Town of Matthews mayor candidate questionnaires: Jack Davis vs. Jim Taylor

With current mayor Lee Myers stepping down after a long run as Matthews mayor, two candidates are slugging it out to take his place. Here are the questionnaires, in their entirety, of candidates H. Jack Davis and Jim Taylor.

H. Jack Davis
Web site:
http://jackdavisformayor.com/Company.html
1: In your opinion, what makes you unique from the other candidates running for the same office?
I am unique because I LIVE AND WORK in Matthews!
• Everyone that runs for office in Matthews must live in Matthews, of course. What makes me unique is not only do I live in Matthews; I work in Matthews all day, every day.
•  I am self-employed. For 25 years, I’ve had my offices in Matthews. Today, I own my business (with a partner) and fully understand business and a town must be considered a business.
• The fact that I am self-employed affords me the ability to schedule my own time. I do not “punch a clock” for anyone else. I will have an open door policy. I can be at the Mayor’s official office—just three blocks from my own business, in just a few minutes or I can meet with anyone, at anytime, at my place.
I am unique because I have A LONG HISTORY OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.
•  My first community involvement was as a Matthews volunteer fire fighter in the early 1970’s and a member of the Matthews JayCees (Jr. Chamber of Commerce).
• In the late 1970’s and during the 1980s while my children were young, we were members of MARA (Matthews Athletic and Recreation Association). I worked as a baseball coach, as a division commissioner, and, I sponsored several ball teams.
•  Also, in 1978 I joined Boy Scouts of America Troop 39, now at Matthews United Methodist Church, with our oldest son. I severed that troop for several years as Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster. Later I served in leadership positions at BSA Troop 118 on Sardis Road. Our sons completed Scouting with the rank of Eagle Scout.
• During the Boy Scout Years, I also served as a staff member for five BSA adult leadership training programs and served as Course Director for one year. I served scouting for 25 years and was honored with a Silver Beaver Award; the highest award given to adults for their service to Scouting.
• In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I served this community as volunteer and/or on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity and the Matthews Help Center. And, I’ve used my auctioneering skills to conduct auctions for many local charities in their fund-raising events.
I am unique because I have LEADERSHIP and SERVICE EXPERIENCE.
• I have been and/or am a member of the Matthews Chamber of Commerce, the Sunrise Toastmasters, and the Matthews Rotary Club where I received two Dwight L. Moody Awards for outstanding service to Rotary.
• I am a business owner and I am deacon at First Baptist Church of Matthews and serve as a training facilitator.
•. I have served our town on the Board of Adjustments and I have served as a Matthews Commissioner for 4 years—from 2001-2005.
I am UNIQUELY MORE QUALIFIED THAN MY OPPONENT and, most importantly, I would be proud to serve as your mayor and I will be a mayor that you can be proud of.

2: Why did you choose to run for office?
I believe in commitments to our community through service. I can serve Matthews as an effective leader. It is time for change. Matthews began as a farm community. Every farmer will tell you not to plant the same crop year after year. It depletes the soil and soon nothing will grow. It is necessary to rotate crops to keep things growing. It is time to change the face of government to keep Matthews growing.

3: What is the highest or most important issue you have on your agenda while running for office?
The major issues within Matthews are traffic and economic development and they are closely intertwined – they impact each other so we must look at both of them.
Traffic!: Some very poor decisions made 20 years ago have crippled our small but historic downtown area. Phenomenal growth in western Union County has led to areas in our town where residents cannot get into or out of their own neighborhoods as the Union County folks move to and from theirs. While we can’t stop people from driving through, we can stop waiting for someone else to fix the problems on our streets and roads.
Before my second term as commissioner ended in December 2005, we appropriated the funds for South Trade Street. Four years later, nothing has been done on that section of roadway.
Economic Development: Like traffic, it is not new. It was a very real problem for our town the 4 years I served as a commissioner from 2001-2005. If our present mayor, and my mayoral opponent, had won the battle, the neighborhood of St. Andrews and the adjacent McKee Farms Center would not have been built. Mayor Meyers stated the evening of the vote on McKee Farms it would be the “worst thing that ever happened to Matthews”. It was a hard battle within our town, but I worked very hard to see that development become a reality. I am proud of the decision we made. What a great “gateway” into Matthews!
Hendrick Automotive would not have the ability to someday, build an auto mall on Independence Boulevard at the county line if I and several strong individuals on town council, had not fought for them to have that opportunity.
All towns need a balance between residential and commercial. Businesses bring in tax dollars that reduce the amount of residential property taxes necessary. Without businesses, and the high taxes they pay, our property rates will increase to pay for necessary police and fire. Commercial development also means jobs; jobs for people who live in Matthews.

