My name is Joseph Colt Tabor, and I am seeking the office of Mayor of Winona.
The time has come for new vision, new passion, and new energy at 409 Summit Street. For far too long, a vision has been imposed on the people of our city that does not truly reflect our values, our expectations, or our potential. This has in turn led our local economy to struggle, our infrastructure to deteriorate, and has allowed for crime to run rampant.
The time has come for us to stand united and ring in a new era – an era that empowers all our people to achieve more. An era of new vision, new passion, and new energy. An era for our Winona to prosper again.
What does “Our Winona” currently look like to you?
This is a question I have asked people within our community ever since I first announced my candidacy in January 2020. The responses have varied from person to person, but each and every one has a deep underlying root – our lack of passionate, results-driven leadership.
I am a lifelong resident of Montgomery County and have called Winona my home my entire adult life. I briefly attended Holmes Community College in Grenada before ultimately pursuing an opportunity to work in my first full-time management role at the age of 17. Since then, I have worked most of my career in retail business management and received accolades and acknowledgements for my dedication to serving my clients over the years.
In addition, I am married to the former Elisabeth Murphy of Brandon, whom I will share a first wedding anniversary with on February 20. My beautiful wife and I are active members of Winona Church of God. I also serve as one of two Winonian’s on the inaugural board of director’s for the Grenada Area Sanctuary of Hope, a forthcoming non-profit organization that will establish the first cold-weather (and in the future, a permanent) homeless shelter to serve our area in a mission to eradicate homelessness from North Mississippi.
Being heard and making a difference are two things that fuel my drive, and I want to take that drive along with my private-sector success to City Hall and make it work for you. My passion for making a tangible difference in our community and resolving people’s problems makes me the ideal leader for a special place like Winona.
I have four generations of family history in our city. I take a deep pride in not only my family name, but the potential our city offers to all persons, regardless of wealth, race, or background. My grandfather, the late John M Tabor, Jr., known to most as “Johnny,” was the owner of Tabor Brothers Auto Supply Company and Central Automotive Warehouse, Incorporated. His father before him, John M Tabor, Sr. was one of the original incorporators of the Merchant and Farmers Bank of Winona, as well as the Tabor Motor Company. But prior to moving to Winona in the early 1900s, the Tabor’s were humble farmers from Choctaw County.
Likewise, my grandmother Connie Peacock was the granddaughter of an Italian immigrant who came to this country in search of the “American Dream.” Her father, “Big” Joe Marascalco found that dream as a thriving businessman in Grenada. My grandmother, whom many of you know well, is now in her late 70s and often shares stories of her upbringing and her career working in the public, whether it was as a telephone operator at BellSouth or a waitress at JC Truck Stop, the Winona City Café, or The Hitching Post restaurant.
Those who come before us sacrificed their entire lives to ensure we had an opportunity for a better life today, and it would be disgraceful to not chase those same opportunities for the generations that will follow us. I want Winona to be a home of opportunity for our citizens.
The first action items on my agenda as mayor include a comprehensive review of our police department’s policies to take a harder stance on crime and crime prevention. Our city streets are not drag race strips. However, speeding and yielding to traffic control devices are not the only issue to be addressed.
Illegal drugs and weapons have infiltrated our area for years, with little preventive measures taken to ensure these drugs do not make it into our neighborhoods. The safety of our friends, neighbors, and children depends on stricter enforcement of the law and a stronger police presence in our community. It also requires that we pursue every legal avenue to condemn and seize abandoned properties in our residential areas where illegal activities may flourish. We must send a strong message to those who perform these illegal acts – “Not in Winona!”
The safety of our community will always be my top priority. Likewise, next on my agenda is establishing a plan to prioritize and expedite street repairs to create safe, functional, and attractive city streets and sidewalks.
Our roads are unsafe, inadequate, and outdated. There are many roads in dire need of resurfacing and expansion, along with several traffic lights that need to be replaced to reduce congestion. We also – in 2021 - still have dirt roads in our city limits that should have been paved long ago.
If elected to be your next mayor, I vow to do everything within the power of my office to fight for what you deserve. This includes retaining our small businesses that are the backbone of our community, while also working steadfast to bring new industry into this city for you.
We are “The Crossroads of North Mississippi,” and there is no reason the next generation of Winonians should have to leave the hometown they love to find a high-wage job. We are in a perfect location – with Interstate 55, Highway 82, Highway 51, and the Grenada Railroad – to have industrial manufacturing, large company distribution centers (think Amazon, Kroger, Target etc.,) and much more here.
Many have said over the last year while I have been campaigning that Wal-Mart leaving our city was the “nail in the coffin,” but I like to respectfully disagree. I think Wal-Mart leaving taught us it is time for a new vision for our city, a new passion at city hall, and a new energy in electing new leadership to represent our best interests. It also taught us to appreciate what we have had here and fight to bring everything we have ever lost back to Winona, tenfold.
Getting these things done and bringing these changes here will require help from each of you, not only at the ballot box on June 8, but in prayer and good faith for God’s guidance every step of the way. As you prayerfully consider your options, I wish to remind you that Winona pays for a full-time mayor… and Winona DESERVES a full-time mayor. Our future depends on it.
It would be my life honor to serve you and bring what you deserve to our city. I thank each of you for your support thus far, and I pledge that we will make Our Winona successful, safer, and stronger – together.
God bless you all and God Bless Winona. Joseph Colt Tabor
Independent Candidate, Mayor 662-440-0904
Paid for by Colt Tabor.