Friday, October 26, 2012

TOP STORY >> Ex-Air Force officer vs. community volunteer

Freddie Booker and Mary Twitty are vying for Ward 4, Position 2 on the Jacksonville City Council.

Booker, who is also known as Capt. Wallace, was born in Parkdale (Ashley County). She is 60 years old and has lived in Jacksonville for 31 years.

Booker has a bachelor’s degree from University of Arkansas at Monticello and a master’s degree from the United States International University in San Diego, Calif. She served as a captain in the Air Force as a maintenance, missile and administration commander.

She is married to Broadway Joe Booker, a DJ at Power 92. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Twitty, who is 53, is known for her many years of volunteer work in the community.

She and her husband, Jeff, have been married for 31 years. They work together at Farmers Insurance. They have two sons, Brian and Travis. She was born in North Little Rock, and has lived in Jacksonville for the last 26 years. She and her family are members of Second Baptist Church of Jacksonville.

Why do you want to be an alderman?

Booker: I have always had a passion for helping people. I hope to make an impact in people’s lives. I want to serve as many people as possible in the community of Jacksonville.

Twitty: I have always been involved in the community and want to step up my commitment to serve the people of Jacksonville.

What education and professional experiences qualify you to be an alderman?

Booker: Bachelor’s degree from U of A Monticello, master’s degree from the United States International University in San Diego, Calif. Served as a captain in the Air Force as maintenance, missile and administration commander.

I have been involved in many community organizations such as director of the Wing Ding festival, Sertoma member since 2005 (currently vice president), past president and life member of Jacksonville Junior Auxillary, member of the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council, commissioner of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation since 2006, worked as a volunteer for two years at North Metro Medical Center, volunteered at the Little Rock Air Force Base clinic, director of Jacksonville’s Father/Daughter Banquet, Jacksonville Cityfest Pageant director for past 25 years, Jacksonville Service Award recipient for 2005-2007.

What are the most pressing issues facing Jacksonville and how will you work to solve such problems?

Booker: Economic and industrial improvement. I will work to help seek and identify investment opportunities and jobs that will stimulate and grow our city.

Twitty: Economic growth in Jacksonville (retail/restaurants) to maintain and increase revenue, which increases jobs and/or housing and allows the city to continue the quality of services it provides. Also a separate school district for Jacksonville.

How? Make Jacksonville attractive for retail and residents. Continue to revitalize downtown. We are centrally located in the state beside Little Rock Air Force Base, and within a few miles of the capital.

We also have good police and fire services. We can promote the Jacksonville Little Rock Air Force Base University Center, which houses six colleges and universities, which is attractive for industries trying to locate because of the educational opportunities.

Work with the Educational Foundation, the city council, and our community to assure Pulaski County Special School District that having our own school district is best for Jacksonville.

What do you want voters to know about you and think about when they are casting their ballots?

Booker: I will work very hard to keep the citizens’ financial interest safe, and I will listen to the issues that my community expresses, and I will be the voice that will speak on their behalf, and thanks for your support.

Twitty: I love Jacksonville, my heart is in our community.

I am very committed to the city of Jacksonville and its citizens. I want to be a voice for the people and help Jacksonville to be the best place to live.

Together we can enhance our City for all to enjoy. I would very much appreciate your vote on Nov. 6.