Jonathan Tompkins confesses that he doesn’t have a strong interest in politics, but he does have a strong interest in his hometown.
Tompkins and his wife, the former Lori Parris, are rearing the fifth generation of Tompkins to reside in Jacksonville. As a father, he wants the best for their three children.
That’s why he decided to serve on the city council. He felt by having a seat on the council, he’d have the opportunity to make the best decisions for everyone from students to senior citizens which includes his own children as well as his father.
“I felt that I could use my abilities to make a difference,” he said. “I felt it was a position I wanted if the people wanted me to have it.”
Also, Tompkins feels it’s payback time. By serving on the council, he’s able to repay the city that has given him and his family so much.
Tompkins is relatively new on the council. He took office in November. He felt sure he’d have a lot to learn once he took office, and that’s turned out to be true.
The one thing he has learned, he said, is that the majority of Jacksonville’s residents want to participate in making things better.
“I’ve met a lot of people who have put in a lot of time out there, working every day, who don’t get a whole lot of press,” he said. “Most of us don’t even know they do what they do. They don’t publicize it.”
Tompkins said he feels like he’s related to half the town, either in blood or friendship.
As he enters his six-month anniversary, he says he’s enjoying serving.
“It’ been good getting to know everyone and everything on a different level, including the mayor, other council members and city employees. So far, it’s all been a very positive experience. It’s also quite an experience learning how to get things done in city government.”
Tompkins said serving his city leaves him with less time for his family, but he was prepared for that before he made the decision to run.
“Of course, it takes my time and work to get things accomplished,” he said. “But Lori and I discussed all of this before I ran for office. We’re able to manage it. We’re not newlyweds, we’ve been through a few storms together. We know how to get through the day.”
At this point, would he consider running again?
“It’s too early to tell, but I would certainly consider it.”
Tompkins said his goal is to make sure that Jacksonville continues to be an amazing place to live, where children can grow up and want to live here when they’re adults. He wants it to be a safe town where everyone can say their lives are fulfilled -- where the best education is available and where excellent schools can be found.
Tompkins received all of his education here, from Kitty Stone and Jacksonville High School to Jacksonville State University where he received a double major in accounting and human resource management.
He is process manager and purchasing manager at Alabama Specialty Products in Munford. Lori is coordinator for Jacksonville Education Trust. They will be married 23 years in July. They’ve known each other since fourth grade at Kitty Stone and began dating in 11th grade at JHS.
Their older son, Jared, 20, is an engineering student at Auburn. Mason, 17, is in 11th grade, and Olivia, 14, is in eighth grade at JHS.
His parents are James Tompkins and the late Judy Tompkins. His brother, Jimmy, lives in Chattanooga where he is a minister of music. His sister, June helps take care of their father, and his other sister, Jennifer Davis, is a physical therapist.
Tompkins enjoys walking, writing and taking care of his family. He said there’s plenty of time for hobbies later in his life.
“I figure there’ll come a day when I’ll be looking for something to do, when all the kids are gone. I’ll probably pick up a few hobbies then.”