J. Pullman, 39, of 326 Tate Ave. recently qualified to run for the Ward Four alderman seat in the upcoming New Albany city elections and has now officially announced his candidacy.
Originally from upstate New York, just outside Ithica, Pullman currently serves as the Assistant Administrator at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County. Pullman received a B.S. degree in Physical Therapy from the the University of Buffalo and did post-graduate work in Manual Therapy. He moved to the Gulf Coast in 1991, and for a brief time served as CEO of a rehabilitation hospital in Baton Rouge.
After marrying his wife, Eydie, the couple moved to Waveland and Pullman became a small business owner and operator of a few oupatient rehab clinics in the area. He, his wife and their three children – Natalie, 10, Cecilia, 7 and Elliot, 5 – lived in Waveland until Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Pullman and his family subsequently moved to Oxford, where he joined the staff of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. Shortly after, he was offered the Assistant Administrator position in Union County.
“I am running for alderman because I want to make a difference,” Pullman said. “My family and I are enamored by and love the life we’re leading in New Albany and we just want to be a part of the fabric.
“I have a good deal of experience in management and I’m transparent,” Pullman said. “So I will be open about what moves I make for the city and why I make them. And I’ll be in allignment with what the people of my ward want. It’s essentially an extension of my job at the hospital. I solve problems. I’m somewhat an agent of change when it’s appropriate.”
Pullman said one of the main issues he sees in terms of the city’s governing body and its relation to the public is a lack of transparency.
“I don’t know that we get a full understanding of what and why things are happening and I don’t have a sense that people ask what or why things are happening they’re not getting a full answer there,” Pullman said. “That may just be a nature of the job and the position. But it’s my intention to go in there and find out.
“I think that New Albany has a lot going for it and I think that we need to preserve and nurture an atmosphere of clean properties, maintained buildings, maintained streets,” Pullman continued. “I think we need to be business friendly and people friendly.”
In terms of his strengths, Pullman said his management experience has helped him to develop good leadership qualities.
“I believe I am able to build a concensus,” Pullman said. “I have a good vision for the direction that things need to move and I’m able to build support for things like that. I’m not shy from conflict, but I’m not seeking it either.”
Pullman did say his biggest weakness is that he has only lived in New Albany for a short time and may be seen as an outsider by some, but he believes he can overcome that issue.
“I meet people and they can see there’s a sincerity and an authenticity to my words,” Pullman said.