Mayoral Candidates Speak Out For First Time

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro's mayoral candidates made their first public appearance at the Nettleton Performing Arts Center.

It was a chance to let voters know where they stand on the issues.

The focus of Monday night's forum--public safety.

Many of the candidates said they support improving the city's 911 center.

They also want to build and replace fire stations and increase emergency personnel.

Paying for it, however, is where they disagreed.

After the forum, we asked the candidates how they would solve the financial problems while improving the city's public safety departments.

"We have to be mindful of the citizen's dollars, and work with the current administration, the current council to see that those funds are being dispersed appropriately when it comes to our fire, our police, and all of our safety," said Jason Willett.

"What you've really got to do, it's like a balance sheet. You really have to look up and make a t-account, and say what do we have in here? Number two, what are we going to have to spend it for? Then we match that, and I think that can be done, there's no question about it," said Harold Perrin.

"We'll have to look at how much money is allowed in the budget, look at some priority changes, and what can we cut from the budget so that we can add more money into the staffing for the fire department, the police department, the finance department," said Felicia Parks.

"I can say it's going to be the number one priority to get in there, and find out the financial situation of the city. It's imperative because you really can't do anything else until you know where you are financially. The city has been flying blind for three years financially," said Alec Farmer.

Monday's forum was hosted by the Jonesboro Firefighters Local 3718.

After the mayoral candidates took to the stage, those competing for Jonesboro city council had their chance to answer questions.

Stay with Region Eight News for the latest on all of these races as November draws closer.

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