Bankhead seeks to serve Ward 1 residents

Published 12:00 pm Monday, February 15, 2016

Jordan Bankhead, a relative newcomer to Oxford, has embraced the community since moving here in 2002 as a young attorney.

He worked for an attorney on the Square while substitute teaching at Oxford High School, which allowed him to pay the bills while he attended graduate school.

As he became more settled into Oxford, Bankhead wanted to start serving his community. He first served on the LOU Home Board and more recently, the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce.

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Now, he wants to serve Oxford, particularly those neighbors living in Ward 1, as their alderman. Bankhead will go up against Rick Addy on Tuesday for the Ward 1 alderman seat, left vacant by Jay Hughes who is now serving as the District 12 House Representative for the state.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Oxford Conference Center. Only residents in Ward 1 may vote.

“This town has been good to me and my family, and when this seat became available, I thought it would be a good opportunity to use my professional and service experience to give back further,” he said.

Bankhead, 39, runs several small businesses, including a solo law practice, a real estate brokerage, Rebel Paintball and an RV park. When he has some spare time, he teaches political science part time at Ole Miss.

If elected, Bankhead said he wants to help Oxford as it faces some of its biggest challenges due to growth. With the student population at Ole Miss increasing each year, more people moving to Oxford to retire or just because it’s a great place to raise a family, Bankhead wants to help move the community forward with sound planning, effective leadership and creative solutions to complex challenges, he said.

“The focus should be on creating livable, walkable neighborhoods where we balance investment and growth from outside sources with preservation of the charm that makes this town special,” he said. “As a local business owner and entrepreneur, I am also acutely aware that Oxford’s charm lies not only in historic preservation zones, but also in its locally run businesses. We must continue to support these businesses and create favorable environments for them to thrive, so that our town does not become anywhere, America.”

Bankhead feels Oxford’s biggest challenge is planning for the growth that is expected to continue over the next several years. The city currently is working on updating its comprehensive plan, dubbed Vision 2037 which will require an extensive overhaul of planning regulations and existing zoning, which Bankhead says, must be dealt with as early as possible so the city can plan and build the infrastructure necessary to accommodate current and projected growth.

“When we talk about infrastructure we should not just be thinking about roads and sewers, but also green space, schools, and public services such as adequate fire and police protection,” he said. “We need to stay ahead of the curve in these areas or we will become a victim of our own growth.”

Since tossing his hat into the ring last month, Bankhead said he’s been out campaigning and talking to the residents of Ward 1 and is taking notes of their concerns.

“I hope those I’ve been fortunate enough to talk with have found me to be approachable and grounded, and I pledge to continue to listen and be available to constituents if elected,” he said. “I’m not afraid to take a stand on an issue and will always put the best interests of Oxford and Ward 1 first. With my experience in local business, and proven track record in local leadership and service positions, I hope the residents of Ward 1 will feel I am qualified to be their alderman, and will choose me to help guide them through this period of unprecedented growth.”

Bankhead and his wife, Natasha, have two children, James Fletcher, 3, and Amelia Ann, 1.