Boyd looks to reverse fortunes in 2009 campaign

by Keith Barber

Jimmy Boyd believes he’s learned a lot since his razor-thin loss to Evelyn Terry four years ago. A retired Winston-Salem Police Department supervisor, Boyd lost to Terry in the city council Democratic primary by a mere two votes in 2005.

“I am very confident in this one,” Boyd said. “We are expounding on things we did correct last time, and stopping the things we did wrong.”

Boyd, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said strategy sessions for his 2009 campaign have been held around the family dinner table.

“The family support has meant so much to me because it shows me the dynamics of teamwork, people working together for a common goal,” Boyd said.

Teamwork has long been a central theme of Boyd’s life. He was inducted into the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. A former standout athlete at Anderson High School, Boyd said he would bring the life lessons learned through sports to bear if elected to the city council.

Boyd cites the fact he worked on Evelyn Terry’s campaign after his bitter primary defeat as evidence of his “team player” political philosophy. A longtime Pop Warner football coach, Boyd said his passion is helping to improve the lives of young people. Boyd said he would like to help ensure that the city’s youth can engage in positive activities like jobs programs.

Boyd said he brings accessibility, accountability, and dependability to city government. “What I bring already is knowing about the city government. That’s accountability,” Boyd said. “Plus, I’m retired. I have time to do these things. That’s dependability.”

Accessibility is one element that’s been missing from Terry’s administration, Boyd said. “Citizens are concerned about how you represent them so it’s important to keep them informed,” he said.

The planks of Boyd’s 2009 platform includes greater citizen participation on city boards, improved public safety, holding absentee landlords accountable and enhancing economic development opportunities in the Southeast Ward.

For Boyd, economic development comes back to the concept of family.

“I want to create that family atmosphere in the Southeast Ward,” Boyd said. “We must make the community safer and inviting and enticing to make [businesses] want to come the ward. We should give them a beautiful picture from Waughtown Street all the way down to Old Salem.”

The economic incentive package the city offered to Dell and the city’s $28 million investment in the downtown ballpark underscores the need for greater transparency in city government, Boyd said. If elected, Boyd said he would first ask the tough questions before investing taxpayer dollars in a new industry or business.

“I would say, ‘Show me the game plan. What’s in it for the citizens of Winston-Salem?’” Boyd said. “What’s the blueprint? If you don’t complete your plans in the timeframe, what are your contingency plans?”

Boyd said greater citizen oversight is critical to the success of any public-private partnership, and city council members have a tremendous responsibility to perform due diligence when it comes to protecting taxpayer dollars.

Boyd believes much of his success in the Sept. 15 primary hinges on getting out the vote. Only 5.7 percent of registered voters in Winston-Salem cast their ballots in the 2005 municipal primary. Boyd said a raucous candidate forum at the Sprague Community Center on Aug. 20 didn’t do anything to improve voter apathy in this year’s municipal primary, so he’s going to maintain the positive tone of his campaign.’

“I’m running for the Southeast Ward, not against Evelyn Terry,” he said.