Election day is Tuesday, April 3. Carthage residents will choose one of three candidates to be the next mayor of Carthage for four years. On the ballot are Dan Rife, Jason Shelfer and Brad Cameron. These three candidates answered a list of questions from The Carthage Press to allow us to give you a snapshot of these people who are seeking your vote.
Jason T. A. Shelfer
Wife: Margaret Children: Miles (19) and Flannery (10)
How long have you lived in Carthage:
Most of my life (40+)
What do you do for a living:
I'm the Child Support Division Supervisor with the Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
What made you decide to run for Mayor:
When Mayor Harris announced he would not seek re-election, I realized the next Mayor would set the tone and direction for the city we love to call our home. For several months, I spoke with community leaders about what we'd need in a Mayor, and asked several of them if they'd be interested. They all turned the question back on me, "Why not you?" Slowly, I was convinced; I love my hometown, I'm passionate about its past AND its future. Additionally, I have the experience to hit the ground running. So, thank you my various friends and supporters who convinced me to pursue this opportunity, and for including me in your future vision of Carthage.
Are there issues in Carthage you feel are not being addressed by city leaders:
The current municipal leadership is comprised of thoughtful, conscientious individuals with a heart to serve their community. Each member has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities present in Carthage. It's not necessarily that issues aren't being addressed, but rather the most effective solution has yet to be discovered, despite the resources being available to effect a positive change.
What is good about Carthage:
The extraordinary potential of the city's unique resources: the rich history, the philanthropy, the citizens themselves, and all the extraordinary projects that can result from properly mixing those components.... plus I can't leave out the Maple Leaf Festivities, Marian Days, Art Walk, Food Truck Friday (and the list goes on for a while.)
What can be improved about Carthage:
The concerted effort of the municipal government, the various civic organizations, and engaged individuals has yet to reach it's full potential in crafting the Carthage of the future, while preserving the icons of our city's journey. The next administration will have the tools and resources necessary help reach that full potential, provided it discovers the will and creativity to do so.
Anything else you want to say:
I'm proud to represent my own, unique perspective in what has become an exceptional and historic mayoral conversation. While I am exceptionally optimistic about the future of the Maple Leaf City, it's going to require the talents, ambitions, and creativity of all it's citizenry, to realize the full potential of Carthage. Go Tigers!