n The CPA said he has the skills to keep the city in good financial shape.
By Emily Le Coz
TUPELO – Ward 7 City Councilman Berdell Jones will seek a second term in this summer’s municipal election.
A certified public accountant with nearly 45 years of experience in the financial field, Jones said he wants to lead Tupelo through this tough economic time.
“I’m in a position that nobody else has been in,” Jones, 66, told the Daily Journal this week. “I can help guide the council, make sure we spend taxpayer money wisely and keep our bond rating up, which is very important in the recession.”
Jones so far is the lone Republican in what has become the most crowded council race of the election. Five other candidates also seek the seat. Of them, four are Democrats and one is an independent.
Ward 7 covers much of south Tupelo and is one of the city’s two predominantly minority wards. Jones narrowly carried the seat in the latest municipal election, beating challenger Willie Jennings in a coin toss after the two had tied.
In the four years since then, Jones said, he has helped the council make numerous positive changes. Among them: passing the citywide smoking ban, launching the residential recycling program, building the nine-field baseball complex, installing the community’s first spray park, starting the neighborhood-association grant program, authorizing the widening of Mitchell Road, and completing the Haven Acres drainage project.
If elected again, Jones said he would continue making necessary improvements for the community while staying within the budget. Priorities include installing a spray park at Nichols Park, expanding the Public Works Department’s street-work program, and building a new fire station and police headquarters – both of which were supposed to have been done this term but ran into roadblocks.
He also said he will work closely with city department heads, regional officials and the business community to make sure Tupelo offers the best services to its residents and that its financial future is secure.
“The city right now is in extremely good shape,” Jones said. “During my four years in office, the city has operated in red and accumulated additional funds. I’ve been a big part of that process.”
Jones has a degree in accounting from Mississippi State University. He is married to wife Linda, and the couple has three children. The family attends Harrisburg Baptist Church.
For more information about his campaign, contact Jones at (662) 231-0881 or email@example.com.
Note: A story Wednesday about mayoral candidate James Presley omitted his contact information. It is (662) 842-5270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.