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Hinesville CC District 3 runoff

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POSTED: December 11, 2007 7:19 a.m.

None of the candidates for Hinesville City Council District 3 got a majority of votes in the general election on Nov. 6, so voters go back to the polls Dec. 4 to decide between the top to vote-getters, David Anderson and Bonita Smith.

Before the general election the Courier asked candidates to answer a long list of questions about issues facing the city. Here are those candidates responses:

Name: David Anderson Sr.
Age: 69
City: Hinesville
Current Employment: Retired
Current Office/Office Seeking: City Council
Number of Terms, if applicable: 3



1. How would you work to ensure taxpayers' money was used wisely?
Make sure city official not spend taxpayer's money on useless projects

2. How would you balance economic growth, quality of life and environmental issues?
a. Balance economic growth by making sure we have jobs to accommodate that growth
b. Quality of life is obtained by making sure our Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce and DDA bring in business that pay well
c. Environmental issues; can be balance by strong environmental laws to protect our air and water. We also need to clean up toxic waste.

3. How would you represent people of all income levels - homeless to elite?
The way I would represent people of all income levels is to treat everyone like human being, the way I want to be treated. The homeless I have always fought for and will continue to do so.

4. How would you work to ensure affordable housing?
To ensure affordable housing? The City of Hinesville has a great plan already in affect. We are building housing to accommodate the low income, medium income and those who want a six figure income house.

5. How would you work to ensure your community has clean, affordable water?
Follow the state and national environmental laws. Clean up rivers. Stop dumping toxic waste in our rivers.

6. How much time would you have to devote to an elected office?
The time I would have to devote to an elected office. The answer is all that is needed. I am retired military. One hundred percent.

7. How would constituents contact you?
Since City Council do not have an office. My constituents can contact me through City Hall or my home by phone.

8. What do you feel are the top issues affecting your city/district?
The top issues affecting Hinesville and my district are:
a. Crime and gangs
b. Public safety (We need at least two more traffic lights in Hinesville)
c. We need to improve our economic development opportunities for our young people

9. What makes you the best candidate for the office?
a. Completed the required training for City Councilman (120 hours, first term)
b. Experienced, available to constituents
c. Has always responded to my constituents when ever called upon

10. If you are an incumbent, what have you achieved since taking office to warrant re-election? What have you not been able to accomplish?
As an incumbent, one of the things I have achieved is to appoint people to boards according to where they live. When I join City Council in 2000 the city was still operating like the At Large System. My District had people representing it who live in other districts. What have you not been able to accomplish? Complete the Irene Thomas Park for our Young People.

12. In the last year, there has been rising concern about Hinesville's growing gang problem. What would be your approach to slowing the influence of gangs in the community?
Gangs, gangs, gangs, declare war on them. Do what ever we must do to rid Hinesville of gangs. 

13. Troop deployments have had a major affect on many sectors of the community, especially the local economy. How would you work to lessen Hinesville's dependence on the military?
The only answer to this question is to bring in businesses that do no depending on the military.

14. What is your position on the city's storm water utility fee?
First of all, I don't have a position on stormwater utility fee. Other than I don't like it any better than you do, but it was mandated.

15. The city's growing population is putting a strain on a number services, especially in the area of healthcare. What do you think needs to be done to improve and/or expand local healthcare services?
What I think need to be done to improve healthcare services. Give tax credits to help employers provide health coverage for their employees.

16. Are you for or against Sunday alcohol sales? Why?
Sunday alcohol sales. I am against Sunday alcohol sales, but I did vote in favor to put Sunday sales on the ballot for Tuesday, November 6. Let the people decide. Why? We have enough drunks already. Alcohol adds to more crime.

17. Are you for or against changing the city council meeting time to a time that is more convenient for your constituents?
Yes I am for changing the City Council Meeting to a more convenient hour. I always felt this way. May be 5 pm or 6 pm.

18. What are your views on the plan to redevelop Hinesville's downtown district?
My view on the plan to redevelop Hinesville's downtown? Answer: Fantastic. The best thing since slice bread.

19. What is your vision for the city in the next four years?
a. To complete the redevelopment which have already begun downtown
b. Completion of the legal center.
c. Completing street aliment
d. Complete the Irene Thomas Park
e. Rid Hinesville of gangs
f. Complete Frank Cochran Drive
g. As Public Safety goes, add at least two more traffic lights, 1) one on Highway 196 West/Deal Street, 2) Second light at Highway 84/Sandy Run Drive

 

Name: Bonita Smith
Age: 50
City: Hinesville
Current Employment: Youth Challenge Academy
Current Office/Office Seeking: District 3 City Council


1. How would you work to ensure taxpayers' money was used wisely?
I would work toward ensuring that all taxpayers' money is spent wisely by informing them of what their tax money was spent on through: mail outs, letters, flyers, and by using the local newspaper. Taxpayers are concerned with the how their money is spent I believe that getting the information out to them is very important.
 
