VOTE 2022: Multiple candidates in running for Blytheville Mayor

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - In less than a week, multiple Mississippi County towns could have a new mayor, including the city that holds the county seat.

In Blytheville, seven people are in the running for mayor.

The political climate in the city is thick, as each person wants to lead it in a new direction.

The candidates for mayor include John Mayberry, Barbara McAdoo-Brothers, Juanita V. Jackson, Melissa R. Logan, John Musgrave, Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Welspom, and Ronnie Hayse.

This will be the first time in more than a decade the city will see a new mayor, as current Mayor James Sanders said he would not seek re-election this year.

One of the biggest topics on many residents’ minds is crime.

When asked about how they would handle crime in their community, some of the candidates said they would start with the police department.

“I plan on having a proactive police force,” Mayberry said. “Number one, we are going to have to instill a curfew here because our teens are getting out of hand. We need a gang crime unit because these young people are carrying these guns and we need to infiltrate those types of things. We also need our patrolmen patrolling the areas.”

“We have to get structure in our police department because the weakest link is our police department,” Jackson said. ”If we get a stronger mayor and stronger police department, it will deter crime. We have to get a police department that is not afraid to go to the tough calls.”

However, one candidate said the problem does not begin with the officers.

“I think the key to combating crime is the quality of life,” Logan said. “I could tell you about all these strategic plans that I have in three to five years or my first 100 days in office, but ultimately, if we can improve the quality of life for all residents no matter the creed, color, religion, or belief, I think the improvement of quality of life. Give them more things to do, and bring some recreational activities to the city.”

Other candidates said working with the community could help deter crime.

“I feel like what we need a better rapport is with the families of the victims because there are a lot of unanswered questions we had,” McAdoo-Brothers said. “If it was more open to discussion to people, it would help us in the process of trying to heal or trying to move forward.”

“When the police come in a lot of times, the police do not really know what is going on, so we actually really need to have an advocate,” Welspom said. “I would like to put an advocate in every community and every ward. That ward will have someone that lives there that is a police officer, it will bring more communication and a relationship.”

“Crime is coming from educating the younger generation. The younger generation is being used by the older generation in crime to bring them into crime. So, they’re trying to work to stop it at a youth level before they get involved,” Hayse said.

Musgraves explained new technology will help curb crime in the community.

“So, we are going to get more sky cops. We want sky cops, and I don’t care if they are at every corner because that helps prevent things. If you see those lights flashing it’s in your head that there is something there,” he said.

Each candidate mentioned making Blytheville environmentally attractive would also help bring more jobs and people to the city. That would include cleaning up old buildings and cutting overgrown grass.

You can visit the Vote 2022 page for more information about this year’s election.