What in your background makes you qualified for this position?
Interestingly enough, I believe that what qualifies me the most to represent the citizens of Jefferson as a council member is motherhood. As a mother you lay down all self interest and comforts to pour into the lives of others. The job comes with no pay or promotion but with a fierceness of heart, a mother puts the needs of others above her own. It requires that you seek the best for others even if your decisions aren’t always popular or liked by everyone.
How do you think Jefferson’s growth should be managed in the coming years?
I believe that Jefferson’s growth needs to be managed with a balanced vision. There has to be a remembered vision of what we have always known Jefferson to be in the past. This will help us hold onto the integrity of what has made Jefferson such a sought after city to live in. But there also needs to be a vision of what Jefferson can be with proper forethought and preparation. We must be proactive with our infrastructure to enable much needed retail and dining which are essential needs to any community. We need to take full advantage of the 129 thoroughfare which allows thousands of people to traverse through Jefferson and could potentially generate much needed tax revenue.
What are the top three issues facing Jefferson in the next 10 years? If elected, how would you address these issues?
Three issues that I see Jefferson facing in the next 10 years are growth and adequate infrastructure, competitive wages for our essential workers and a changing community. To address growth, I would work with the mayor and our council to look at how other cities have successfully implemented ordinances to regulate the quality and amount of growth they have experienced. I would continue to work closely with Rebecca Lindsay, co-owner of the infrastructure firm Gresham Smith. She lives locally and has offered her expertise to consult with the city to address current water and sewage, traffic and roadway issues that will prepare Jefferson for future growth.
Jefferson needs to be competitive with the wages allotted for our police officers, water department employees and firefighters. We want to keep excellent people employed and provide them with an income that allows them to live and prosper in the city they work for. I would search for budgetary solutions so that we can properly compensate those essential workers who make Jefferson a safe and healthy place to live.
With new citizens moving to Jefferson comes the challenge of keeping a close knit community. This is an opportunity for those of us who have been here to be a welcoming smile and a kind gesture to our new neighbors. I would like to use the city’s Facebook page to highlight citizens “Caught Being Kind." We can compliment people for showing kindness or generosity to others. It is an important time to lay aside negativity and help someone in need. That could be providing a meal for a family that is sick or has lost loved ones. It could be helping care for your neighbors children or offering a carpool. But even if our actions don’t make it to social media, we all need to take a moment and introduce ourselves to someone we don’t know.
Lastly, I would like to lead in encouraging citizens to serve the city. I would like to implement an “Adopt a Road” project for the city. We have many citizens who currently pick up trash along our roadways because they appreciate their neighborhoods. I am thankful for that because it is impossible for our roads department to collect all litter along our streets. When people are motivated to care for others and the world around them, then communities thrive.
Please provide a brief biography of yourself.
As a lifelong resident of Georgia, I have always had a passion for serving others. I am one of four children to Don and Karen Shaw of Northminster Place. After attending Kennesaw State University where I studied history and business law, I worked in customer service for two years at Print Direction in Norcross. I moved to Jackson County in 1995 and then into the City of Jefferson from 2001-04, and again in 2016.
My husband Josh and I have 5 children. We have all learned how to serve our community from my in-laws, Ted and Janice Maddox, who have led by example at our family business, Maddox Feed and Seed. I served as director of children’s church and senior’s ministry, The Golden Heirs, at Union Baptist Church. I taught preschool and led Chapel at First Baptist Church, Jefferson. I started my own business, Jefferson Power Yoga, in 2009 where I worked to help people strengthen and heal their bodies. I mentor children at Jefferson City and Jackson County schools through Legacy Youth Mentoring and my dog, Lady Lou, and I are a therapy dog team with Alliance Therapy Dogs. I am currently employed by Jefferson City Schools as a substitute teacher.