by Robin Kemp
Five candidates–three incumbents, a former councilman, and his brother–are running for three at-large seats in Jonesboro. The Dixon Brothers–Alfred and Cameron–are running their campaign like two guys in a three-legged race. Incumbent Pat Sebo-Hand has been vocal on hot-button issues like the county’s proposal to tear down the Jonesboro Library Branch for a bigger county administration complex. She also has been zipping around on her golf cart, campaigning in between managing the Saturday Farmers Market at Lee Street Park, and said she did not fill out the candidate survey because she had been dealing with family matters. Bobbly Lester and Billy Powell did not return the survey, which The Clayton Crescent also sent to Powell via City Manager Ricky Clark because Powell does not have an e-mail address on the city’s website.
Sebo-Hand, Lester, and Powell are longtime councilmembers. Alfred Dixon served one term, lost reelection, and has been rebuilding his political fortunes while teaming up with his brother, Cam. The brothers campaign together, largely on a platform of making the city welcoming to more people, especially youth and teenagers. After neighbors complained about gunfire at the city basketball court, Mayor Joy Day and council shut it down temporarily. Players at the court said the majority was being unfairly punished for the actions of a couple of people. Similarly, the council passed a law banning anyone over 10 years old from skateboarding in Lee Street Park after some benches and fixtures were scratched up and extensive damage was done to the city fountain. The Dixons see these moves as draconian measures that don’t really solve the problem of making sure teenagers have something to do.
All the candidates took part in a forum held in chambers. Cam Dixon punted most questions, saying he would go knock on doors and ask the people what they wanted.