4: What would you do differently in the office you are running for than those already serving in the office?
The current mayor is leaving office, not seeking another term. I am a different person so I expect I will approach things from a different perspective. But I believe it is time for a change in Matthews so that will be good for the town.

James P. (Jim) Taylor

Web site:

www.mayorjimtaylor.com
1: In your opinion, what makes you unique from the other candidates running for the same office?
In my 15 years of public service to Matthews, I have clearly demonstrated my ability to relate to a wide variety of people and understand diverse issues.
I am always eager to investigate and evaluate all positions prior to making a decision. Matthews deserves no less.
I have: 15 Years of dedicated service and experience to the Town of Matthews, 10 years on Town Council, current Mayor Pro-Tem, Co-Chair Matthews Historical Task Force, Board of Directors of Matthews Fire Department, Past Board of Director Matthews HELP Center, Matthews Alternate Representative on MUMPO, worked with Transit Authority and CATS, advocated for Matthews’ students at CMS.
My unique qualifications include the fact that I have the ability to work together and bring people together.
I am supported by a vast array of current and past elected officials at the local and state level to better move Matthews forward.
I am fully supported by the following: 100 percent support from all incumbent Commissioners running for re-election on the Matthews town board, Matthews current Mayor Lee Myers, current Matthews Commissioners, Query, Miller, LaFond, Gulley, Former Matthews Commissioners: Glass Krause, Fossett, Rucho, Bailey, current State Senator Rucho, current State Rep’s: Jim Gulley and Tricia Cotham.

2: Why did you choose to run for office?
I was encouraged and asked to run in order to continue the progressive leadership of town government. I love being involved in Matthews and want to continue to contribute to my community. Matthews is a wonderful place to live, work, play and raise our families. I have served as a Commissioner of Matthews for 10 years, the last two as Mayor Pro-Tem. I have learned a lot in my five terms in office and know I am ready to lead Matthews going forward. I want to continue working for the citizens of our community and maintain the strong and vibrant community we all love. Together we need to protect what we have worked so hard to achieve while always striving to improve as we move forward. I want to continue to bring positive progressive leadership as Mayor of the Town of Matthews. These are exceptionally challenging times for each and every one of us. Now, more than ever, (there are) demands for experienced, knowledgeable, leadership and strong partnerships for our community. I believe in honesty and accountability. I do not dodge or sidestep any issue, especially those tough or difficult issues which are crucial to ensure that Matthews will continue to be known as the best of the best. I am the best candidate to become the next mayor of Matthews.

3: What is the highest or most important issue you have on your agenda while running for office?
Besides the fundamental foremost priority of government, public safety and security of our citizens and business, I would say economic development will be a key issue facing Matthews in the years to come. I pledge my support to responsible economic development. Using economic development recommendations from the Warren Report, I will create a pro-active plan to ensure progressive beneficial development, create jobs and support the balance of residential, commercial and industrial development. I will be strategic in the development of our limited land resources and proactive in attracting new business while preserving open green space. Ultimately, Matthews will have more high paying jobs and enable us to compete with other communities not only today but far into the future.

4: What would you do differently in the office you are running for than those already serving in the office?
Being a part of the development of what Matthews has become over the past 15 years and working with the current Mayor for all that time, I feel very proud of what Matthews has become over that time. Many of us moved to Matthews for one reason or another and most all of us stay here because we love this town. Many in Matthews choose to live here, not because they have to live here but because they want to live here. I would like to take Matthews to the next level, take Matthews from our current great place to live, work, raise families to an even greater place to do all those things. I have been lucky to have served and worked with some very good people within town government and I have want to continue to make this place a little better than it was when I got here. I can look around and see many wonderful “things” we have here in Matthews and I have been privileged to have been a part in many of those “things”, but the one “thing” that makes Matthews better than anywhere else is our “people”. It is the “people” that get involved in their community, their schools, their parks, their government, that makes Matthews special. I want to continue to improve on that and expand on the inclusion of our citizens in town government. I want to take our strong open form of government and make it even more transparent, more open to those in the community that may not be able to attend town council meetings on Monday nights. I want to take Matthews from “Good to Great” and I feel I am the person that has the most experience, leadership and the ability to work with a wide range of public officials, private individuals and staff.

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