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How will you address housing and business growth in Knox County?

As a county commissioner I will work towards increased business growth from both companies and entrepreneurs. This will be done by working with the city, since my district is within the city. I will make sure that my communities receive information and access to resources needed to start and/or grow businesses within my district. I also plan to include better housing opportunities which will be done through available resources, homeowner courses, and information sessions.

What will you do to increase affordable housing for low income families in the county?

I have a vision to take down the old Rule High School and place on the grounds a brand new elementary school for the four schools in the area. I would like to give this project to the black contractors in the city so they can demonstrate their ability to handle major projects. So, after the school is built, place Beaumont Magnet Academy, Lonsdale Elementary School, West View Elementary School, and Maynard Elementary School into this one school. Next, we can sell the old schools and turn them into senior living so that the residents don't have to leave their community. With this shift, this will allow for more affordable housing for the younger generation starting on their new lives.

Will you support increasing the county's property tax rate to pay for infrastructure improvements?  Why or why not?

Looking over the budget, I have found that if we look at the numbers and utilize our resources such as the wheel tax then we do not have to raise taxes. If we are digging high and low and have no other options, then I will consider but that would be the very last resort.

What issues have arisen since the March Primary that are relevant to your office and how do you intend to address them?

The medical issue that has come up across the US has taught us that we are not prepared. We were not prepared on a city/county, health/wellness, or education level when something major happens and we need to improve these areas and put plans in place going forward.  As county commissioner and with my experience in Emergency Management, I believe we need to re-evaluate systems and policies that are already in place to see what worked and what did not work and aim towards better outcomes and preparations in the future. Also, there have been issues with law enforcement in other parts of the US, so we need to ensure that we are doing everything possible to give the best training for our deputies. Such trainings will improve both employee and community morale when we understand we have to work hand in hand. We cannot continue to be divided and expect change. With these increased trainings and implementation of new policies we can continue having some of the best law enforcement agencies.

The Return of Trades

I want to work with the school board to bring back trade classes to middle and high schools to help bridge the gap between our high school graduates and the workforce. By bringing trades back in our schools, this will allow our students to learn a skill trade and go directly into the workforce. With the baby-boom generation of trade workers reaching retirement, putting trades back in the schools will allow our new generation to continue the work. Giving our students this option, not only allows them to be self-sufficient seeing that they will be able to repair and/or fix things but it allows for them to always have a job. 

Homelessness In Our Area

I want to look at the homelessness situations and implement a program where we can provide resources to get people back into the workforce and off the streets.  Currently there are nearly 3000 homeless in the Central Street area. While, there are plans in place to assist, I believe we can do more to aid in finding permanent employment (see Transportation issue) to those who want to get off their feet, but are unsure where to start. My goal, is to also work closely with the state to get additional funding for our homeless veterans. 

Safety and Security Revamped

I understand we have several things to look at how in regards to keeping our schools safe, but we need to look at how we can revamp our systems and make sure that we have the right number of employees to handle the safety of our schools.

There are growing concerns within the community about not feeling safe. I want to work with the Sheriff's Office and KPD to continue to keep the community safe and vibrant. 

Alternative Transportation

For some, the reason they are unable to find and/or maintain a job is due to lack of reliable transportation. There are may jobs at the Forks of the River area, so my goal is to implement a plan to shuttle workers to and from work in this area. This option will allow guaranteed transportation to and from work each day. This is beneficial for employers in the Forks of the River area who are constantly hiring and to the people who are actively searching but may be limited to certain areas due to transportation issues. 

Committee to Elect Reginald Jackson
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