LIVINGSTON — In the Livingston mayor’s race, challenger Tommy Arledge said he wants to see the town grow.
“We need to be more aggressive,” Arledge said. “We’re not capitalizing on being the county seat.
“I don’t know the reason why, but we’re just not moving forward,” he said.
Mayor Derral Jones said sales tax receipts are growing and the town’s infrastructure is being improved in anticipation of additional growth.
Jones said he intends to focus on attracting new business in the next four years and is working with prospects that could bring in numerous jobs.
Jones said he understands business, because he was a businessman himself before becoming mayor.
“I sold all of my businesses and became mayor in 1996,” Jones said, adding that at the height of his grocery business, he had 75 employees.
Because of his business background, he has been able to keep the town in good shape financially, Jones said.
“Fiscally we are as solid as a dollar,” Jones said.
Business is where I got experience in dealing with employees,” he added.
He said he also deals well with the town’s council.
“I have had a squabble-free relationship with the council for 16 years,” he said.
The 71-year-old Republican said running a town is like being the chief executive officer of a business, but his opponent lacks business experience.
He said the challenger is a “good fellow,” but added that he thinks Arledge “would be lost” trying to run the town.
Arledge said he has been the site manager at the Livingston Intergovernmental Commission’s old train derailment site at Livingston. There he takes samples and makes sure the site stays in compliance with governmental requirements.
That site is in the last stages of cleanup, before all of the monitoring wells can be removed, Arledge said.
Previously he worked as a carpenter in chemical plants for 23 years, including being a foreman for 13 years.
The 55-year-old Republican said he also did appraisals and assessed storm damage for the Small Business Administration after Hurricane Katrina.
He said that if elected mayor, he would get the town’s weeds cleaned up, talk to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about improving drainage and meet with other agencies to see what he can do to promote the town.
The election is Nov. 6.