Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles on candidates for Pine Bluff mayor.
Clarence Davis believes that in order for Pine Bluff to succeed, its residents must work together, and he plans to build networks of cooperation in the city to accomplish that goal if he is elected mayor Nov. 6.
The owner of Discount Cellular Accessories, a distributor of cell phone accessories, Davis is originally from Hattiesburg, Miss.
“I am a family man and I’ve been married for 26 years,” Davis said. “I’ve been a minister for nearly 27 years. I really care about people. I am an entrepreneur and a business owner and understand what makes business work. I have a genuine concern for the people of Pine Bluff and all of Jefferson County. I know what it takes to do business and to build relationships with people in order to sustain business.”
Davis has been a Life Group pastor at Family Church for the past 14 years.
Davis is one of nine candidates running for the office of Pine Bluff mayor. The others are Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr., Aldermen Steven Mays*** and Thelma Walker, Peter Daniels Jr., Tim Whisenhunt, Debe Hollingsworth, John James Jr. and Kent Broughton.
“I came to Pine Bluff 14 years ago by way of the ministry,” Davis said.
Davis says that one of his top priorities, if elected, is to improve city services.
“One of my main priorities is to unify city services,” Davis said. “We must make sure that they are efficient by ensuring that employees are working together for residents and not at cross-purposes to one another.”
“I want to attempt to get people to see that we are one and that we have to work together in order to move forward,” Davis said. “It can’t be black against white, rich against poor, old against young. We have to work together to gain.”
“We need to make sure that the education attainment level is increased so that we will be able to attract very good jobs that pay well,” Davis said. “We have to have that. Very few companies will come to Pine Bluff if we are not smart enough to operate whatever kind of businesses they are in.”
Davis said that a concerted effort must be made in Pine Bluff to create a more positive atmosphere.
“If the city is willing to accept positive change, we can be the top city in the state of Arkansas,” said Davis, who also previously ran for alderman.
Davis said that one of the best ways to improve the jobs picture in Pine Bluff is to do a better job of supporting the businesses that are here.
“We have to find a way to provide money,” Davis said. “Companies leave because they are losing money. One of the things that we have to do is get money back into the hands of business owners. The sales tax initiative that was passed can help to do that and there are other grants that we can apply for. We must find them and utilize them.”
“If we would hire people in this city and pay them then they would have money to shop and to go to restaurants,” Davis said. “I see 100 jobs right now in each of Pine Bluff’s wards. We could get people making the place clean and sharp. Businesses in some cases want to leave because the place is run down.”
“Taxes are killing our businesses,” Davis said. “I don’t pay nearly as much tax in my business as restaurants or clothing stores do. We need to give them a break.”
“If and when I take office I will begin sowing good seed in people’s lives,” Davis said. “If we sow animosity and strife we can only expect those things to come back to us.”
“My vision for this city is to have Pine Bluff turn away from its old, negative image of being ‘Crime Bluff’ and being the arm pit of Arkansas,” Davis said. “I want Pine Bluff to be nicknamed Prime Bluff; prime for raising a family, prime for a good education, prime for good jobs, prime for good businesses and prime for entertainment and recreation.”
***This article has been updated from its original version to correct a name misspelling.