Jonesboro mayoral candidates make pitch to voters ahead of Election Day

Jonesboro City Hall
Jonesboro City Hall(KNOE)
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 8:44 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, La. (KNOE) - With Election Day just under three weeks away, Jonesboro mayoral candidates are making their final pitch to voters.

“The people, the taxpayers of Jonesboro, deserve better, and I am going to give them that,” said Police Chief James “Spike” Harris, who is challenging incumbent Mayor Leslie Thompson.

“I just believe that I have been doing a pretty good job, and I need to continue that to finish some of the problems that we have here in Jonesboro,” Mayor Thompson, who is seeking his fourth term in office, told KNOE.

Harris says he is running because Thompson has failed to fix the issues in Jonesboro.

“You can drive around Jonesboro right now, you can see the condition of our dilapidated roads, and you can see minor water leaks all over the place,” said Harris.

Harris has also accused Thompson of spending money in the wrong places.

“I think the budget for city hall is too high,” Harris explained. “I’m going to decrease that budget and give that money back to the fire department and police department, and then once we get public works up there, we will have to readjust that budget as well.”

Thompson says that accusation is unfair.

“The mayor is not responsible for who gets what money,” Thompson explained. “The mayor presents a budget to the council. The council decides, approves, or decides not to approve what the budget is going to be.”

Furthermore, Thompson says all small towns and cities struggle financially, but he has secured state and federal grants to try and tackle Jonesbroro’s water problems.

“We have invested about ten million dollars over the last nine days into correcting and improving that system, and we just purchased about three more pumps,” Thompson told KNOE.

Chief Harris says part of his platform is upgrading the town’s water system to include updated water meters, so the town isn’t paying for residents’ water use out of the general fund.

“The general fund supplies city hall, the police department, and the fire department. Once we get everyone up to paying water bills, get our water system up to date, we will be able to free up that money.”

Mayor Thompson says he’s already begun the process of upgrading water meters.

Election Day is November 8.