Heads up, ladies, Jim Bays is single and he’s crowdsourcing the perfect woman to spend the rest of his life with via an eye-catching billboard located along highway 29 going west.
The billboard popped up in November with a picture of Bays, clad in a plaid button-down and cowboy hat, reading “Wanted: A good woman, 50-55ish, for talks & walks & mutual acts of kindness,” and will be up until at least the end of December, possibly through January.
“It's not like when you were in high school and it's easy to meet somebody,” Bays told Austonia. “How do you meet somebody that's on the same page? How do you create the number of accidents that need to happen in order for you to meet somebody that you really mix well with?”
Twice divorced with five kids ranging from 12-41, Bays said he’s tried dating apps but found that they “involved too much game plan,” didn’t accurately portray the other party’s personality and that it was hard to coordinate meeting up with potential matches.Already getting a fresh start in Texas after moving himself and his business from Washington state in June, the 66-year-old spec builder and contractor gathered up the courage to put himself back out there in a big way.
Bays is busy, dating is time-consuming and putting up a billboard ad was a way to bring the matches to him without having to swipe.
“I'm glad that I've done it and believe me, it made my knees knock together,” Bays said. “I'm thinking about my picture on a billboard knowing full well that I'm going to get a complete range of phone calls.”
First and foremost, potential matches need to know that Bays is married to his job to a fault. Bays likes to keep busy and encourages those around him to do the same—he put his daughters in dance classes to “keep them out of trouble”—so working six days per week is common for him.
His rigorous work ethic is what he attributes to the end of his second marriage, which lasted 19 years, saying they drifted apart since he was so often gone. Bays doesn’t plan on making the same mistakes again.
“I wanted to get them involved in something that taught them how to work hard and get to be good at something. It also took them away from me when I had an opportunity because my projects own me until I'm done,” Bays said. “I think what happened was, I got my kids and my wife too busy and then they didn't have time for me when I had time because they were busy.”
He’s also an athlete—Bays has been running and going to the gym since he was 19 years old, so fitness is important to him. Bays knows who he is and what’s important to him, so he thinks his next relationship is going to stick.
“I’m busy but we're not intended to go through life alone,” Bays said. “Anybody who doesn't believe that, all they have to do is listen to that something inside them that constantly seems to be nudging them to go find somebody special.”
What kind of woman is Bays looking for?
Bays's ideal woman is kind, understanding and in it for the longhaul. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
So far, Bays has gone on four or five dates resulting from his billboard ad. Though the five dates he’s been on so far haven’t been that spark yet, he said he’s optimistic.
Growing up with a mother from Georgia, Bays enjoys the hospitality the south is known for, so he positioned the billboard away from cities and high-traffic areas. Bays said his ideal soulmate is loving, kind, encourages him in his endeavors, forgives him of his mistakes and understands stress.
“Somebody that has a shoulder where I can just lay my head down or a lap that I can lay my head down,” Bays said. “Somebody who says, ‘Don't worry, you're going to get through this. It'll be fine.’ I'd love to find somebody like that.”
Bays said it best when he remarked that “a woman doesn’t want to marry a boy,” so he knows that what he brings to the table is equally important. Bays likes a strong-willed, independent woman but said she needs to be capable of admitting her faults.
“My first wife, I loved her to death and she loved me too, but we were two generals in the house, two leaders in the house. We were always butting heads because of that,” Bays said. “I think my first wife married a boy. She wanted a man but she married a boy.”
Bays is still on the lookout for the woman of his dreams. Don’t worry too much about the age range—Bays is just looking for a woman who is younger than him. If the man of your dreams is strong, well-off, a family man and busy bee, look no further.
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Fiscal Year 2023 budget increased nearly 13 percent over FY 2022
The board of Travis Central Appraisal District voted unanimously Thursday to approve a proposed FY 2023 budget of $25,683,866. That’s up 12.72 percent over the FY 2022 budget of $22,786,110. The budget covers calendar year 2023 and will take effect January 1st.
The main driver of the higher budget are an increase of $1.8 million in the cost of personnel and benefits, based on an authorized strength of 153 employees, an increase of 10 over the number authorized for FY 2022.
The cost of the appraisal district’s budget is paid by the 135 local government agencies it serves, including 60 municipal utility districts, 21 cities, 18 emergency services districts, 17 water control improvement districts, 15 school districts, plus Travis County, Central Health, Austin Community College, and one road district. School districts pay for more than 52 percent of TCAD’s budget, cities more than 19 percent, the county nearly 16 percent.
While none of these taxing jurisdictions is able to increase their budgets by anything approaching the percentage hike in TCAD’s budget, the reality is that the fees they pay to the appraisal district quarterly amount to just a tiny fraction of their outlays and are therefore inconsequential.
Weekend sports highlights:
- Longhorns crush Louisiana-Monroe 52-10, in preparation for Saturday's 11am home game against #1 ranked Alabama.
- Austin FC loses on the road 3-0 to Nashville. Next match Saturday 7pm, at home in Q2 Stadium v. Seattle. Despite two consecutive losses, Austin remains in 2nd place in the Western Conference, 5 points ahead of FC Dallas.
- #1 ranked Texas Volleyball beats the Stanford Cardinal 3-0 in front of 4,000 fans at Stanford's Maples Pavilion. Next match Wednesday 7pm at home against UC Davis.
- Westlake HS wins beats Converse Judson for 42nd consecutive win.