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story.lead_photo.caption Ward 6, Texarkana, Texas Photo by City of Texarkana, Texas

EDITOR'S NOTE: Profiles of the candidates for the Ward 6 seat on the Texarkana, Texas, City Council follow in alphabetical order. The Gazette requested that candidates not exceed a character limit on each question to provide fairness and equality in coverage and article length. Aside from minor changes and editing, the candidate responses are being printed as submitted.

Only Ward 6 residents may vote in the election. Early voting continues weekdays through Jan. 24 — with the exception of Jan. 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Day — at City Hall, 220 Texas Blvd. Early voting hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Early voting hours will be extended to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 21.

On the day of the election, Jan. 28, there will be one polling place, the Pleasant Grove Middle School band hall at 5605 Cooks Lane. A different polling place used by some Ward 6 residents during county-run elections will not be used for the City Council vote.

 

 

Jay Davis

Jay Davis

BIOGRAPHICAL

Spouse, children and/or other family:

Spouse: Kimberly Davis. Daughters: Lauren, a senior, attends The King's College in NYC and Kathryn attends PG. Parents: Jack and Susan (deceased) Davis, educators with TISD and PGISD.

Age:

47

Years a Texarkana, Texas, resident:

40

Top three degrees and/or educational achievements:

Texas A&M-Texarkana, Business Administration

Current job/employer and top three occupational achievements:

Mortgage Loan Officer with State Bank

2019 SuperStar Award — Recognition for loyalty, motivation, leadership skills, can-do attitudes and community involvement

2018 Texarkana Board of Realtors President's Award — the only lender to receive this award

2018 and 2019 Most Connected Mortgage Professional by NMP Magazine

Top three examples of your civic or community service:

Chair of the Texarkana Board of Realtors Running Home 5K benefiting Special Olympics

Steering Committee for the "Renew Texarkana" Comprehensive Plan

Appointed in March of 2016 by Josh Davis as a Commissioner on the Planning and Zoning Commission

 

POLITICAL

Top three examples of your political experience:

Elected to the Pleasant Grove Board of Trustees, served for seven years

Why are you running for office?

I have felt the desire to serve in this role since 2014 and feel that I am now in a position to hit the ground running if elected. I am always seeking ways to advocate for our area and have served in various positions including volunteer, appointed and elected positions. My decision to seek this seat is motivated primarily by a desire to give a little back to the community that has been so generous to me. I do not undertake this challenge lightly and I understand well the demands and burdens of public service.

What are your top three goals if elected?

Continue to improve our relationship with our sister city. Support the redevelopment of our downtown. Improve the perception of Texarkana to bring in large employers. We are a great place to work, live, and play.

 

ISSUES

Much of Texarkana's growth is happening in Ward 6. If you are elected, what principles would guide your decision-making regarding managing that growth?

Listening to all the stake holders of Ward 6 and our city staff will help guide my decision-making in regard to growth. Balancing the needs of the community with proper zoning for housing, retail, manufacturing, etc. Creating or eliminating ordinances that remove barriers for business owners.

In Ward 6 in recent years, proposed housing developments for low-income residents have met opposition. What is your position on allowing such developments in the ward?

At this time I do not see a need for low-income housing development in Ward 6. I am looking forward to the completion of the Grim Redevelopment and how it will provide affordable housing for Texarkana.

What needed infrastructure improvements are high priorities in Ward 6?

Roads, this is by far the biggest infrastructure need within Ward 6. The completion of Galleria Oaks has left Tamar, Clay and Richwood in need of replacement/repair. The second need is drainage near areas near Clear Creek and Arroyo.

What is your position on the involuntary annexation of land into the city limits?

I am a strong advocate for property owners' rights. Annexation is needed in some situations for continued growth. In my opinion, Texarkana has enough unimproved property available before involuntary annexation should be considered for growth.

What can the City Council do to promote business and economic development?

Continue to improve our relationship with our sister city. Support the efforts of TexAmerica's and AR-TX Redi. Create or eliminate ordinances that remove barriers for business owners. And keep property taxes at the lowest rate that will allow Texarkana to attract new businesses.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support an increase in the city's property tax rate?

