Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ELECTION 2007; Safety, Revitalization Key, 2 Council Candidates Say A 53-Year-Old Woman and a 26-Year-Old Man Are Vying for the Seat

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ELECTION 2007; Safety, Revitalization Key, 2 Council Candidates Say A 53-Year-Old Woman and a 26-Year-Old Man Are Vying for the Seat

Article excerpt

Byline: CHARLIE PATTON

The race for City Council District 1 provides a contest between experience and youth.

Cheryl Donelan Grymes, 53, brings plenty of experience, including eight years as a member of the Duval County School Board, which she chaired in 1995-96. Clay Yarborough, who turned 26 this week, represents the youth, though he is no political novice, having won election to the Duval County Soil and Water Conservation Board while still a teenager.

Yarborough says a perception that he might be too young will be the greatest obstacle he must overcome in the race for the council seat being vacated by Lake Ray. The district covers much of Old Arlington and parts of East Arlington.

Yarborough, who lives in the Regency area, cites his experience not just with the Soil and Water Conservation Board but also with various Arlington civic groups, including the Greater Arlington/Beaches Citizens Planning Advisory Committee, as proof he understands both government and the district's issues.

Grymes said the eight years she spent on the School Board provide her with a level of experience it's hard to get elsewhere.

"I think it's a huge plus," she said. "The School Board issues were all emotional. I learned a lot about making hard decisions."

She also noted that she has a long history of civic involvement and has been active in Arlington civic groups since moving to the University Park neighborhood about eight years ago, when she remarried.

Both Grymes and Yarborough cited public safety and the challenges of revitalizing older neighborhoods with decaying infrastructure as their highest priorities in serving the district.

Thus far, Grymes has a significant fundraising advantage, according to the Supervisor of Elections Web site, having raised more than $58,000 while Yarborough has raised about $25,000.

charlie.patton@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4413

DISTRICT 1 CITY COUNCIL

CHERYL DONELAN GRYMES

Republican

Age: 53

Previous experience in elected or appointed office

Duval County School Board, 1992-2000; chairwoman, 1995-96; current member, Jacksonville Economic******Development Commission Enterprise Zone Board.

Education

Bachelor's degree in communications from the University of North Florida.

Occupation

Executive director of The Alliance for World Class Education.

Family

Married to Warren Grymes for eight years; six children and stepchildren, one grandchild.

What are the two most important issues facing your district and how would you address them?

No. 1 is public safety. It's a mixture of perception and reality. It's an issue that has hindered the opportunity for redevelopment and revitalization. I would work with the Sheriff's Office to make sure it has the officers it needs.

The No. …

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