Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jones Announces Run for Olympia Mayor

Above: Nathaniel Jones, Olympia Mayor Pro Tem, announced on Wednesday that he is running for mayor of Olympia. The position is currently held by Mayor Cheryl Selby. File photo from January, 2016.

By Janine Gates
Little Hollywood

Leadership and transparency are top priorities

Olympia Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel Jones announced on Wednesday that he is launching a campaign for mayor of Olympia. 

The position is currently held by Mayor Cheryl Selby.

In a press release, Jones stated that he will restore confidence in the city’s direction and ensure that community members are not shut out of key decisions.

Jones has served as Olympia’s Mayor Pro Tem since being elected to the city council in 2011. He was reelected to a second four year term in November 2015. Among other assignments, Jones serves on the councils Land Use and Environment Committee.

Regarding the homeless, Jones called for “compassionate accountability and effective management of unacceptable and unhealthy conditions” at tent encampments in downtown Olympia.

He also touted his role in creating final adjustments to the “Missing Middle” ordinance which changed zoning and land use rules to accommodate more housing options city-wide. The ordinance was adopted by the council on November 5.  

He also referred to his role in restoring Olympia’s downtown walking patrol and the launch of a mental health crisis response team.

Jones left his position at the state Department of Enterprise Services about 18 months ago to focus on city issues.

Regarding the mental health crisis response team, Jones told Little Hollywood that there will be a city council study session on the initiative on December 4. Implementation of the plan is expected in January.

“Trained first-responders will deescalate and address non-criminal disruptions without police. This will free up police to do their job and provide far more appropriate help to people in crisis. There’s a focus on downtown but the team will be available throughout the city,” he said.

Jones said he will have a campaign kick-off at a later date.

“It’s too early in the calendar for that now - heck we’re still counting (election) ballots. I announced now because I think it’s only fair for others to know what I’m doing,” added Jones.