Why did you decide to run for mayor?
I am running for mayor because I care about the residents of Seymour and feel that we are at a critical point in the city’s development. I want to make sure that Seymour has steady and thoughtful guidance over the next few critical years. Fiscal responsibility is going to be crucial in these four years. There are many costly projects being transferred from the current administration.
What experience would you bring to the mayor’s office?
A primary responsibility of elected officials is to be a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. As a member of the Jackson County Council for the last four years and its president these last two, I understand the problems associated with complex budgeting issues. I understand that responsibility to the taxpaying citizen sometimes requires unpopular decisions because there is never enough money for all of the requests. It is possible to creatively problem solve to finish with a result everyone can accept. In addition to governmental finance knowledge, I have experienced the joys of regulatory agency bureaucracy. My years in the pharmaceutical industry helped me develop the needed persistence to navigate those agencies with a smile. I learned that flexibility and analytical reasoning help to keep projects on track and people helpful to your cause. On a more personal side, I learned the value of perspective in March 2016. Being diagnosed with cancer is awful. It is scary. But then there is a plan, then there is progress, and through it all, you learn. You appreciate the importance of relationships.
What specific projects or initiatives should the city prioritize? Why and how should those be funded?
The primary initiative is to run the city and its finances in a responsible manner. Top priority is the city services and infrastructure. The different aspects of the city’s infrastructure need to be maintained adequately. The streets have been given PASER ratings so it makes it easy to rotate through the paving projects and effectively spend the budget for that department. Projects outside of the services and infrastructure scope would need to be individually evaluated by cost-benefit ratio. If the benefit to all of the citizens of Seymour is greater than the cost, it would be eligible to explore funding. I know that there are many worthwhile projects out there that can make Seymour a better city.
Do you think there should be more collaboration between the city and the county on projects (i.e., work release center and judicial center) and how would you foster this relationship?
Seymour is in Jackson County, so it is not as if these are two separate entities. If you are a resident of Seymour, you are also a resident of Jackson County. I believe both units of government have the goal of providing needed services to their residents in the most efficient and beneficial way.
Do you think the city should invest in solar energy? Why or why not?
We as a city are challenged to use limited resources to make the largest impact. I am in favor of investing money in projects that give a reasonable rate of return on investment. A true cost-benefit analysis needs to be performed to determine if solar power with current technology is a viable option for the city of Seymour. I am a scientist and feel a responsibility to protect our environment. I feel that combining energy-saving techniques with energy-efficient processes would be well within the scope of investment.
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Name: Bridey Grant Jacobi
Family: Husband, Mark Jacobi; two daughters, Samantha, 14, and Alana, 12
Education: 1994 graduate of Seymour High School; 1998 graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry
Organizations: Girls Inc. of Jackson County board member; Child Care Network board; organist at First United Methodist Church
Government: Former member of the Jackson County Council