Jim Kee, District 2 candidate
Residential address: 4301 Lord Jeff Drive, 27405 Incumbent or challenger: (Open seat) Age: 51 Campaign website or blog: www.votejimkee.com Occupation and employer: Owner, Kee Development Corp. Previous elective experience: None Civic volunteer experience (including service on city commissions and boards): Mayor’s Steering Committee (a citizens’ board that advises Mayor Yvonne Johnson); board of directors, Greensboro Historical Museum; previously served on Board of Adjustments and as chairman of the Firemen’s Relief Fund Education (highest degree attained and name of institution): Bachelor of science in economics, NC A&T University Party registration: Democrat (nonpartisan race) What is the city and state of your birth? Garysburg, NC If not Greensboro, what year did you move here? In 1977 to attend college, returned in 1989 and has lived here since Paid consultants working on your campaign: None Your campaign manager: Jessica Foster-Bragg Your treasurer: Jack Zimmerman
Remarks from Sept. 22 candidate forum:
Thank you very much. My name is Jim Kee, and I plan to be the key difference on city council in District 2. I have been a resident of District 2 since 1989, and I know that economic development, public safety and environmental safety are the three most important issues we face. Over the past 12 years I have worked with members of, citizens across the state, the city of Greensboro, the city council, the county commissioners, to get the White Street Landfill closed and the new McGirt-Horton Library open. And we are working on other projects currently. I have an extensive background in city and community service. And I have over 23 years of corporate experience. And I have my own personal investment of over $2 million right here in District 2 to create affordable and upscale housing, and in the process have created over 100 jobs. I believe these facts make me the candidate of choice to represent you on District 2.
How do you plan to promote economic development of east Greensboro?
The city of Greensboro has to create site-ready real estate for new development and new businesses to come to our city. We have to promote jobs through our colleges and universities, and our coliseum. We have to help small businesses to sustain themselves. We have to encourage the new startup of small businesses. We have to do that through incentives. Incentives are certainly a way to stimulate growth. And incentives come in packages of infrastructure upgrades, city streets, those kind of things. So I am a proponent of expanding small businesses, creating small business. Small business is the engine that drives the nation’s economy, and Greensboro’s no different.
Under what circumstances do you think it is appropriate for the city council to annex new land?
I agree that annexation has to be properly planned, and once you annex – or actually, before you annex you have to be able to provide services to those towns that you’re annexing. And so to annex a nearby city I think there should be collaboration between that town and the city of Greensboro to make sure, again, that we can provide the services that they are needing and the services that we currently offer our residents in the city of Greensboro.
Describe your leadership style and how you would work with other council members.
My leadership style is collaborative and inclusive. My corporate experience has taken me from California to the Midwest to New York. So I have interacted with people all over the world, all over the country — people from the CEO to janitors. And I know how to work with people, people of different positions, to get things accomplished. And that’s something that we need on city council. Working with people is a must. I’ve worked in human resources and I’ve worked in sales, procurement, budgeting. All of these are attributes that a city council representative needs to have. And I have all that.
A lot of city council people and candidates use youth in their campaigns and make a lot of promises. What will you do to include the youth in decision-making and moving Greensboro forward?
Greensboro is a city of youth. We have numerous universities here; young, great minds that we need to include in the governmental process. I plan to start three distinct boards, and I’ve already started. One is the economic development board. Another is a public safety board. And an environmental safety board. And I would include citizens across District 2, including A&T and students at UNCG and just citizens that will meet on a regular basis to discuss the challenges and the solutions to the challenges, will meet every couple months. And I will be the voice that will take these solutions to the city council on behalf of District 2. So those are the things that I — include the youth, include all citizens….
What will you do to advocate for the needs of older adults and people with disabilities?
Housing is a major challenge for seniors and people with disabilities. We are building a subdivision in northeast Greensboro in Nottingham Forest. It’s a mixed-use, mixed-income subdivision. In that subdivision we have a section that’s designated for seniors, as well as people with disabilities. So I think providing affordable housing, safe, clean housing for seniors and people with disabilities is extremely important. We are working with the federal, state and local governments to help subsidize housing to cut down on the cost. Seniors, in particular, do experience a shortage of income, particular in the healthcare industry….
We have heard the visions of the candidates on various topics, and the history of what we have done in the community. It’s very important. But equally as important is the things we’re doing now. I am currently meeting with investors and a local investor who has invested over $20 million in District 2. And we talked about investments of over $30 million… so that’s very important. I am also meeting with out-of-state investors coming to District 2. Again, I am forming various boards that citizens can participate in. I think the challenges that we face are best met and expressed by the citizens themselves. So these citizens are going to collaborate with me. And I will go to the city council with the solutions that the citizens come up with. Thank you.
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