JSU Professor as City Council Member
Informs Kiwanians about Progress of Council Projects
By Jennifer Bacchus
News Staff Writer
Reprinted here in its entirety.
Council Member Sudduth Speaks to Kiwanians
|Sandra Sudduth enlightens Kiwanians about city of Jacksonville.
Photo: Anita Kilgore
“I think as a citizen of
Jacksonville it is very important for us to give back to the community
that helped us to become the people we are,” said Sandra Sudduth as she
spoke to the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club July 18.
definitely lives her beliefs. In addition to being a wife and mother
she is a professor at Jacksonville State University, a Delta Sigma
Theta, Delta Kappa Gamma, advisor for the JSU Deltas, big sister at the
Boys and Girls Club, on the Regional Medical Center Board of Directors,
a Sunday school teacher and councilman and mayor pro tem for the city
“I don’t know how I do all of those things, but you know what, I enjoy doing everything that I do,” she said.
spoke to the Kiwanians about areas of life in Jacksonville – from the
education system to the recreation department and public safety – that
are frequently asked about by residents and visitors alike.
to Sudduth, the city has increased its contributions to the
Jacksonville City School System by 33 percent since October 2004.
addition, the city continues to pay the salary and benefits for our
school resource officer. We provide a baseball field, including power
and lights for the field. We provide traffic control at Kitty Stone in
the mornings and afternoons,” said Sudduth. “We know that if a city has
a good school system you will normally find that the city also has many
other good things to offer the citizens.”
One of those “other
good things” is the recreation department. From the new soccer field
springing up behind the community center to improvements at Germania
Springs, the Jacksonville City Council has made a point to provide
residents with proper recreation facilities.
“We also recently
purchased approximately 11 acres north of A Street,” she said. “Our
plan in the future is to clean up that property along the creek bank
from Big Springs and make it into a nice, big park. That way we can
provide a connection from the Chief Ladiga Trail to the square.”
council project Sudduth is particularly proud of is the work done to
keep Jacksonville beautiful. As she passed around a folder of before
and after photos to the Kiwanians, she told how, thanks to a recent
ordinance, Jacksonville’s compliance officer is able to deal with
abandoned cars and other eyesores.
“Mark (Williams) has done an
excellent job in cleaning up the city and hopefully when we get our new
person in that position they will continue to do what he has started,”
she said. “We want this city to be a place you will be proud of, a
place that you can bring your friends and you can talk about what a
clean and beautiful place it is.”
To that end, the city now also
requires more landscaping at businesses around town. They also use the
street department clean up trash along the city streets. Sudduth urged
the group to help the city out also, encouraging the formation of a
city pride day for residents to clean up the town.
The city is
looking at improvements to be made along Highway 21, particularly in
the area of the square, for safety as well as aesthetic reasons.
have been approved for a $260,000-plus highway department enhancement
grant. This is going to be used to improve the sidewalks and crosswalks
on the square and to build a new sidewalk along Pelham Road from Eighty
Oaks to Winn Dixie,” said Sudduth, adding that the city hopes to get
the money and complete the improvements in the next few years.
want to make the square very pedestrian-friendly, but many of the ideas
presented to the state by the city will not be allowed because the
square is part of a state highway.
Sudduth updated the group on
improvements, from technology and equipment to personnel, at the police
and fire departments and how the city is continuing to strive to ensure
there are plenty of firemen and police officers to keep all the city’s
Jacksonville is continuing to grow. Last year saw
the construction of 76 new single-family homes and the development of
eight new subdivisions with a total of 141 lots.
“I’m sure you
see that we’re still building. We wonder where the folks are coming
from, but they are coming,” said Sudduth. “We have six additional
subdivisions with 107 lots under construction, 53 apartments have been
constructed and 207 are under construction, so we’re still having
building going on here in Jacksonville.”
No matter the growth,
Sudduth promised the council would ensure the city never outgrows its
infrastructure or its small-town feel.
“We, the city government,
do not want the citizens of Jacksonville to have to drive out of town
to obtain things,” said Sudduth. “We also want to do good planning. We
still want to maintain that small town atmosphere.”
About Jennifer Bachus
Jennifer Bacchus is a staff writer at The Jacksonville
News. She can be reached at 256-435-5021 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
See story at The Jacksonville News's website: www.jaxnews.com
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