The race for the District 6 seat on the Fort Worth city council is one of two council races that has drawn four candidates, all of whom are focused on fixing the city’s infrastructure needs, public safety and implementing better communications at City Hall.
Among them is incumbent Jungus Jordan who is seeking his seventh term. His challengers are Paul Hicks, who also ran for the seat in 2009, and two newcomers, Roderick Smith and Nicholas St. John. At 21, St. John is the youngest candidate on the ballot for the May 6 election. Early voting begins April 24.
District 6 stretches west of Interstate 35W, stretching from Interstate 20 south to the city’s boundaries with Crowley. District 6, the only district that doesn’t include a portion of downtown, also straddles I-35W in far south Fort Worth.
It’s his youth that St. John says makes him the best candidate. He said he’s been attending council meetings for the last two years and would have liked to run back then, but rules stipulate that candidates must be 21.
St. John, a physics student at online Western Governors University, said he wants to see the citizen presentation portion of the City Council meetings moved to the beginning from the tail end of the meeting. St. John said council members should be responsive to citizens first before attending to business.
And, he vows to fix the city’s pothole issues by being proactive with the city’s street department in getting them fixed. He also wants to do away with red light cameras, and work on infrastructure and transportation needs.
“I will have the peoples’ interests as my top priority. I do have solutions,” St. John said. “I have the most energy and the best and brightest ideas to effect change. Currently, I have been told by numerous people that they want the roads to be in better condition, and the red light cameras gone.”
Said St. John, “The people are tired of representatives that do not represent them, and do not even take care of their most basic pleas. I will remember the people that elect me, and not just resort to business interests.”
Jungus Jordan, 68, a retired Air Force officer, if re-elected would become one of the longest-serving council members. It’s this experience, Jordan says, that makes him the best qualified. He also said he has a long list of accomplishments, but that he’s not yet done with the progress he intends for his district or the city.
“I love this city,” Jordan said. “Most important, I see myself as a public servant. I know who I work for. I’m very proud of the fact we built Chisholm Trail Parkway.”
Jordan was instrumental in attracting Tarleton State University to the southernmost reaches of District 6 and has worked to bring infrastructure to that area, not only for the university, but for the numerous planned residential and retail projects.
He’s also stood by the tenet that “growth pays for growth,” and helped pass a city policy recently that places guidelines on using Capital Public Improvement Districts in new developments.
“Growth is good, but growth brings challenges,” Jordan said. “Neighborhood quality of life, public safety and keeping property taxes low are the top issues. I try to approach each issue with common sense and have a track record of successful public service. I also strive to be a good listener and to be responsive to each citizen.”
Roderick Smith told the Star-Telegram in an interview that he wants City Hall to be more open to the public when it makes decisions, particularly when it comes to zoning cases where the surrounding neighborhoods are not in favor of a proposed project. Homelessness, public safety and economic development that would create jobs for far south and southwest Fort Worth are among his platform issues.
Smith, 30, asked that his remarks not be included in a story about the race.
Likewise, candidate Paul Hicks, 64, also retired, asked at the end of a interview that his comments not be included in a story. Hicks ran for the District 6 seat in 2009, receiving 12 percent of the vote. Hicks said he wants to improve the Code Compliance department, that tax dollars are being wasted and that City Hall and its elected officials to do respond to citizens in a timely manner.