Friday, October 21, 2016

TOP STORY >> Cabot hopefuls share views

Leader staff writer

Cabot Alderman Jon Moore is seeking re-election to represent Ward 2, Position 2 on the city council. He is being challenged by Damon Bivins. The general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Early voting starts on Monday.

Jon Moore, 37, and his wife, Kerri, have been married 17 years. They have six children. He is an Arkansas native and has lived in Cabot for 17 years. He is a liaison engineer at Dassault Falcon Jet. He has been on the city council for eight years.

Damon Bivins, 47, and his wife, Jennifer, have been married 21 years. They have two sons. Bivins has lived in Cabot for 14 years. He is Centennial Bank’s business development officer for the Cabot region.

Moore graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Mississippi State Univer-sity in 1992.

Why do you want to serve as alderman for Cabot?

Moore: I enjoy being an advocate for people. In the eight years that I’ve served on the city council I have met some amazing people. Many of them felt they didn’t have a voice or someone that would stand beside them when needed. This is when I would step in; I like being that voice for people who feel they do not have one.

Bivins: I love my city. I want Cabot to be a place where I want to retire and my kids come back to start their families. I don’t want to be the person in the back of the group that has an opinion of what should be done with our city.

I want to be part of the leadership team that will make it happen. I want to be part of the team to stimulate the economic growth of Cabot by bringing in better paying jobs for our residents to have access to them. I would like to work with the businesses here in Cabot now to make it a reason for them to stay here in Cabot.

It’s common knowledge that Cabot is a bedroom community to Little Rock and North Little Rock; that if you want something or need something you have to leave Cabot. One day in the very near future, I would like to know Cabot is a one-stop shop for all your needs.

What do you think qualifies you for this position?

Moore: I have served on the city council for the last eight years and have the experience to effectively serve as alderman for Ward 2, Position 2. I have served as co-chairman for the Public Works, Budget and Fire and Police Committees. As well as on the advisory board for the Arkansas Municipal League for the large first class cities and public safety and health. I received the Adrian White Municipal Leadership award for my service with the Municipal League.

Bivins: I have served the residents of Cabot for 12 years. I have tried to serve in all areas of Cabot. Many would tell you I have a problem saying “no.” In Cabot Public Schools: homeroom dad, car rider line, reader for classrooms and libraries, empowerment program, mentor program, hallway heroes and mock interviewer for high school kids.

I have coached in different sports within Cabot Parks and Recreation. I served the past four years as chairman of the CabotFest committee, serve at the annual Cabot City Beautiful clean-up day. I serve at the annual Cabot Christmas night to meet Santa.

I am a serving board member for the Cabot Chamber of Commerce, Lonoke County Court Appointed Special Advocates and was on the Cabot Rotary board. I am a member, deacon and Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church.

What do you see as Cabot’s strengths and weaknesses?

Moore: The greatest strength of Cabot is the people. We live in an age where people don’t look out for one another. This is not the case in Cabot. If you don’t believe that we are not a strong community then come out to a Cabot High School football game. It will show you the unity that is within this community.

Bivins: Strengths are the median age of population is early 30s. Meaning we have young families that have energy. We have some of the best schools in the state of Arkansas. We are within 20 minutes to two military bases. We have a very strong sports community. We are a faith base community. We have a public library that is one of the best in the state.

Weaknesses are jobs that can support a family and a lack of restaurants and shopping.

If elected, what would be your top three priorities?

Moore: 1. Work on road expansion and better traffic flow. 2. Continue to find ways to stretch the budget as well as reduce if needed. 3. Work on making our Parks and Recreational facilities more handicap accessible; with hopes of a future “Miracle Field.”

Bivins: A voice for Ward 2, Position 2, while running for this position the common theme was the people did not know their council person. I would like to change that.

Economic Development. I would like to bring in the type of jobs that will provide the income to support a family. I would like to bring in the stores and restaurants that keep our dollars in Cabot.

Provide more for our police and fire departments. With the economic development, we can provide better salary and benefits for our men and women in these departments to keep them here. Currently, the city is stretched thin to provide improvements for salary, benefits and retirement; and this in many cases forces employment to go elsewhere.

Why should residents vote for you and not the other candidate?

Moore: I think that my opponent is a worthy candidate. However, I have a track record of making a difference on the city council and hope to be able to continue to do so.

I believe in God, my family and my country. Kerri and I have six kids, two of which we adopted. We are foster parents and are an open foster home and have been for the past seven years. I am a member of New Life Church and sing in the choir. I am a board member for the Panther flag football organization and have coached my sons’ flag football teams for the past five years. I am a graduate of the Lonoke County Leadership Training.

Bivins: I have 12 years of proven experience serving the residents of Cabot. I enjoy living and serving Cabot. Please take the time and vote for me.