JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Next week, voters in Lansing and Jackson will select their next mayor.
6 News is starting a special series that takes a close look at the mayoral candidates in both cities.
We begin in Jackson, interviewing the city’s current mayor, who’s running for re-election.
The city of Jackson hasn’t re-elected a sitting mayor since 2005.
But incumbent Bill Jors is hoping to change that by continuing to serve as mayor in his hometown.
After leading the city for the past two years, Mayor Jors says he wants to continue his goal of making Jackson a cleaner and safer place to live by supporting public safety, blighted building demolitions, and street sweeping.
“And that was one of my main goals in my first term, and now the city has been swept several times,” Jors said.
He says that’s all part of changing Jackson’s image.
“My biggest accomplishment is changing the attitude of the townspeople in order to attract new business and residents. And we’ve seen a record number of businesses open in the previous two years,” Jors said.
6 News reporter Aaron Dimick asked Jors if he’s been a part of creating any new city policy.
His answer was surprising.
“The non-discrimination ordinance. I was the first mayor to allow that process to happen and be enacted,” Jors said.
However, Jors voted against the LGBT non-discrimination ordinance several times.
And in previous interviews, he told 6 News that he didn’t think the NDO was necessary.
“To try to eliminate discrimination through legislative measures or government laws has never worked in history,” Jors said during an interview that aired Feb. 2.
Dimick asked the mayor if he could take credit for something he didn’t support.
“Yes. It’s law,” Jors said. “My personal feelings are mine. And I’m going to stick to my ethics and morals.”
He’s running against a big supporter of the NDO, Vice Mayor Derek Dobies.
With the ordinance being a hot button issue for the community, Jors said voters could pick the candidate that represents their beliefs on the matter.
“It’s probably the main thing that will bring people out to vote,” Jors said.
Beyond their disagreements over policy, the mayor feels he has a better understanding of the city.
“I believe in Jackson. I believe in Jackson as it is today, the people are today. I believe we need to build on Jackson. The message I hear out of my opponent is that we need to change Jackson, that Jackson is bad,” Jors said.
If he’s re-elected, Jors says work will continue on his main priorities.
“Make Jackson as clean and safe a community as possible. No community can be too safe or too clean. And until we’re the cleanest, safest community in America, my job’s not done,” Jors said.
Watch 6 News at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 31 for our interview with the other candidate for mayor, Derek Dobies.
That story will also be posted on WLNS.com.