Article by Angele Latham with Jackson Sun
In the bedecked halls of the Carl Perkins Civic Center, Jackson City Mayor Scott Conger announced his plans to run for re-election for city mayor Tuesday evening.
Conger, who was elected in 2019 with 63% of the vote in a runoff election, looked back on his term with an equal measure of optimism and exhausted pride.
“Four years—I stood here four years ago,” he said, gesturing to the gathered crowd around him. “Seems like a lifetime ago. Especially when you add in the COVID years. A lot has changed in our world since then.
“But one thing hasn’t changed: My commitment to making Jackson the best it can be, and my commitment to making Jackson a place where our children can grow and live in a city that they can be proud of.”
Conger acknowledged the hurdles of the past few years, while pointing out the strides he believes the city has made.
“The past three years haven’t been easy,” he said. “We all knew it wasn’t going to be. We knew there were going to be challenges, because we were changing the way things have always been done … We made it our mission to find a better path forward.
“We’ve taken control of our budget, and we’ve cut out corruption. We built a healthy fund balance. We’ve made historic investments in infrastructure and quality of life. We’ve launched our office on financial empowerment, we’ve established a commission on aging, the Mayor’s Youth Council, and both are making huge impacts in our city. We partner with the county and the school system to build new schools. We equipped our fire departments and police departments with vehicles and equipment that aren’t falling apart. We’ve upgraded our processes to make it easier to do business with the city. And we’ve done all these things while coming in under budget and paying down our debt.”
Notable goals Conger wants to tackle, should he be re-elected, is much of the same policies and initiatives that are currently working their way through the channels of city government.
“The work is just beginning,” he said. “This year, we’ll break ground on two very important projects: Jackson’s first senior citizens center and men’s homeless shelter. We’ll complete our Animal Care Center, and we’ll begin the planning process to completely redesign Muse Park to fully utilize all 111 acres. We’ll start construction on the South Greenway that will link Bemis to downtown, we’ll continue our historic investments in street resurfacing and we’ll start making significant investments in walkability so people feel connected.”
Even though the list is long, Conger said initiatives to make the city better and grow toward the future should be continuous.
“But we can’t stop there,” he said. “Now isn’t the time for congratulations. Now is the time to say good enough. Now it’s time for us to dream big for Jackson.”
The mayoral election will be held on May 2, 2023, along with city council members.