JACKSON, Mich. —
The August primary will see four candidates vying to become the city of Jackson’s next mayor.
John Wilson, 62 is hoping the third time is the charm.
Wilson ran as write-in candidate in the 2013 mayoral race and on the 2015 ballot.
“Honestly, I was not thinking about running for mayor up until the last month. With the announcement of current Mayor Derek Dobies not seeking re-election, I gave it serious thought and the issues that are so important to me and the rest of the city’s residents propelled me into deciding to throw my hat into the ring,” Wilson said.
Wilson is a lifelong Jackson resident and a retired corrections officer.
He said the biggest issue he sees that Jackson is facing is gun violence and that the current administration's approach has been a “dismal failure."
“I believe those who are responsible for these gun shootings need to be held accountable through the rule of law and that will involve punishment along with rehabilitation,” Wilson said.
City crime statistics show overall crime has gone down. Jackson Police Department Director Elmer Hitt noted that calls for service to confirmed shootings have gone up from 2019 to 2020 but fewer actual people have been shot.
The other big issue Wilson would like to address is neighborhood streets.
"It’s the city’s neglect for the last decade or so without the proper maintenance of those streets is the reason why they are in the condition they are in today. The property owners should not have to pay the high assessment amounts that the city requires just in order for those streets mill or paved or a total street construction,” Wilson said.
He is proposing a two-year freeze on water and sewer rate increases. Data from the city of Jackson budget shows last year sewer rates increased 3 percent while water rates increased 6 percent.
He also would like City Council to provide each homeowner in the city a rebate check to “help offset the cost of property taxes paid” for one to two years.
“It’s time for the hardworking and retired residents to be rewarded by city hall. These last few years we’ve paid out more in water rates and property taxes to help fund downtown development. Now it’s time to place some of that money back in the pockets of the hardworking and retired citizens so they can either spend it or save it,” Wilson said.
Wilson was born and raised in Jackson attending Queen of the Miraculous Medal and then graduating from Lumen Christi High School. After getting his degree in political science from Western Michigan University, he worked for the Department of Corrections for 28 years.
The city of Jackson will host its primary election on Tuesday, Aug 3. The top two vote-getters will go on to the November general election.
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