Statesboro City Council District 2 is poised to have an election contest this fall, with Paulette Chavers campaigning for the seat held by incumbent council member Sam Lee Jones, who plans to seek re-election.
Also up for election are the District 3 and District 5 seats, held by incumbent council members Jeff Yawn and Derek Duke, who also plan to run but have no challengers known to the Statesboro Herald at this point. Candidacies for the Nov. 5 nonpartisan city election, which involves only those three districts, won’t become official until qualifying week, Aug. 19-23, when candidates file paperwork and pay the $227 fee at City Hall.
But Chavers, a mental health therapist with her own firm, is already reaching out with a campaign website and a campaign-related Facebook page using the slogan “Chavers for Change.”
“I feel like it’s time for a change, and I feel like it’s time for some advocacy for District 2,” she said in a phone interview Thursday. “I just feel like District 2 is the district that’s kind of been overlooked, and it’s time for some positive light to be shed on that district.”
This will be Chavers’ first time as a candidate for public office.
Changes are needed, she said, for the youth and other constituents in District 2 both in “social infrastructure,” meaning parks and recreation, and in actual physical infrastructure.
“If you look at parks and recreation over in the District 2, I feel like they’re below par and it’s time for a change so that we could have adequate recreation for the youth in District 2 without them traveling outside of the district to go to the county or Mill Creek,” Chavers said.
Two parks she has in mind as needing improvements are Luetta Moore Park and the Grady Street Park. Basketball courts and public restrooms are the only developed features at Grady Street Park, which she said needs to be made “family-friendly.” The parks are maintained by the county-funded Statesboro-Bulloch County Parks & Recreation Department. Its premier facility, Mill Creek Regional Park, is on the eastern edge of town, while District 2 is on the west side.
“Also I decided that I want to run just because I see that there needs to be a change in the actual physical infrastructure, and that would be your sidewalks, your streets, the drainage, the dilapidated buildings,” Chavers said. “There needs to be a change over on that side, even down to just the beautification there, simply things like having the grass cut in District 2.”
Looking around the district, she also sees poverty on the rise and wants to come up with programs to eliminate it, she said. With few jobs actually located in District 2, a lack of transportation contributes to poverty, Chavers said, so she wants to see either public transit or jobs created in the district.
Work & background
a therapist, Chavers partners with Road to Success Counseling, which is based
in Mount Vernon, but she has her own firm, Refocus Counseling and Consulting
She specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Chavers travels all over Georgia doing trauma assessments to determine whether individuals have been traumatized, and if so what kind of therapy will be most beneficial, she explained.
Chavers attained her master’s degree in school counseling and her bachelor’s degree in child and family development both at Georgia Southern University. She holds Licensed Professional Counselor, Master Addictions Counselor and National Certified Counselor credentials.
A lifelong Statesboro resident, Chavers is also a Statesboro High School graduate. Now 38, she is the second-youngest of the seven children of Donald Chavers Sr. and Evelyn Chavers.
Organizations Paulette Chavers is active in include the Bulloch County Branch of the NAACP; the Statesboro Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, also known as One Boro; and Queendom Builders.Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.