North Jonesboro Becoming Focus of Mayoral Race - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Melissa Simas reports

North Jonesboro Becoming Focus of Mayoral Race

October 11, 2004 -- Posted 5:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- According to recently released census numbers, a large majority of the low to moderate income population resides in North Jonesboro. Still residents who have lived and worked there their entire lives take great pride in their community.

'They hear oh the north side of town that's a bad area, but they haven't lived here," said resident Jason Mothershed.

The candidates in Jonesboro's Mayor's race are not taking the poverty issue lightly. Some want to focus on cutting crime to help economics.

"Make sure to pursue the abatement program that our current city council has already begun," said Candidate Butch Herring.

Others want to focus on training and education to help find better jobs.

"It may not be the best job, but a job can at least give you the next step to finding something better," said Candidate Paul Bednar.

At least 2 of the candidates running for Mayor want to clean up the litter in this part of the city to help improve economic conditions.

"It's going to give people a boost in attitude and a boost in self-esteem," said Candidate Greg Cowles.

"It appeals to the companies coming in and taking a look at us," said Candidate Kevin Rhodes.

Then there is the suggestion first proposed by Travis Moore to have a ward elected council.

"I'm going to increase the odds of giving them a representation in city hall and city government," said Moore.

"If we could get city council people that live in this area and know this area, they would support us," said Mothershed.

When it comes down to it, some of the residents believe what this neighborhood really needs is better business, or a way to get to better jobs.

"They need buses or taxi cabs in this part of town," said one resident.

"We could maybe go in and hold the tax base the same and reward someone for constructing a new building," said Candidate Dan Pierce.

"We need to encourage business owners here to branch out that way and get North of Johnson Ave.," said Candidate Doug Formon.

The next Jonesboro Mayoral debate is scheduled for tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Nettleton High School Performing Arts Center. The event is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Jonesboro

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