2. How would you balance economic growth, quality of life and environmental issues? 
As part of the City Council together we would work to bring in new businesses from within our city as well as network to bring in outside companies. New businesses mean more employment, thus improving QOL. To further improve QOL we  would begin within each district working together to clean up our neighborhoods, remove gangs and repair or tear down old homes/buildings to prevent a safety and/or health problem, in doing this we would automatically balance the environmental issues that we may find during our city/community clean ups.

3. How would you represent people of all income levels - homeless to elite?
If I am elected I would represent not just a portion of the community, but all of District 3 and that automatically includes everyone from the homeless to the elite. Position within the City Council does not nor should not exclude anyone ever.

4. How would you work to ensure affordable housing?
Affordable housing must be determined by income and the person's ability to work. I am not saying that we need to welfare people to a point of dependency, but we need to consider these things as well as the increasing population in the city along with a list of other criteria. If we do not provide affordable housing there are too many areas close to us that do and will and I believe that we could lose people to other communities outside of Hinesville if affordable housing is not achieved.

5. How would you work to ensure your community has clean, affordable water?
Clean, affordable water is a concern for all of us, because of our children and the hazards of environmental problems, we need to work with the people who are qualified to help us make these decisions and take their suggestions and research it and come to a decision that is best for our city.

6. How much time would you have to devote to an elected office?
I have as much time as I need to devote to the office of City Council. We must recognize that not having a job does not mean that you have time, but time is also determined by the quality of your performance for the people of that district.

7. How would constituents contact you?
They may call me at home or my office or through email.

8. What do you feel are the top issues affecting your city/district?
District 3 has been neglected for a long time; we are tired of no action and just lip service. We are tired of "NO SERVICE" at all. There are some things that District 3 needs like: lights down Frank Cochran, a timeline for the completion of that thoroughfare to HWY 84, some subdivisions needs curb gutters and speed signs for the safety of the children. If you take the time to ask you'll know what is needed.

9. What makes you the best candidate for the office?
I believe that I am the best candidate because I am qualified, available, extremely educated, dedicated to anything I set my mind to accomplish and  I am committed to the people who live in District 3.


11. If you are challenging an incumbent, what would you do differently than he or she while in office?
I would be available, approachable, and committed to the people in District 3. I would know my constituents and they would be able to say they know me.

12. In the last year, there has been rising concern about Hinesville's growing gang problem. What would be your approach to slowing the influence of gangs in the community?
As a Certified Gang Instructor, the first step is to educate. We must educate parents, our youth, teachers, communities, churches, everyone. From there we build on that education and foster a relationship with the people living in those communities with the gangs. This will help us rid our city by more informing to the police and this will help us to close all entrances and exits that gangs use to enter and escape our city. We must realize that gangs are any group of persons showing colors, signs, symbols or name who individually or collectively engage in criminal activity. All persons who associate with gangs are part of the gang and are part of the problem. We as a city must band together for prevention and we must do this aggressively and consistently if we are to eradicate this disease of gang infiltration within our city.

13. Troop deployments have had a major affect on many sectors of the community, especially the local economy. How would you work to lessen Hinesville's dependence on the military?
In stead of depending on the military we should have them depending on us. We need to reverse the role and offer them things that they want and will get elsewhere by leaving when spouses are deployed. We lose business because we lose the support of those left behind. There are more activities for the spouses and children on-post than there is for them off-post. This is a major problem which causes many to go home. They would stay here if we had things for their children and activities for those left behind to do. We have to open our minds and think outside the box to get them and keep them active in our community.

14. What is your position on the city's stormwater utility fee?
I am saddened by the fact that they did not plan this through. I feel that we are being charged for something that we could have avoided if we had planned properly. I don't believe that the people would have had a problem if they would have come out and explained what was going on with our water, now we have no choice but to pay and this fee will not go away. Now we have to support it because the stormwater project is needed and I hope that portions of the money go toward the extension and modernization of the plant itself.

15. The city's growing population is putting a strain on a number of services, especially in the area of healthcare. What do you think needs to be done to improve and/or expand local healthcare services?
We need to expand our healthcare by exploring the possibilities of a medical center. However, we can't do that until we have better support through federal funding and more health care professionals and with that better salaries.

16. Are you for or against Sunday alcohol sales? Why?
I am against it, because if you give a group of people the power to determine for us what is "by the drink". This is supposed to be only for restaurants but those who are clubs owners will say they are restaurants because they serve food. Why do we need to serve alcohol on Sunday? Those who drink get their liquor on Friday and Saturday; let's not change something that is working. We are right in the midst of the Bible Belt area, what kind of example are we showing our children.

17. Are you for or against changing the city council meeting time to a time that is more convenient for your constituents?
Yes, I am for the time change because it allows more people to attend the meetings so that they can get an understanding and know what is going on in their city.

18. What are your views on the plan to redevelop Hinesville's downtown district?
I think that is a great idea because it would bring more business to our downtown area and that is growth.

19. What is your vision for the city in the next four years?
I see Hinesville moving toward growth with redevelopment, malls, the airport they have been discussing for some time, better opportunities for small businesses, a cleaner healthier city, safer environment and overall a new beginning.
 

 

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