Jenkins challenges in three-way race

Published 10:44 pm Saturday, October 11, 2014

Clinton Jenkins is making his first run for City Council in a three-way race against two local government veterans.

Aside from a run for Clerk of Circuit Court many years ago, he’s a political rookie. But he’s been involved plenty in the community, he said — including as the vice president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, on the Parks and Recreation Commission and more.

“I have a proven track record for the ability to work across the board with just about anybody,” he said.

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Jenkins said his work as a contract administrator for BAE has taught him a number of skills he will need on City Council, including negotiation, planning, budgeting and forecasting.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I think this city is ready for change and is ready to go forward.”

He decided to run last year, he said, when some people asked him “if I would consider furthering my commitment to the community.”

Jenkins said he aims to keep the interests of the entire city in mind, even though only the Cypress Borough will be electing him.

“If you try to just fix the Cypress Borough, you’re going to have a lopsided city,” he said. “We’ve got to assign priorities to the limited amount of resources.”

Jenkins said he sees the main problem with communication between the City Council and School Board being that school issues are allowed to take a back seat when it’s not budget time.

“They let it die down,” he said. “You have to keep the issues on the table. I won’t let them die down. We’ve got to mend that relationship so we can help the School Board get on the right track.”

Jenkins said he also is concerned about safety all over the city and lighting improvements on Nansemond Parkway.

Jenkins also said he is concerned with the state of transparency in government.

“I promise to push for more transparency in city government to make sure the records and doors are always open,” he said.

Jenkins said he initiated the revamping of Lake Kennedy Park during his tenure as president of that civic league. A 2.2-mile walking trail and other improvements are forthcoming, all with private dollars.