Campaign 2019 begins: Six candidates in Ward 1, five in Ward 3. Jim Bojo final candidate to qualify for Ward 1. Voter registration next; what else is on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Campaign 2019 begins: Six candidates in Ward 1, five in Ward 3. Jim Bojo final candidate to qualify for Ward 1. Voter registration next; what else is on the Nov. 5 ballot.

How the Nov. 5 elections shape up for the Rome City Commission: Qualifying has closed. What to know:

  • Ward 1: Incumbents Bill Irmscher, Milton Slack and Sundai Stevenson are seeking new terms. Challengers include Jim Bojo, Mark Cochran and Charles Love.
  • Ward 3: Incumbents Bill Collins and Craig McDaniel are seeking new terms. Incumbent Evie McNiece did not qualify. Challengers include Bonny Askew, Jamie Palmer and J.J. Walker Seifert.

Who votes?

  • Any registered voter in the city of Rome. Registration for new or lapsed voters ends Oct .7. Check your status here; better yet, confirm in person at the elections office.
  • Both the Ward 1 and Ward 3 races are “citywide” meaning you can vote for up to three candidates in each ward.
  • What to watch for: ‘Bullet voting’ or ‘slingshot voting.’ That’s where people vote for just one candidate in a ward race even though they are eligible to vote for three. The idea is to “maximize” that chances of that preferred candidate. It has been used here before.
  • Also on the ballot: The City Commission is expected to let the “brunch bill” go before voters (earlier drink sales on Sundays). The proposal is up for first reading this Monday at the City Commission meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.; second reading and final reading is Sept. 9. What it says

So what’s next:

  • Oct. 7: Final day to register to vote in the municipal elections if you’re a new or lapsed voter.
  • Oct. 14: Advance voting begins.
  • Nov. 5. The three candidates who finish with the most votes in each ward wins the seat. There is no “runoff” format.

CANDIDATE STATEMENTS

Jim Bojo formally announced his candidacy for Rome City Commission, Ward 1, on Friday.

“I am offering to bring fresh ideas and fresh thoughts to the table. I want to help revitalize the town and keep the progression going. We live in a great town. I have worked on the past two SPLOST (Special Local Option Sales Tax) committees and I saw some great work done and work that continues to be done now. I believe I can take the City ahead and continue to move Rome forward,” says Bojo.

Bojo has been a resident of Rome and Floyd County for 51 years. He worked for 20 years with Goodyear Tire and spent 19 years in radio business before his retirement. He and his wife, Donna, are very active in the community and have two children, seven grandchildren. He is a life member of the Noon Optimist Club, where he has also served as Past President. He served on the Hospitality House Board of Directors for six years and is a graduate of Leadership Rome.


Rome City Commissioner Sundai Stevenson announced her run for re-election to Ward 1 on Thursday.
“It has been my honor to serve Rome citizens as a member of the commission. Together, we have accomplished some good things but we still have work to do. When I was elected in 2015, I pledged to spend time talking and listening to my constituents in order to ensure their concerns and ideas were heard. I have tried to respond to every phone call and answer every email,” says Stevenson.
“If re-elected, I promise to continue to be an active listener who understands that I can help people best by helping to solve their problems. I hope that through my efforts I have justified the trust you placed in me in 2015 and earned your support for a second term.”
During her time on the commission, Sundai has been an advocate for listening to the people who live, work and spend their money downtown. Sundai believes that we should protect the character and virtue of many of the neighborhoods in our city; and we must continue to revitalize and build value in neglected neighborhoods in our city through public and private partnerships.
Sundai and her husband moved to Rome over 25 years ago and she has been actively involved in the community during those years.
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Charles Love, center, who has been hyperactive in the North Rome community since arriving, announces his bid for a Ward 1 seat on the Rome City Commission on Wednesday.

 

North Rome community advocate Charles Love announces candidacy for Ward 1 seat: In a midday media briefing also attended by 50 or so friends and supports, Charles Love announced his intent to run for one of three seats representing Ward 1 on the Rome City Commission.

Love talked about the “issues” he found when he arrived in North Rome. “We came together for a common cause to solve the problems in North Rome,” Love says. He talked about the “difficult” but not impossible task of getting the “eye soar” known as the recycling center out of the neighborhood, about reducing crime from 68 to 70 calls a month to around 28. Again, he credited the community’s response. He underscored that when he said “the only individual thing  that I will do today is go in there and file” to run, Love said.

You can hear part of our audio recording below; it lasts 1:42 minutes. Click the arrow to the left.


J.J. Walker Seifert

J.J. Walker Seifert, formally announces her intent to run for Rome City Commissioner (Ward 3). As an attorney, community activist and proud mom of teens, JJ has a unique perspective as a creative problem solver. In her vocation, JJ solves others’ legal problems. In her community advocacy work, JJ is a contributor of fresh ideas and creative solutions to meet local needs.

A two-time cancer survivor, JJ has been gifted with the significantly changed perspective of time being a vastly limited resource. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Problems must be solved efficiently, with consideration and advocacy but also quickly and without bureaucratic obstacles.

“I made Rome my hometown. I love this community and have stayed for over 18 years,choosing to raise my family here. I hope they will want to come back home to raise their own
families after college,” she says. “In order to make Rome a desirable place to stay or return for future generations, we can’t slack off or rest on our laurels. We should strive to increase economic opportunities, improve quality of life, and tailor the efficiency of local government to the community’s needs.”

JJ is a local attorney with her own practice, Seifert Law, PC. She also serves as part-time Municipal Court Judge for the City of Rome. JJ served on the Board of Directors for the Rome Floyd Chamber, is a graduate of Leadership Rome XXXII and completed the State Bar of Georgia’s YLD Leadership Academy.

“I want to serve Rome in the most proficient and effective way possible. I am committed to making city government accessible and transparent. Communication with individuals and
community groups about pending issues and matters is paramount in creating the feeling of a participatory local government,” she says.

JJ lives in the College Heights area with her husband, Will, their two children, Cole (15) and Carson Claire (14) and their two pups, Walter J & Gibson. JJ can be reached via email at JJforRome@gmail.com or at Facebook.com/JJforRome.


Mark Cochran’s announcement: I have a deep love for Rome.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are hanging out with friends at Schroeder’s, watching fireworks from the levee and skateboarding on Broad Street.  This was a good city. This is still a good city. I do not want a good city; I want an excellent city.

Mark Cochran

This is why I have decided to run for the City Commission. Rome will become an excellent city when we have a vision that matches our potential.

As an architect, my skill set is taking my clients’ vision and turning their potential into reality. I can help Rome realize its vision and put it into action.

As a father of two boys, I am increasingly aware of the opportunities and obstacles to their success.  If we plan our steps now, we can have a future that gives all of our children great opportunities.

As a resident of downtown and a former Broad Street building owner, I realize what an asset downtown is.  We must make the necessary investments to help downtown continue to thrive and remain vibrant.

As a successful small business owner, I am aware of the tension and opportunities that exist with the government. I would make every effort to balance the needs of private enterprise with the public good.

As a member of the community of contractors, developers and real estate agents, I understand the difficulty of bringing projects to completion.  We should work together to make the process as easy and fair as possible.

We should value our neighborhoods, strive to incorporate art, strengthen our trail systems and respect the dignity of our homeless.  We must also reinvigorate our corridors through infrastructure upgrades and fundamentally transform how we view and use our rivers.

Change becomes inevitable when the inertia of the present is propelled forward by the ambitions of the future.  Rome has been in the slow lane for too long. It’s time we find our place in the great cities of Georgia.

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