Jackie Branch is running for re-election to the Paragould City Council Ward 3 Position 2 seat. Her opponent is Lindsey Boggs. The municipal positions are non-partisan.
The election is Tuesday, November 3. Early voting begins on Monday, October 19.
The Daily Press asked candidates to respond to the following questions by email along with this statement: “We are asking that candidates try to limit their answers for each question to about 250 words at the most:”
PDP: Why do you want to serve on the Paragould City Council?
Lindsey Boggs: I want to be able to represent my ward and be the voice for what the residents want. Paragould is a great place to live and raise a family, and I would like the opportunity to help in the decisions to keep it improving and growing.
Jackie Branch: Serving in government is a family tradition dating back to when my grandfather was county judge in 1918. I chose to follow that family tradition in order to help make Paragould a better place to live.
PDP: How are you qualified to serve on the council?
Jackie Branch: I am currently the elected city council person for ward three, having served that ward for almost 20 years. There will be big changes in 2021. Our city will be electing a new mayor and a minimum of three new council members. I will bring my knowledge, experience, and ability to work with others to assist in keeping our city running smoothly.
Lindsey Boggs: I have a bachelor’s in accounting from Arkansas State University that has given me an understanding in budgets and money management, but my qualifications go beyond education. I am also a voter who wants to see the community thrive. I enjoy working with people and listening to other opinions to solve problems and resolve issues.
PDP: What are the most important issues your ward needs to face first if you are elected?
Lindsey Boggs: One of the first issues I would like to address are safety concerns. We need to find solutions to help our residents feel safe in their homes. Another issue would be code enforcement. We all need to do our part to help keep Paragould beautiful and safe.
Jackie Branch: Cleanup. The ward I serve has some of the oldest structures in town. Many dilapidated structures are in need of removal and a lot of cleanup needs to be done to make the area suitable for new growth.
PDP: What citywide issues or projects do you see needing to be dealt with by the council?
Jackie Branch: Cleaning up the city should be a point of focus. I suggest appropriating more funds to meet these needs.
I would also like to see the implementation of new software, which is now available to cities. This can be used for dispatching and real time record keeping pertaining to everything from issuing required permits, inspections, and requesting large item trash pick up to helping reunite lost pets with their owners. This can reduce cost and make departments more efficient.
Lindsey Boggs: One issue I think needs to be dealt with is where Paragould residents invest their time. We need to find ways to keep our residents here, spending our time here, and investing here. We need to create a live here, work here, and play here environment. We do this by making Paragould more attractive, safe, and clean.
PDP: Please tell us about yourself (family, employment, etc.)
Lindsey Boggs: My husband, Chase Boggs, and I have been married for 10 years, and together we have two daughters. Also, I am a Senior Accounting Associate at Masingale and Jernigan Accounting where I have gained knowledge on taxes and business management. I enjoy cycling, running, and exploring state parks with my family.
Jackie Branch: Many people remember me from working at Kroger while attaining my bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at ASU. I currently work in management at FlowerShop Network.com in Paragould. Citizens also know me from 20 years of service as a city council person.
I am very passionate about serving our community as is evident through my volunteerism. I felt privileged to be on the original committee that founded the Loose Caboose Festival. I have also served on the Paragould Christmas Parade Committee and as a City Beautiful Commissioner, which brought the Prayer Garden to Linwood Cemetery and commissioned the historic mural on the corner of Pruett and Main Street. Most recently I was appointed to the Paragould Advertising and Promotional Committee. This committee is responsible for overseeing the 3 percent tax collected on lodging establishments in Paragould. These funds are used for sporting events, entertainment, and other special events in order to encourage growth and tourism in Paragould.