Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long you have lived in Delray, where you live, your profession, your family.
My name is Jennifer Jones. I am a Haitian-American business owner. I have lived in Delray Beach since 1995, currently in a community named Verano. I am a tax preparer, as well as a judicial interpreter. I have been CEO of my own company since 2003. I believe in the working class and ensuring that every family has an opportunity to grow and remain in Delray. Our residents deserve to experience multi-generational growth and wealth building right here in our town.
Why are you running for office and what experiences qualify you to be a commissioner?
Delray Beach is a beautiful city that is forever expanding. I want to secure a future for the working class of Delray Beach. This means affordability, employment and security for its residents. We need housing that can respond to the need of this community. It is also important to restore the trust of the Delray beach residents in its administration, in its commission. There is a serious need to reestablish the sense of co-governance, where the resident are heard, and problems are solved together.
What are the top three issues you want to address in the city if elected or re-elected?
Creating jobs and sustainable sources of income for small businesses and contractors within the city. Also create opportunities for local businesses to bid more on city contract.
Enforce job creation programs and implement policies that encourage more hiring of Delray residents
Expand existing and implement new plans for affordable housing
Establish Community Benefit Agreements between developers and community leaders
Delray is known as the “Village by the Sea” but it is also a popular city. How would you balance “keeping the charm” with the need to grow the tax base as the city attracts more people?
Delray Beach is the beautiful, lovable city that it is because of its people. The very people who live in Delray, and have lived here for decades, are the very soul of this city. I want to create more pathways for the working class to grow. I continue to promote small businesses, and invite more enterprises to come and expand or build from Delray Beach. As a growing city, Delray Beach must remain competitive in its tax rates to continue to appeal to working families and young talents. New development projects should be expected to pay their fair share and not receive excessive handouts from the city.
City Hall has had a lot of turnover with city staff. Why do you think that is and how would you work to re-establish stability?
The turnovers have been with the upper management staff. These senior level employees are the positions that interact most with the commission. It is imperative that the relationship between these employees and the commission is re-evaluated. There must be trust and constant cooperation in order for the atmosphere to change. Communication and open door policies are the best way to promote a healthy and prosperous working environment.
How do you approach the relationship you will have as a commissioner with city staff?
Our city staff represents all that is great about Delray Beach. Their loyalty and dedication for the city allows Delay Beach to be lovable city that it is. I want to know the staff and promote open lines of communication with everyone who works daily to make Delray Beach so amazing. It is important to maintain a positive work environment, where employees grown with the city, and continue to see the opportunities we offer as progressive and competitive. Like any great corporation, it maintains its integrity and appeal when it acts as a family with its staff. The same goes for the City. The more satisfied the city employees are, the more our city benefits.