Q: What experience and personal qualities can you offer to the City Council? n JENNINGS: I volunteer on several committees and boards

Mike Tonos 5/29/09
Q: What experience and personal qualities can you offer to the City Council?
n JENNINGS: I volunteer on several committees and boards. I hope to provide new ideas.
n JONES: With over 44 years of experience as a CPA, auditor, management advisor and businessman, I will bring to the council the idea that all costs can be reduced. During my professional accounting career, I have worked with several companies through periods of high growth. I have learned how to budget and control expenditures. Tupelo is primed for high growth over the next four years. As a small business owner, I have worked with customers, vendors and employees to solve problems and promote better relationships. I have four years of service on the City Council. I am presently serving as the council president. I have completed the Certified Municipal Officials program by attending over 60 hours of specialized courses for municipal officials.
Mike Tonos 5/29/09
Q:Name three goals or projects you will pursue if elected.
n JENNINGS: Attend community association meetings. Finish road projects. Encourage new industries to locate here.
n JONES: The foundation of all city services is the city’s budget. My number one goal is a balanced budget without a tax rate increase. Improving our infrastructure, storm water drainage, and all streets (residential and thoroughfare) is a must. Public safety is the key in the development of our city. The Police Department and Fire Department need to be at full strength and equipped to protect our city.
Mike Tonos 5/29/09
Q: This past municipal term was marked with conflict and lack of communication between the mayor and City Council. What specifically will you do to open the lines of communication and minimize conflict?
n JENNINGS: Respect each other’s opinions, set aside differences for the good of the people.
n JONES: Communication is a two-way street. As president of the council, I have discussed the issues with each council member to get their thoughts and ideas to determine common ground for a settlement to any possible conflict. I will continue to communicate with each council member and the mayor in the future.
Mike Tonos 5/29/09
Q: The recently completed ethics study was a source of much controversy during the past term. How do you propose the city move beyond this turmoil while still addressing the needs of the residents and municipal employees?
n JENNINGS: The city needs to be open and honest about the findings in the ethics report. Implement a system whereby residents and employees can address their grievances without fear of reprisal or termination.
n JONES: We can take the positive recommendations from the study and put them into action. The administration must take the lead because most of the recommendations require action by the mayor.
Mike Tonos 5/29/09
Q: The city’s new comprehensive plan recommends denser growth patterns using existing space, yet Tupelo is in the midst of an annexation bid to add roughly 16 square miles to its boundaries. How do you reconcile these two different paths of growth?
n JENNINGS: I support the new comprehensive plan of maximizing the use of existing space. Also, new land is needed for future growth of businesses and communities.
n JONES: The plan states: “Annexation of additional lands as well as more compact development will be necessary to accommodate future population growth.” Some people want large lots while others want small, compact lots, Tupelo should be prepared to provide both.

Mike Tonos