I would support an increase in the city's property tax rate to react to sudden shrinkage of growth that would impact the city's ability to provide necessary services to the public. I am very sensitive to tax payers paying any more than what is required to run an efficient city.

 

 

Mike Ingram

Mike Ingram

BIOGRAPHICAL

Spouse, children and/or other family:

Spouse: Sylvia. Daughters and son-in-law: Catherine and Lawson Lawrence and Megan Harrison. Mother: Wanda Ingram.

Age:

60

Years a Texarkana, Texas, resident:

56

Top three degrees and/or educational achievements:

Texas High School, 1977

University of Texas at Arlington, 1979-1981

Champions School of Real Estate, 2019

Current job/employer and top three occupational achievements:

I'm a commercial agent with NAI/American Realty. Prior, I was the Director of Property at E-Z Mart for 20 years. I sold over $40M in real estate and convenience stores; I negotiated the purchase of multiple stores in single transactions; I secured the purchase of multiple new convenience store sites within this region.

Top three examples of your civic or community service:

Past President of the Harvest Regional Food Bank

Past President of the CHRISTUS St. Michael Friends of the Foundation

Past President of the Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties

 

POLITICAL

Top three examples of your political experience:

I'm not a politician, just a citizen that loves Texarkana and is answering the call to serve our community! I believe my business experience, along with a concern for the well-being of the citizens who call Texarkana home, makes me a great candidate for this office.

Why are you running for office?

I was the Real Estate Director for 20 years at E-Z Mart Stores, an operation of over 300 stores across five states. During my time at E-Z Mart, I gained invaluable knowledge of dealing with Planning and Zoning issues and worked with many City Councils to gain the most desirable outcome for both my company and the city. As Texarkana grows, I feel we need a Councilman that has my kind of experience and will move our city forward by bringing new business and industry here that will complement existing business and create more jobs with good salaries.

What are your top three goals if elected?

When elected, I will immediately dive into the city's budget and learn what projects we currently have approved. I will follow-up to make sure these projects carried through to completion and evaluate any future needs the city has.

I'll reach out to the residents and businesses of Ward 6 and make sure the city is meeting their needs. I also encourage the residents of Ward 6 and all of Texarkana, Texas, to reach out to me if they have a concern or question that needs to be addressed.

And lastly, I will faithfully work with the other Council Members so that the decisions we make will benefit Texarkana as a whole.

 

ISSUES

Much of Texarkana's growth is happening in Ward 6. If you are elected, what principles would guide your decision-making regarding managing that growth?

Zoning in our city is very important for controlling the growth in a favorable way and protect our current values. The citizens and business owners will play an important role in my decision making on any planned development in Ward 6.

In Ward 6 in recent years, proposed housing developments for low-income residents have met opposition. What is your position on allowing such developments in the ward?

I attended the Council Meeting the night the low-income housing was voted on. I heard the residents of Ward 6 voice their main concerns that night: traffic congestion an apartment complex that size would bring to those two-lane roads. The infrastructure cannot possibly handle that type of traffic, and I would vote to deny that request if it ever comes up again.

And concerning property values, there is no doubt that when an apartment complex, or any other type of business, is built within an area around single-family homes, the property values will go down. I will oppose any project that jeopardizes the property values of Ward 6, period!

What needed infrastructure improvements are high priorities in Ward 6?

When elected, I will immediately find out what the highest priorities concerning infrastructure improvements are needed. At this time, I honestly don't have the history to know the answer to this, but rest assured I will when elected.

What is your position on the involuntary annexation of land into the city limits?

Annexation is a hot button issue, and I will listen to our citizen's concerns and complaints. We know that cities can't grow without annexation, and there are good and bad things that go along with it, so I will listen to what our citizens have to say about each circumstance.

What can the City Council do to promote business and economic development?

I was recently at a Real Estate Conference in Fort Worth and spoke with many big developers at that conference and promoted Texarkana. Being in the Real Estate profession, I will continue to give hands-on time to personally be involved in bringing industry to our city. I'll also work with REDI, the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, and TexAmericas to help our city grow with new job opportunities.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support an increase in the city's property tax rate?

I promise to exhaust every effort not to increase the property tax rate. It would be an absolute last resort!

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