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City Council District 1

Jackson wants to give back to citizens

City Council District 1

City Council District 1

Maurice Jackson

    Editor's Note: This is the third in a series profiling the four candidates for the Statesboro City Council District 1 special election.

    When former Statesboro City Councilman Tommy Blitch made a decision in August to step down as District 1 representative, Maurice Jackson saw an opportunity that he could not pass up.
The Statesboro native, who has called District 1 his home for 27 years, admitted that a place on council might have crossed his mind more than just a time or two.
“It has always been a dream of mine to be able to give back to this community that has been so good to me,” Jackson said. “I want people to learn that I am willing to work for them and not myself.
So without hesitation, Jackson, 45, has thrown himself into a four-man race to represent District 1. He will face Phil Boyum, Per Holtze and Jonathan McCollar on ballots in a Nov. 6 special election to determine Blitch’s successor. 
A long-time restaurateur — he currently serves as managing partner for Longhorn Steakhouse in Pooler — Jackson said he knows a little something about managing a budget and making crucial decisions.
It is demonstrated professional know-how, he believes, that makes him ideally suited to take on the new job. 
“I have proven leadership skills that have allowed me to advance in my professional career in the restaurant business,” Jackson said. “I have had the ability to operate all of the businesses under my leadership to be financially profitable. I am also able to look at things through the view of other eyes instead of making rash decisions, especially when these decisions affect many people.”
Jackson’s track record lends some credence to the claims.
In more than two decades of business, he has been awarded a Western Sizzlin’ Top 10 Highest Sales Award (1991), named the Shoney’s Operator of the Year (2005), and presented with a Darden Diamond Club Award (2011). Darden Restaurants’ “Diamond Club” recognizes general managers and managing partners each year for exemplary work.
Also, Jackson has been made a member of Darden’s Political Action Committee and the Pooler Chamber of Commerce.
He says the same issues faced as a business leader are the ones he hopes to tackle as a councilman.
“Financial expenditures are important to me,” Jackson said. “Due to the fact that I work for an organization that is always striving to be financially successful, I think our city should try to strive to reach this level as well.”
Jackson is married and the father of two. On a list of hobbies, he includes golf, baseball, and “watching my kids play sports.”
Despite working for a restaurant some 40 miles from the city, Jackson has made Statesboro his only home.
“Statesboro is a close-knit community that has a lot of potential for even more growth while maintaining a small-town feel,” he said. “I have made Statesboro my home because it is a wonderful environment to raise a family.”
Jackson, who is running for Statesboro City Council for the first time, said he hopes to improve council’s actions.
“The current council has done some good things for our community; however, there are some decisions that have been made that raise some concerns as to which direction our city is headed,” Jackson said. “(The appealing aspect of serving is) being able to provide a voice for the people of my community and let their voices be heard.”
Chief among the issues Jackson said he hopes to remedy is a lack of communication from some councilmen to their constituents.
Jackson wants to address “how easily things get passed through council without the citizens’ knowledge and without them being able to voice concerns,” he said.
Also, “we need to respond to the huge amount of growth we are experiencing by keeping Statesboro a safe place to live. We must control the crime rate while promoting continued growth,” Jackson said.
With regard to the city’s future, Jackson shares a view that all District 1 candidates have expressed.
He hopes to preside over a city that continues to makes strides in economic development.
“I see the city in five to 10 years still experiencing growth at the residential and business level,” Jackson said. “I would like to see the city in this same manner, but with an increased number of businesses that would keep more of their revenue in the Statesboro-Bulloch County area.”

Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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