Jonesboro Mayor's Race: Joy B. Day (I)

Jonesboro Mayor Joy B. Day

Name: Joy B. Day

Age: (not given)

Education/degrees completed/years: B.S., Tift College. M.Ed. Georgia State University, Ed.S. Georgia State University

City of residence: Jonesboro, Georgia

Office sought: Mayor

If you are an incumbent, how long have you held this office?

20 years

What elected or appointed public offices have you held before?

None

Name two specific problems facing your ward/city. Please be specific (e.g., “human trafficking” vs. “crime”).

1. Continuing to maintain a high level of services for our citizens while dealing effectively with financial pressures in terms of revenues and fixed costs to the city. This includes beautification and cleanliness as well as community events and other services.

2. Keeping crime out of our city; hiring professionally trained police officers and equipping them properly. Without safety, we cannot attract residents and new businesses to the city.

What specific solutions can you as a candidate offer to solve those problems?

1. Effective budget planning and oversight; reviewing the budget monthly in order to monitor both revenues and expenditures. We must continually watch the bottom line as we manage the public’s funds, and make sure that citizen services come first in our priorities. In terms of costs, properly bidding out items such as insurance, worker’s compensation, auditing, etc. helps to trim costs and monitor what is available in the market. Continuing to seek grants and sponsors for events and projects is vital.

2. We must provide a level of compensation that is competitive in the market, as well as offering incentives for special training and education opportunities. Building a reputation as a professional law enforcement organization is critical. Maintaining a small-town community policing effort is important to Jonesboro, but we must also have proactive efforts in terms of intercepting crime. To do that, hiring the right people is essential.

What are two important projects underway or pending in your ward/city (construction, planning, etc.)?

1. We have broken ground downtown on the Broad Street Plaza Project, which includes a three-station restaurant, City Green, small covered pavilion, "Meeting Place" building, underground utilities and complete refurbishing of the parking and pedestrian areas. It was my privilege to write and administer three grants for this project, one of which covered demolition costs ($160,000), and two for part of construction costs totaling approximately $600,000.

2. Our City Center Project is in the planning stages. We are currently working with architects to perfect a design, which we have shared with council. We will be holding public meetings to obtain citizens feedback in the near future. The project will be a new city hall and police department adjacent to Lee Street Park. Included in that project is a large community room and adjoining atrium for citizens' meetings and events. There will also be a terraced area facing the park to allow for citizens to sit and view concerts.

How do you resolve conflict?

One of the best ways to resolve conflict is to have things in place to avoid conflict in the first place. It is important to make sure everyone is informed and respected and that there are open lines of communication. If conflict does arise, LISTENING is key; everyone involved needs to be able to express their views. The next step is to find a level of understanding that all parties can accept. Hopefully, it is resolved, but we may have to agree to disagree and move on. Someone must make a judgment and continue moving the organization forward, resulting in a better working relationship for all.

What steps will you take to increase local government transparency and accountability to citizens?

The best way to be transparent and accountable is to LISTEN TO AND TALK with citizens! Call them back promptly, try to assist their needs, answer questions honestly, be open to meeting with them. We serve at the pleasure of the people!

Our open work sessions in which citizens can express their opinions on any subject the council discusses are held the first Monday of every month in our council chambers. Our website continues to display all agendas, minutes, documents under consideration, etc. and the city code is available online. We have a Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram accounts as well as a phone tree and monthly city newsletter.

Why are you the best-qualified person for this seat?

During 12 years of my time as mayor, I served as both city manager and mayor, at mayor’s salary. My commitment to and passion for the city and my willingness to work makes me the best-qualified person, as well as the 250+ hours of municipal training through the University of Georgia. I know how to make and balance a budget, how to write and administer a grant, how to compose and write documents. The everyday work of a city is important, not glamorous, but a working business, and especially in Jonesboro due to our limited staff. Let’s keep moving forward.