Meet the Candidates: Jenny Ives

By on 1 March, 2011 in Government, Legal Issues with 0 Comments

On March 8th, much of Midtown will go to the polls to elect a new representative for District 7 of the Montgomery City Council. Now that Martha Roby has gone off to Washington to represent Montgomery in Congress, eight candidates qualified for the special election to replace her and seven remain in the race. Midtown Montgomery Living is interviewing candidates throughout the month and posting results as we get them. Candidates submit their answers to MML in writing and the only edits we make are for grammar or punctuation. Our final interview is with Jenny Ives. You can see the other candidates here.

What do you do for a living?

I retired from Aronov in 2008 as Senior Vice President of Multi Family after a 32 year career.

What is your educational background?

I graduated from public high school in Birmingham in 1969. I did not have the opportunity to go to college. Formal education was related to the real estate industry with an emphasis on multi-family regarding valuation, marketing, management, fair housing, budgeting, customer service and leadership related to hiring and supervising employees.

Are you married? Any children?

I am happily married to John Ives, and have been since 1988. We share the same core values and were very successful blending our family. We have four daughters. We have one 15-year-old granddaughter, a 4-year-old grandson and twin grandsons that are 19 months old.

How long have you lived in Montgomery?

I moved to Montgomery, specifically District 7, in December, 1986.

Does your campaign have a website?

Why are you running for city council?

After a successful career as a business leader and having been a servant leader for over a decade, I felt a compelling need to make a commitment to serve District 7, as well as the entire city. My experience as a two-term president of Leadership Montgomery, serving on the Child Protect Board of Directors, graduating from Leadership Alabama, serving as a volunteer for Rebuilding Together and working on the “I Believe” steering committee gave me great insight into the needs of Montgomery.

How many council meetings have you attended?

Since I decided to seek this elected position, I’ve attended four Montgomery city council meetings and four city council work sessions. However, I’ve attended many city council meetings in Montgomery, as well as cities throughout the Southeast during my career.

Who do you think is the most effective current council member, and why?

I have not observed enough of the council members working together to give a qualified answer.

What did you think of Martha Roby’s time as D7 rep on the council? Did she do a good job?

Martha Roby represented me well as my D7 representative and I think she did a really good job.

What distinguishes you from your fellow candidates?

I feel that my humble background as a child, as well as my business success as an adult, has given me the ability to communicate with all people throughout the district. I believe that my Fair Housing experience coupled with the diversity experience in the Leadership Montgomery and Leadership Alabama will be a valuable asset as a City Council member.

The City Council seems like a ‘full-time part-time job.’ How do you plan to make time in your schedule?

I am retired, so I have time to spend in the district and most of my current obligations can be arranged around the meetings.

What are the major issues that you see confronting District 7?

Crime, as well as deteriorating neighborhoods is major issues. District 7 has infrastructure issues that must be addressed. District 7 has six public schools that need more community involvement. The overall economy has affected a lot of the businesses in District 7.

What do you intend to do to solve those issues?

I will actively work with the neighborhood associations regarding all of the issues facing their specific neighborhoods, as well as actively promote more neighborhood watch education and participation. I will also do my best to help enforce existing city codes and ordinances that are in place (or work toward writing new ones) that will benefit the constituents.

What is your position on residential recycling?

I wish we had been better prepared for the recycling program when it began, as it has worked in other cities. However, the cost savings we gained by eliminating the existing residential recycling was necessary. I would like for Montgomery to have an efficient recycling program that encourages better participation and brings the needed income to Montgomery.

What should the City Council do about urban blight?

Knowing that the city has a plan in place and that the legal work and the demolition is expensive, I think that we should continue to try and enforce ordinances, be cognizant of historical value of some areas that certainly contain blight and try to work toward the restoration of these areas to do our best to continue on a positive plan being mindful that just tearing down buildings is not the answer. I’m proud of the areas in District 7 that are being changed through the city planning department and I will work toward doing my part to help us get the necessary grants and funds needed to accomplish more.

Is Smart Code good for Cloverdale?

Absolutely! SmartCode worked in other cities and it is a step in the right direction.

In a world where higher taxes seems to be totally off the table as an option for raising revenue, what ideas do you have for filling the hole in the city’s budget? If you think programs and services can/should be cut, please be specific about which ones and how much.

If elected, I will work toward the goal of good fiscal management by analyzing the current expenses being absorbed by the city. I will actively solicit ideas from the various city divisions regarding reducing expenses and I will bring my expertise of running successful businesses to the discussion.

What is something people should know about you but don’t?

This question is hard to answer because most people that know me know everything about me. For those who don’t know me well, I think they should know that I place an extremely high emphasis on happiness and fulfillment whether at work or play.

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