Meet the candidates: Jim Bagby
Editor's Note: The Log will be highlighting each candidate running for office ahead of the March 15 election. The series will begin with the mayoral candidates, then feature those running for city council.
Four city council seats are up for grabs in the upcoming Destin municipal elections and one familiar candidate is ready to throw his hat back in the ring. Jim Bagby, who served as a Destin councilman from 2006 to 2014 said he is ready to take back the reins and serve to the best of his ability if elected.
“The reason I want to run is I have a servant’s heart,” he said. “I believe in public service and I believe I share a vision of a majority of citizens in Destin where we are trying to strike a balance between development and over development. As I have proven in the past, I believe I can work with other city council members to keep the budget under control, the tax rates under control and continue to improve the community and the service the city offers the citizens.”
True to his word, Bagby has been very active in public service since his retirement from the U.S. Army in 2003. He served as Town Manager for Rosemary Beach for 10 years, was the Executive director for Visit South Walton for two and a half years, is currently the chairman of Veteran’s Florida through the State Legislator and serves on the board for the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce. Bagby is also actively involved in serving in his church, Resurrection Catholic Church and several other local charities.
During the past year, Bagby said he has attended three city council meetings and watched a few online, however, he added that his distance was not due to lack of interest.
“When you are off the council, you should be off the council so I purposely avoided them,” he said. “The current council has their own way of dealing with issues and the old council members shouldn’t sit there and second guess them.”
When asked about what issues he believes are most pressing in the community, Bagby said his focus is three-pronged; the city budget, transportation and development.
“Obviously development, we have to strike a balance going forward,” he said. “We have to be concerned with our citizens concerns and for quality of life. I believe that to be the umbrella everything else falls under: If our citizens aren’t happy living here, our guests won’t be happy visiting here.”
Bagby elaborated that projects such as a cross-town connector, building height restrictions and improving the plans for Envision Destin are all things he will advocate for if elected. He added that with his past council experience he has the patience and determination needed to address these issues at hand with a level head.
“One of the reasons I’m running is because as city council members, we can disagree but we don’t need to be disagreeable,” he said. “We need to focus on moving the city forward as opposed to pointing fingers at all the mistakes we’ve made.”
Bagby has lived in Destin for 17 years with his wife Jennie and has two grown daughters, Sara and Jennifer who live and work in New York City. In his free time he enjoys reading, playing golf and riding his Harley.
Destin City Council:
Tuffy Dixon (incumbent)
Cyron Marler (incumbent)