Oak Ridge North Election Profile: Alex Jones, city council
Oak Ridge North City Council Member Alex Jones, 48, says he has always been the type of person who enjoys helping and serving others.
The former Navy man who has lived in the city of Oak Ridge North for more than a decade is running for his second-term as the Council Place 3 seat representative. Jones is running against challenger Martha Stedifor, and he said he wants to serve another term because he wants to continue serving his community.
Jones, who said he never really had political aspirations before he began his career as council member, started attending city council meetings in mid-2014. After becoming interested in “hot-button issues” such as mobility in the city, where he described Robinson Road as a “parking lot,” he realized he enjoyed listening to residents and council members discuss ways to find solutions.
Jones said he grew interested in how the city would eventually fix the traffic congestion that tormented residents as they drove through Robinson and Hanna Roads.
“I became interested in seeing how the city was going to deal with this,” Jones said. “I liked hearing what the council was saying and hearing both sides of an argument.”
Challenging claims made by Stedifor regarding the city’s debt, Jones said that they city has not taken on debt since 2013, when the city pulled a loan to pay for roads and intersection repairs. Since then, Jones claims that the city has paid down its debt by nearly $1.9 million in the last four years.
The debt owed by the city is a result of poor financial planning by the city officials who had not made any attempt to save any funds for future repairs, Jones said.
Jones said he initially took on a role in the city serving as a member of the Oak Ridge North Planning & Zoning Board where he felt he could make the most difference. He said he was heavily involved in board decisions involving restructuring broad neighborhood rules that left much up for assumption during the four to six months he served.
Shortly before he ran unopposed for the council in 2016, he was asked to fill a vacant seat on the Economic Development Corporation Board.
As a council member, Jones has been involved in handling drainage issues following multiple rain events in Oak Ridge North that caused ponding and some flooding in neighborhoods across the city.
Jones, a University of North Texas graduate, has been married for 13 years and has three children, all of whom attend Oak Ridge High School feeder schools.
Jones currently sits on the EDC Board. He started serving in the military in 1991 and was honorably discharged in 1993.