JONESBORO—This is a transcript of opening remarks by at-large candidates for Jonesboro City Council during a candidate forum held Oct. 7 at council chambers. Solicitor (now District Attorney) Tasha Mosley served as moderator.

TASHA MOSLEY: The council seats. What I'm gonna do is um, give you the order each. I will read each bio of every candidate. The candidates will then immediately after I finished reading their bio, have a two minute uh, time to give an opening statement for every question that I asked. They will have one minute. If you hear me do something like this, "ahem," that means they've got 15 seconds and then I will be given the peace sign for them. That means for them to stop because they will have one minute to answer each question. After we go through the questions that have been provided to me by the council, we will then go through the audience questions. If your question is one that might be attacking one in particular candidate, it will be pulled out. But I told the candidates, if they see me take a question out, they are more than welcome to ask for it.

So if you see me hand a candidate a question, it's because they're making sure that I'm not trying to hide something as we're going to be open and transparent and honest here. Um, the particular order, how we're going to start this off as far as the council member, because we have one incumbent, Mr. Wise will be the first one to give an opening and they will then start rotating, um, rotating down Mr. Aviles and so on, according alphabetically.

Um, the closing. Mr. Wise will be the last one to close but we will be going alphabetically, um, in the evening the rest of the evening. Now when it comes to the first question that I give, it will go alphabetically but Mr. Aviles, because he got the first question and answered it first, he will then come down back to the rotation. So the next person that is alphabetical, which I think is Mr. Dixon, would then get the second question and be the first and we will just go alphabetically. That will happen also for the candidates for mayor. So we've discussed that. Everybody said they were cool with it, no problems, so if we are ready to begin, we will begin. Start with Mr. Wise.

Mr. Ed Wise has been married for 23 years and has three children and five grandchildren. He moved from Chesapeake, Virginia in 1985 and has resided in Jonesboro since that time, 23 years being inside the city limits of Jonesboro. He's the owner of Sirens for Cities, Inc., which operates in the city of Jonesboro and he's donated, he donated the first outdoor warning system to the city after opening his business and continues to maintain and service them at no cost to the city. He has been fortunate enough to serve on the city council for six years and volunteered many years as a volunteer fighter fire with the city. Mr. Wise?

ED WISE: Good evening. I wish we could get this kind of turnout for council meetings. Uh, before I begin, I'd like to thank the city of Jonesboro for allowing us, all of us up here, this opportunity to speak with you guys. I'd like to really thank the solicitor general Tasha Mosley for taking time out of her very busy schedule, uh, to be the moderator. But most importantly, I want to thank you guys cause you guys are here. You're just showing that you care about our city. Um, I've seen our city go through some pretty difficult times and, but no, we can't dwell on the things that have happened in the past. We have to move forward to keep on getting better things for our city. As a city council member, I've been truly honored to be able to serve on the city council for almost six years. I'm proud to say that I've been a part of many of the good changes that have been happening here in Jonesboro.

But we've got so much more to accomplish, not only with the downtown development projects, but for all the city. I need to listen to each one of your concerns and complaints. I can always make the, so I can always make the best decisions and votes for us all. Hopefully, tonight you'll get a chance to see some of the good things about the candidates up here. And unfortunately, some of the bad things, uh, of bad qualities in us all. I've been married for 23 years. I can take criticism because of this. I, uh, take that criticism, I learn from it, and I will listen to you all and learn from you all. Thank you.

TASHA MOSLEY: Thank you, Mr. Wise. Next. Mr Joel Aviles. Mr Joel Aviles has been a Jonesboro resident for 14 years. He currently lives with his wife and two young children, 10 and 13 years of age. He is currently the chairman of the Jonesboro Design Review Committee committee. Mr Aviles holds a bachelor degree in architecture from Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia and a master of science in advanced archeo, architectural design from Columbia University, New York city. He is currently a licensed architect with more than 17 years experience and a business owner with an office in downtown Jonesboro. Mr. Aviles is an award-winner designer. In 2013, he was the architect and designer of Lee Street Park. Mr Aviles looks forward to using his skills and talent for the betterment of Jonesboro. Mr. Aviles?

JOEL AVILES: Okay. Thank you very much. Can you hear me? I'm a little nervous. This is the first time for me to do this. I never thought in my life I would run for some office of any kind. So, um, uh, I just going to start with what I had written because otherwise I go all over the place. So, uh, my name is Joel Aviles and I had been living in Jonesboro over for 14 years and I'm a father of two young boys, 13 and 10, and 13 years old and married to my beautiful wife Angelina. Go She's in a field trip where my son could not be here today, but, and uh, I'm currently licensed architect with more than 17 years' professional experience and a business owner, eh, we have an office here in downtown Jonesboro. Uh, as you know, in 2013, I was the architect of Lee Street Park. I volunteer my time during that time to do the master planning and, um, I'm running for city council because I believe my problem solving skills and talents can be of great benefit to our city.

I believe in creative solutions that are cost effective in delivering big results. If I'm honored to be your council member representative, I will laser focus on proposing creative ideas that will help increase the city's medium household incomes. I believe that increasing our medium household incomes is our biggest challenge.

Therefore, after weeks of thinking and planning, I have identified three areas that we can help increase our median household incomes. These are quality housing, more inviting and relaxing green spaces and thoughtful, fun community driven projects. I have a plan for working on these three areas. And hopefully I get a chance to elaborate on these today because we only have two minutes.

So I truly believe that we, if we work tirelessly, tirelessly towards right raising, median household incomes, all our residents, all of our residents would benefit from a well diverse community, diverse community community in which we all help each other succeed. A community that understand each other's need and a community that cares about each other. If we succeed in this mission, they just, then the rest of the world will know who we are and they will come and invest in our city and help us make our city prosperous. Thank you very much. 

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