with NO COST to the taxpayers.
- Using Urban Renewal money, the Courthouse was then seismically retrofitted, and restored for City use and now houses our New City Hall. None of this was done with any increase in taxes and the project was completed below budget.
- Initiated a contract allowing the Jacksonville Community Center Board to lease the Sampson House site for 50 years at $1.00 per year, thereby giving them a tremendous financial boost enabling them to proceed with facility design and fundraising.
- Jacksonville’s City Charter was adopted 53 years ago, shortly after World War 2. Hopelessly out-of-date, and in violation of Federal law, it has been revised and is up for review and approval by our Citizens. This new charter is the result of more than a year’s effort on the part of your Mayor, your City Staff, and the City Council with the direct help and guidance on the legal issues by Steve Casaleggio who graciously volunteered his services. To review this ballot measure go to… http://www.jacksonvilleor.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Charter-Adopted-by-Council-7-19-16.pdf.
- After two years of work, Chapters 1-14 of the Municipal code were revised and codified.
- Following strong public input, designed ballot measures for this election to insure there would be NO recreational or medical retail marijuana stores in Jacksonville.
- Supported the merchants of our City by letting them use sandwich boards to advertise their business. This was of real benefit to merchants on Oregon whose shops were off the main pedestrian thoroughfare.
- Through our Administrator, the city secured another 200 acre feet of water rights thereby increasing our water supply by 50 percent… enough water to supply our estimated needs until the year 2040. (It should be noted that Jacksonville uses more water per capita than any other city in the Rogue Valley.)
- After years of pressure from the state to remove the old dam at Forest Park, and working with almost one dozen different state and federal agencies, completed the task well under any cost estimates.
- Embarked upon and completed the redesign and rehabilitation of the First and Main Street area. This project required close co-operation with the S.O.U. Archaeology experts and became a prime example of how such projects can succeed when properly managed.
Yes indeed! It has been a busy four years… But what about the future? Looking ahead, what are the issues facing our City? Just as no business can rest on its laurels, neither can government. There are always new issues… new challenges… new tasks to be faced and acted upon. The following are but a few:
Of paramount concern is the task of securing stable funding for our Police and Fire Departments. Currently, the Police Department expense is through the General Fund while the Fire Department is through the surcharge. Neither system is capable of indefinite operational support.
Then there is the question of a new fire house. Here, questions of suitable location and cost are vital and require a thorough analysis and discussion. Several suggestions have been offered in the past and now we need to explore every option in order to arrive at a successful outcome.
Transportation is becoming another issue for our City. Not only has there been a significant increase in population in the Applegate, but now we are faced with a marijuana farm worker migration through our City every day. These two developments have had an impact on traffic along California and Fifth streets. There is also the effect urban growth has upon our transportation corridor. We need a study group to determine what the future holds in this regard and what options the City has to deal with it.
Several of our key management personnel will reach retirement age in the next several years. We will need to carefully plan and manage the task of replacing these people as this occurs.
The second floor of City Hall has to be designed and finished and an elevator installed running between the ground floor, the main floor, and the second floor.
Building the Community Center is a top priority that will benefit us for decades. I urge everyone to contribute to the Collins Foundation Challenge Grant to raise $40,000 in matching funds to move this project forward.
These are only highlights of tasks which lie before us. It will indeed be a busy four years… one requiring strong skills in management and leadership. I believe I have shown during these past four years that I possess those skills, and that I have earned your trust, and I ask for your vote as Mayor in this coming election.
City Councilor Jocie Wall – Candidate for Mayor
I am a native Oregonian and have lived in Jacksonville for 16 years with my husband Steven, raising our son Jacob and being an involved member of the community. Jacksonville is a special place that all of us call home. The unique quality of life in our historic town is something that can easily be lost without proper guidance and vigilance. My passion for preserving, managing and guiding our city’s decisions, and working as a team with our council, staff and citizens is why I am running for Mayor.
My leadership style is to guide rather than dictate and listen rather than assume. I am running as the “Citizen’s Mayor”, ready to listen and encourage your participation in future planning for our wonderful town.
As Citizen’s Mayor, I am dedicating to serving the citizens of Jacksonville. I promise to:
- Have an open door to all
- Invite public input where anyone will be welcomed with respect and given an opportunity to speak and participate
- Promote open records
- Be well informed on the issues
- Honor our heritage and be guided by our charter, comprehensive plan, codes, ordinances and resolutions
- Represent the city of Jacksonville with the highest personal integrity
- Maintain a positive and productive approach to governance.As Mayor of Jacksonville, I am dedicated to resolving these important issues.
- GENERATE REVENUES for Public Safety (Police and Fire). Explore and develop ways to generate revenue streams that reduce the financial burden on our property owners. Prioritize public safety, fire and medical response teams, and safe and plentiful water for our citizens. Provide careful spending and safe practices for managing our City’s money.
- SUPPORT RESPONSIBLE GROWTH. Support responsible growth while protecting our National Historic Landmark Status and our pedestrian friendly town, focusing on infill rather than expansion. Write public policies that promote and protect our National Historic Designation. Bring back our museum and protect and restore our historic buildings.
- RESTORE AND EXPAND CITIZEN’S INVOLVEMENT. Form and maintain a Committee for Citizen Involvement (as required by the state of Oregon). Develop Community Action Committees to perform studies and make recommendations for City Council consideration. Reactivate our Land and Building Committee. Improve communications between our city and our citizens by holding open meetings and inviting all citizens to participate and contribute.
- BAN MARIJUANA RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS. Initiated and support Jacksonville’s Nov 8 2016 ballot initiative to prohibit recreational and medical marijuana production, processing, wholesale and retail facilities in the town of Jacksonville.
- PROMOTE FIREWISE, WATER CONSERVATION AND ENERGY. Promote community awareness for energy and water conservation practices. Encourage making all neighborhoods within Jacksonville fire-safe through the Firewise Program. Consider the formation of new committees for Conservation, Sustainability and Beautification.
- KEEP JACKSONVILLE BEAUTIFUL. Promote No Smoking Policy in our public parks and woodlands with the intent to extend to the Jacksonville Historic Core. Support the continued management of our incredible parks and woodlands. Encourage the development of additional public spaces such as walking and bike paths and a dog park.
- SUPPORT JACKSONVILLE’S VOLUNTEER AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. Honor and recognize the value our citizen volunteers provide to preserve the love and care of Jacksonville’s history, environment, businesses, culture and the arts.