JASPER — New to the Jasper City Council, Garrett Selph and Jhelecia Hawkins aim for a bright future.

Selph was elected to the council in the city’s March election. Hawkins was appointed to fill the vacant District 2 seat after former Mayor Darnell Lumpkin passed away.

“I look forward to working with my fellow council members, and City Manager (Marcus) Collins,” said Selph, who was elected to the District 4 seat. “I’m excited to see what we can do as a council together to make the City of Jasper better, and I’m excited to help as we work towards bettering the debt to income ratio for the City of Jasper.”

Hawkins, who has approximately 11 years of experience in daycare/child care, said there are similarities in both childcare and municipal government: namely consistency is needed for an efficient and functioning system.

“I want to first thank the council for this nomination, it is an honor,” Hawkins said. “I look forward to helping to encourage growth for the City of Jasper, while doing more to encourage activities for the children in Jasper. I have an abundance of positivity and drive that I hope to use towards the betterment of the City and our citizens.

“I look forward to pushing towards the goals of our council to continue making Jasper a better place.”

While Selph and Hawkins are new to the council, Jay Daigle is back for a second term after running unopposed in District 3. Daigle was also appointed to serve as the council chairman again.

He said some challenges the city has faced the past few years have helped position the city for better things in the future. He is hoping that pays off in the near term.

“We have faced some adversity the last four years, and I feel like we have finally rounded a corner heading towards the right direction,” Daigle said. “We have faced administrative changes, as well as difficult and unpopular decisions, however those decisions have proven to be the right ones that have been highly beneficial to the City of Jasper. Although we may not be exactly where we want to be, we have been steadily moving towards that goal at a great pace.

“My biggest goals for this term are to get Jasper to a point where we are completely free of debt, encourage and build infrastructure into the 21st century, and bring much needed economic growth to our town. I personally thank all of the City of Jasper employees for their acceptance of the philosophies that we as a council are implementing. Thank you all again for entrusting myself and our City Council with the ability, opportunity and honor to serve you as fellow citizens of the fine City of Jasper.”

Kara M. Compo is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government, politics, law enforcement and first responders. ​

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