Longtime Towing Operator Bo Jarrett will challenge Columbus Mayor Robert Smith in the upcoming Municipal election in his first foray into politics to try and become the next mayor of the Friendly City. The 58 year old was born and raised in Columbus. He attended Barrow Elementary, Joe Cook Jr High and S.D. Lee High School; Jarrett graduated from Lee High in 1972. He qualified Tuesday.
Jarrett will run as an Independent, which will propel him straight to the June 4th Municipal General election against incumbent Mayor Robert Smith, a Democrat. Jarrett said he didn’t really intend to run, “But somebody needs too”, he told me Wednesday. “I’d like to work to promote the city, bring some jobs in and lower the crime rate. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get back to the point where you could leave your door unlocked and still feel safe?”
“I’d leave the department heads alone and let them do the jobs they were hired to do,” added Bo. (Though he didn’t mention Mayor Smith by name, that has been the biggest knock on the mayor – that he’s a bully and micro-manages the city departments, in particular public works and the police department.)
“I’m not sure yet what my platform will be – but we’ll start at jobs, lowering the crime rate and promoting the city. (Sounds like the Big 3 on most Columbus residents’ wish list!)
Columbus residents interested in running for the council or for mayor have until Friday, March 8th at 5 p.m. to qualify. They must be a city resident and, if running for council, live inside the ward in which they intend to run. They must also state which party they will run as… Democrat, Republican, Independent, Reform, etc. The City Municipal General election is slated for June 4th.
As of Wednesday, February 27th, here are the current candidates:
For Columbus Mayor:
Robert Smith, Democrat (Incumbent)
Bo Jarrett, Independent
For Ward 1 Councilman:
Gene Taylor, Democrat (Incumbent)
For Ward 2 Councilman:
Joseph Mickens, Democrat
Susan Mackay, Republican
For Ward 3 Councilman:
Charlie Box, Republican (Incumbent)
For Ward 4 Councilman:
Fred Stewart, Democrat (Incumbent)
Marty Turner, Democrat
Maurice Webber, Democrat
For Ward 5 Councilman:
Kabir Karriem, Democrat (Incumbent)
For Ward 6 Councilman:
Bill Gavin, Republican (Incumbent)
Whirllie Byrd, Republican
CCVB Chooses Chris Hemphill as its Attorney
The Columbus Conventions & Visitors Bureau Board has selected Chris Hemphill as its attorney. He’ll replace Chris Latimer, who resigned in December. Hemphill is a Lowndes County Justice Court Judge.
Hemphill was the only applicant for the position; the board had previously declined to hire him after Executive Director Nancy Carpenter suggested his hiring during its previous meeting. The board instead chose to advertise the position. Hemphill was the lone applicant.
Hemphill might just be the person who can bring this board in line. He has proven to be a logical, calm and informed judge while serving Lowndes County in the past few years. His calm demeanor might possibly rub off on a few of the board members while he offers solid, well-informed advice to the board. The price is right: Hemphill will charge $300 per meeting and an additional $200 per hour for board-related matters outside of the meetings. That is considerably less than Latimer charged.
Ron Williams can be reached by email at Ronsings2you@aol.com0