Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Southsider Squares off with Jenkins

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Southsider Squares off with Jenkins

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer

The Republican candidate for Jacksonville City Council District 4 is a veteran Southside barber who says he and his customers have "solved a lot of problems" in his Belfort Road shop over the years.

Now Don Redman said he would like to bring that ability to the people and replace the Democratic incumbent, Suzanne Jenkins.

Jenkins is a former community activist, current City Council vice president and one of 12 incumbents defending their seats in the April 15 election. Jenkins left a job as the head of JaxPride to run in 1999.

Redman, 58, did a four-year stint in the Navy after high school and ran a barbershop for 33 years on Dean Road, as well as an athletic attire shop nearby. He opened a new shop on Belfort Road three years ago.

Redman said he has never been involved in politics but worked with Little League baseball, River City Swim League and helped sponsor running events. He said he has had "major disagreements" with Jenkins and the city on the infrastructure needs on the Southside.

"I love trees, but to spend thousands of dollars to reroute a road because one is in the way is not . . . good judgment or good use of the taxpayers' money," Redman said of the recent work at Parental Home and Bowden roads. "The more I get involved in the lives and government issues in our area, the more concern I have, and that would be a good position for me to have a say-so."

Court records show Redman had numerous judgments filed against him by companies like Nike and Triathlon Promotions between 1988 and 1997 for money owed while he and his son ran the athletic attire shop on Dean Road. He said he's "not proud of them," but that it was all cleared up.

Jenkins is a 46-year-old Englewood High School graduate who has lived in the Englewood neighborhood since 1989. She was president of the Greater Englewood Neighborhood Association and battled cellular telephone antennae, including one near her home. She became chairwoman of the Mayor's Southeast Citizens Planning Advisory Committee in 1996 and 1997 and joined a local Sheriff's Advisory Council and the Mayor's Growth Management Task Force.

"I wanted it in the first place to represent the older neighborhoods that were the majority of my district then and now. We were focusing on the new areas, but were not doing a lot with the older communities," Jenkins said. "These are exciting times in the city, but also important because the decisions we make now will set the foundation for what will come in the city. I want to be part of that process."

Staff writer Dan Scanlan can be reached at (904) 359-4549 or via e-mail at dscanlan@jacksonville.com.

CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 4 CANDIDATES

-- Name: Suzanne Jenkins

-- Political party: Democrat

-- Age: 46

-- Occupation: City councilwoman

-- Education: Englewood High School

-- Family: Husband Marshall, daughter Shyla, son Bryan and daughter Sarah

-- Political experience: Four years as District 4 councilwoman, Southeast Citizens Planning Advisory Committee chairwoman, Mayor's Growth Management Task Force

-- What are your top three priorities and how would you address them:

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