Lifelong Nacogdoches resident Jay Anderson is among those vying to represent the Southwest Ward on the Nacogdoches City Council.
A local business owner, Anderson is running against Robert Ault and Vicki Lunell in the May 5 Nacogdoches City Council election. He and his wife, Jaime, and father, John, manage and develop commercial and residential properties for Annacco, Inc. In addition, he and Jaime own Nacogdoches Architectural Restorations LLC, which he describes as “a separate but similar attempt to further the cause of returning viability and value to neglected neighborhoods in Nacogdoches.”
Anderson serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission, as a member of the Nacogdoches Rotary Club, board member for Nacogdoches Youth Soccer Association, African American Heritage Project and the Pineywoods Foundation.
“I have discovered a true passion for serving our community to try to better it for each one of its residents, and this seemed the right time to take the next step in pursuit of that,” he says of his candidacy for council. “I’m not much of a politician or self-promoter, making this likely to be the pinnacle of my political career, but that’s the way I would prefer it.”
Anderson was born in Lufkin, “but grew up in Nacogdoches from the day I left the hospital,” he says. “Aside from my time at Southwestern University in Georgetown and at the University of Houston, I have been a Nacogdoches resident ever since, 42 of my 45 years overall.”
Below, Anderson responds to questions about his candidacy and decision to run:
Q: If elected, what would your top priorities as councilman be?
Anderson: There are so many issues covered by city council that it is difficult to narrow down the most important, but if pressed I think that I am most driven by finding ways that our city can help support the turnaround of NISD to give our children more opportunities growing up, and as a closely related issue, to help find new avenues for economic development to benefit not only the Southwest Ward, but the entire community. These two issues are the fundamental driving forces of any small city, and given the amazing potential here for improvement and growth in both areas, these are things on which I believe Nacogdoches must base its future.
Q: What do you think the most pressing issues are for your ward?
Anderson: In my opinion, one of our most pressing issues in the Southwest Ward is to create more economic growth, job opportunities, and general value in this part of town, and these things are tied together.
Another important area that I would like to address is to urge the people of our ward to be more of a voice in what happens in Nacogdoches by encouraging higher voting turnouts, more civic participation, and by shining more light on what our ward has to offer and its potential for the future. The Southwest Ward will constitute roughly half of the city’s exposure to the upcoming I-69, and I would like to find ways for our ward to capitalize on that reality. In March, I hosted an open house at our home, and if elected I would like very much to continue having those periodically as a means for more residents in our ward to know each other and to feel more personally involved in the city’s direction.
Q: Describe the moment you made up your mind to run.
Anderson: I have had a strong interest in serving the people of Nacogdoches for some time, but when Mr. Norton decided not seek another term and contacted me to encourage me to try to fill his seat, I knew that the time was right to try to earn the votes to hopefully make that happen and try to serve at a higher level. In doing so I have found more support from all corners of the city than I had anticipated, which has only served to further solidify my decision to run for this council position.