"I want to be in a position where I can ask why, and someone has to explain it to me," he said. "When you look at some of these issues, I just think there is a lot lingering."
The candidate questioned why public transportation was just now made available and why more progress hasn't been made on revamping the local sign ordinance, which he called outdated. Jones, who opposes the Health Department's proposed ban on smoking, also questioned why the city commission has not taken a more proactive approach to the issue.
"The commissioners have been silent on the issue, content to let the Health Department do it," he said.
To Jones, the single most important issue this election year is merging the two main bodies of government in Clark County - the Board of Commissioners and the Fiscal Court.
Jones called the two-body system dysfunctional, arguing that it causes red tape, and tension over annexation, tax revenues and planning and zoning.
"Every issue that this county has to deal with in terms of management is complicated by the fact that we have two governing bodies with different sets of visions for the county and what it should look like," he said.
Jones said if cooperation on issues like planning are zoning are so important, local government shouldn't sidestep the major issue. He called on officials to table issues, pool resources and begin the process of merger to make government more efficient.
Jones affirmed that people's needs vary between rural and urban areas, but ultimately residents still want the same level of police, fire and EMS protection, he explained. Jones also expressed a desire for tax equalization and said a merged government could still effectively deal with the different needs of rural and urban residents.
He said disturbing the favorable Class 2 insurance rating at Winchester Fire-EMS may be a necessary evil to improve other areas of government through merger. The Class 2 rating helps keep insurance rates low in Winchester.
Jones said if that one factor proved to be hugely detrimental, he might reconsider a merger, but he said: "Someone would really have to make the case."
The candidate said the experience of incumbents on the commission may be inhibiting them from trying new things.
"There's a lot that could be tinkered with, and we are not tinkering enough."
According to recent reports by Winchester Municipal Utilities, the company is looking to build about $97 million of unfunded capital projects in coming years.
Under the utility's consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WMU is mandated to complete about $55 million of sanitary sewer upgrades to stem sanitary sewer overflows and comply with the federal Clean Water Act. The city commission also voted earlier this year in favor of building a new $42 million water treatment plant to meet projected growth in water demand.
"I think the first thing you would have to do is re-evaluate the need of those projects," Jones said, adding that he would like to work with WMU General Manager Vernon Azevedo to determine which projects take priority.
"Some of these projects are going to have to be cut, some are going to have to be tabled, some are going to have to be revisioned," he said.
Jones said he would favor a moratorium on new development until enough infrastructure is in place to serve it. He also proposed exploring options for having businesses that benefit from the infrastructure projects help pay for the costs.
When asked which projects he would cut, Jones responded that he would want to hear a report from Azevedo before deciding.
"There are a lot of questions I have that I don't have answers to that are going to make it hard to say with any specificity which projects I would cut," he said. But he added that his big concern is whether local government is getting its money's worth and who is benefiting from the projects.
Jones said he favors building a new water treatment plant, but questioned whether funds are being spent efficiently and if officials are pursuing the most advanced technology so the plant can be used in years to come.