Q&A with John Wood
What do you see as the role of a county commissioner in protecting the health of the Jones County residents during this pandemic?
I would lead by example, and use a common sense approach of the guidelines set forth from CDC, DPH and other state and national officials.
The 2021 budget was recently adopted. Where would you like to see more funds added?
One area I would like to see more attention to and a new directive put into place, and funds allocated and/ or appropriated, is in public works and the manner that grass is being mowed and trash on the right of ways is being handled. Not having a copy of the current budget, I am sure there are many funds that can be reallocated and appropriated for the upcoming needed expansion of the court house, and also, to ensure that our law enforcement and emergency services are properly equipped, trained and staffed.
What are your concerns that are specifically for District 2?
I would like for each citizen and taxpayer of District 2 to feel like they are heard and have a voice in county government, through my voice, in order to present concerns to the board of commissioners and bring effective solutions back to the community.
Haddock was the home of several thriving businesses in years past. Trish Ann’s opened in 2006 and last year a new Dollar General store opened. Would you like to see more businesses there, and, if so, what?
I am in favor of economic development in Haddock, but we also, must preserve and maintain Haddock’s unique characteristics and southern charm, while working with future developers.
Considering the county as a whole, what is the biggest need going forward?
Infrastructure projects such as public water supply and sewer service. Properly planning and placing future line extensions and coverage areas of the water system in areas where the need is the greatest and the most customers can be obtained. In the past, there has been history of putting in water lines and not attaining customers, and that is a concern because it is a taxpayer expense with no return on investment. One way to move in a positive direction is to form a joint water and sewer authority so that when a new home owner, developer, and future commercial/industrial customers have ‘one stop shopping’ when applying, permitting and paying for the services.
How important is county supported recreation for youth and adults? Do you consider it a need or a luxury?
County supported recreation is both a need and luxury. Kids and adults, alike, both need constructive and positive ways to funnel excess energy and have relaxing activities to enjoy.
The Jones County Board of Commissioners has consistently denied for the construction of anything considered affordable housing, unless it is designated for seniors only. What is the answer for families who cannot afford $1,000 a month rent or pay $200,000- $300,000 for a new home?
There is an essential need for more apartment rentals and housing for all market brackets in Gray and throughout Jones County. To my knowledge, there is only one apartment complex that is in the $1,000 per month range, most range $600-$800, and the rest are priced less than $600. There are several tracks of land around Gray that have adequate acreage and are properly zoned, but the city has consistently stated they did not have sewer capacity and needed to reevaluate what was previously allocated before issuing new sewer allotments. This frequently turns away developers. People should strive to live within their means, and begin in an apartment and/or starter home, save money and spend wisely, then move up as finances and market availability allows.
Public water remains a need for residents in many areas of the county. Where does that need rank on your priority list?
This ranks high on my priority list, because water is essential for life and a necessity for fire departments/emergency services. For example, other neighboring counties have done an outstanding job building upon their water infrastructure and expanding over the years, where Jones County has fallen behind.