My name is Mitchell Jordan. I am 42 years old. I am a native of Palestine, TX. I studied two years at Tyler Junior College and then a year and a half at TVCC here in Palestine. I am married to a wonderful woman named Tanya Jordan who I have been married to for three years and God willing till the end of time. I have been blessed with with four amazing kids, three girls and a special needs little boy whom I have adopted.
I am running for mayor for multiple reasons, but the main reasons are that I truly believe that we have gotten away from the core values of public service, primarily the understanding that the citizens are the bosses. Starting day one I will emphasize these: I believe the city government should work for the people ,not against the people. To make life in Palestine better not harder, to have nice neighborhoods, clean streets, clean water, good jobs, great security and a unified community. believe our greatest strengths are when we work together as one community—one body, one vision, one city.
What would be your top five priorities as mayor?
1.) Get Palestine ready for the next emergency. From the April 30th flood to the water tower crisis to the COVID 19 crisis to the February freeze, we know for a fact that there will be another and as of right now we still do not have a plan of action. I do. I will put together a community organization that will respond to future emergencies with an emergency director that is qualified and ready to lead. I will bring all of the non profits to the table, as well as the major business owners, to gather resources before for the next major event. We can't be reactive. We have to start being proactive so we can be ready to serve and take care of our citizens (particularly children and senior citizens) as soon as possible.
2.) We have to start looking at the north loop for development. We have the opportunity to transform our city the way we want. For example, Tyler and Jacksonville have major congestion on their major highways but as Palestine grows we can implement plans for businesses to build on the North side of the loop. We can start developing that property so major companies can come in and balance the traffic in Palestine. We will do this by giving incentive to build on the North loop.
3.) We have to address the overgrown lots (city overgrown lots as well). the illegal dumping in Palestine. My plan is to get with the county and school districts to come up with a plan to address it. For example we can give high school credits for community service and working with the city and county judges on more clean up programs with their sentencing.
4.) Leadership is a big issue in Palestine. I believe in leading from the front not the back. I believe in setting examples. That is why you will see me as mayor in the community doing the things that need to be done. I believe the city needs to get more in touch with its community including the youth of Palestine as well as the senior citizens. Kids are lacking things, as well as the senior citizens who are on fixed incomes. As mayor I will implement a senior citizen discount with the water department. The program will be called “Donate your change to a senior citizen.” When you pay a city bill we will ask if you would like to donate your change and it will go into an account for the seniors who are having problems paying their bills, My plan is to bring a Christian mindset to City Hall.
5.)Water is the backbone of the city and we are going to have to have a major discussion when it comes to infrastructure.
What is your plan for the water system?
My plan for the water system is to go out for as many grants as possible as well as budget accordingly each year for repairs. Palestine water system is an old issue that definitely needs to be addressed. We should not keep kicking the can down the road.
What are some areas you think the city could trim budget "fat"?
One way to trim back fat is to limit our city on lawsuits. We have spent nearly millions of dollars in the past three years in cases and that money could have easily gone to road construction and repairs. Also road maintenance-- if we do the roads right the first time, we should not have to spend more money on digging the road back up and then fixing them again.
What are some areas you think could use more city council attention?
I believe city council should focus on infrastructure and safety as well as emergency management. Also to do what we can to control property tax spikes.
How would you rate the city council on its current level of transparency? What changes would you make to improve it?
I believe transparency is key to government, if we don't emphasize being more transparent, I believe that the lack of trust in city government will steady corrode. A couple of ways to be more transparent is to host more more public forms, demand that each council person host a town hall meeting and at least twice a year start recording closed session meetings. For future council members and to make the city manager more available to the community, I believe this is a start.