From The Tribune staff reports
PINSON — Pinson resident and former City Council member Joe Cochran announced Friday, June 12, 2020, he will run for mayor.
In a Facebook post, Cochran posted:
“I believe in an inclusive government that hears the voices of all the people.
I believe in civic duty to foster unity and create a better world.
I believe in vision to look ahead to what we can become.
I believe “Why not now?” and “Why not us?”
I believe in hard work to accomplish things that others can’t believe are possible.
I believe in Pinson and love it.
I will offer my services as a FULL TIME Mayor, because that’s what Pinson needs.
I thank the entire community of Pinson for embracing me as a public servant for the past 16 years and I respectfully ask for your vote.
I am Joe Cochran, and I would be proud to be your Mayor!”
In an interview with The Tribune, Cochran identified five reasons he wants to lead the city of Pinson:
- Better promotion of the city. Cochran said he would take on the responsibility of marketing and networking for the city.
“That is to go out and represent the city every day,” said Cochran. “To be the face of the community and go out and represent the people how they deserve to be represented.”
- Be a full-time mayor. Cochran said he plans to leave his career of 35 years to focus solely on being mayor, if elected.
- Pure love for the community. After many years of serving in the city, Cochran said he believes he has the heart for the job.
“I’ve been involved in the community for 16 years, in many capacities, and I feel like that’s where my heart and my passion is,” Cochran explained.
He said he learned from an early age that serving others was important. His inspiration came from his mother.
- Problem-solving. Although Cochran said he doesn’t always have the answers, he said he is determined to find answers for anyone who comes to him with a problem.
- Relationships. The mayoral candidate said he has identified a weakness in Pinson, and that is participating in the planning for the greater Birmingham area and the state of Alabama.
“If we’re actually plugged into that and a part of it, then we can benefit from the conversation,” Cochran said. “And I’m saying we probably haven’t done that as well as we should and I can guarantee you that I will.”
Cochran said he believes the biggest challenge facing the city of Pinson is commercial development.
“I would engage that challenge head-on,” he said.
Another important aspect to consider in the city of Pinson is crime. Although Cochran doesn’t think crime is an immediate issue, he would like to see the city research plans to develop its own police department.
“We need to gather a committee and ask the citizens what they want from a police department,” said Cochran. “It wasn’t that long ago that Trussville was a small, little town. They started a police department and different things. A lot of those things attract people and make them want to come to your community.”
The city currently has contract deputies from Jefferson County. Cochran said he believes those contracts have been beneficial for the city, but he believes options should be revisited.
“I’m not saying that we would be better off with our own police department,” he said. “I’m just examining the question.”
Another aspect of the community close to the mayoral candidate’s heart is education. Cochran is currently the executive director of the Pinson Education Foundation.
“I’m proud of our kids,” he said. “I’m proud of a town where our test scores are rising, our kids are getting scholarship opportunities, and in many cases, they’re proving people wrong.”
The Pinson Education Foundation gathers community support for schools in Pinson. The group helps provide scholarships and funds for some projects in schools.
After living in Pinson for many years, Cochran said he would like to see a strategic plan and vision. He believes he can offer that vision in a dynamic way.
“I think if I bring nothing else to the table, I bring a lot of enthusiasm,” said Cochran.
Cochran served on the Pinson City Council for 12 years. For eight of those years, he was the mayor pro tem.
Candidates for municipal elections across the state will begin to officially qualify on July 7, 2020. Pinson’s municipal election will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 25.