Why did you decide to run for mayor?
I decided to run for mayor because I think I will be a good representative for the 19,000 citizens that live in Seymour. I want to be your voice to develop the future of our community that supports the vision that you have for the future of your family, your business and yourself.
What experience would you bring to the mayor’s office?
I am an experienced candidate with knowledge that encompasses infrastructure, local government, health care and the school system. I was a county commissioner for four years and the county bridge superintendent for eight and a half years. I offer a unique set of skills in this mayor’s race. I have the knowledge to bring the right people to the table to make common sense decisions so the citizens of Seymour can enjoy a better life.
What specific projects or initiatives should the city prioritize? Why and how should those be funded?
I would aggressively pursue grant money from the state for roads and infrastructure. I would make our city a more attractive place to live by initiating a Seymour Shine program. I would get prosecutors and judges to sentence more community service hours for people that have been arrested to clean up our city. The county already has a community corrections van and trailer. This could be done with a minimal cost to the taxpayers. Another idea would be to have a landscaping project to plant trees around the city. This would be funded by a gift fund that businesses and individuals could contribute to. I would have quarterly town hall meetings with different neighborhoods involved. The panel might look like 12 people from a certain neighborhood, and we would talk about their concerns and ideas about improvements for their neighborhood. I would take this information and put together a portfolio of low-risk, high-return neighborhood projects. Then I would prioritize the projects and proceed in getting them done.
Do you think there should be collaboration between the city and the county on projects (i.e., work release center and judicial center) and how would you foster this relationship?
As a former county commissioner, I know how important it is that city and county officials have a great working relationship. The judicial center is a project that has already been completed, and the city did not have any input in that project. That project should be paid for with county funds. The county council asked the city to help fund the work release center. The city attorney, Rodney Farrow, told them it would be double taxation for city residents because they already pay county taxes, too. So county funds should be used to pay for the work release center also. For future projects, I think a city-county collaboration would benefit taxpayers. The city and county departments would work together to maximize the use of every taxpayer dollar, save money, increase revenue, improve services and the quality of life for residents.
Do you think the city should invest in solar energy? Why or why not?
I am always for going green unless the cost would be a burden on the taxpayers. We would need to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages of solar energy. I would want to research other cities that have solar energy. I would want to look at a city that has implemented it for at least five years. This would give us insight on whether it would be wise to invest in solar energy.
Name: Tom Joray
Occupation: Transportation, buildings and grounds department for Seymour Community School Corp.
Former political offices: Jackson County commissioner for four years and member of the boards of Schneck Medical Center, Jackson County Planning and Zoning, Jackson County Solid Waste Management District, Jackson County Drainage Board and Jackson County Fair
Organizations: Member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Fraternal Order of Eagles and St. Ambrose Catholic Church