District 3 has the largest candidate pool for a Hinesville City Council seat, currently held by Councilman David Anderson Sr., who is not running for another term.
Vicky Nelson, a Hinesville resident for 22 years, is a compliance officer with the Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Maryland and had worked with Gateway Mental Health Services in the past.
Her top issues include continued economic development, opportunities, diversity and transparency between the city and the community, and collaboration between public and private entities.
Nelson said she decided to run because she loves Hinesville and sees that “there is a lot of disparity between the citizens and the city.” She wants to take issues to the council and be a voice for people who do not know their way around city government.
Nelson does support the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, but believes it needs to be advertised better and more information about what it is for before putting it on the ballot.
Nelson said she wanted voters to know “that I’m approachable, available and accessible.”
“That, I mean, if they come to me with an issue, I will take it to the council. I may not have the answer, but I will surely try to find an answer, or at least address it,” she said.
“I would just like them to know it’s ‘their choice, my voice,’” Nelson said, referring to her campaign motto.
Arthur Nixon, 55, has been a Hinesville resident since 1996. He retired from the U.S. Army after 23 years and has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Savannah State University.
Nixon currently works as an educational technician at Fort Stewart’s education center. He has also worked as an Army substance-abuse counselor on Fort Stewart and as a counselor in the Liberty and Chatham county drug courts.
He has participated in two leadership programs: Leadership Liberty in 2012 and Leadership Southeast Georgia in 2014.
Nixon addresses his top campaign issues just as he would as a social worker.
“So first you can educate, and I know no one does that better than a social worker,” Nixon said.
“And as I walked around (campaigning), there was a lot of issues that came up,” he added. “So whatever the issues are within the district, I will address them by using my two-pronged attack — that first is to educate and second is to advocate.”
He wants to educate residents on how City Council works, advocate on behalf of District 3, and making sure that youth are getting into the Liberty College and Career Academy.
“I want to make sure that the young people have full access to that and make sure they’re utilizing that to its fullest potential because you know the young people are the ones that are coming up, and the young people happen to be the future,” Nixon said.
Nixon wants residents to know that while his background is in social work, he is a family man with a young daughter. He described himself as an “all-around person.”
“I really know how to focus on empowering people,” Nixon said.
Joseph B. Stuart, 58, has been a resident of Hinesville for 35 years. He is a retired U.S. Army veteran and has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Frostburg State University in Maryland. In the past, Stuart worked as an adult probation officer and a Liberty County School System paraprofessional.
His top issues include giving residential homeowners a tax-rebate check, term limits for City Council members and creating green spaces in Hinesville.
“I want to reward the property tax — the homeowners of Hinesville. The ones that are linchpins of Hinesville. The ones that beautify this city. Not the property — the rental-property business that pollutes this city,” Stuart said.
Stuart wants to limit council members to two terms, which he said would prevent them from becoming “career politicians.”
“You know, I want to try something radical,” he said. “We have term limits for mayors, why not term limits for City Council members?”
He said he wants residents to know that he loves the city and has done several things for Liberty County and Hinesville, including donating seeds from the William Paca House in Maryland for the lemon trees at Fort Morris Historic Site and volunteering with neighborhood watch.
“So I’ve done a lot of things, I feel, out of the goodness of my heart for this city,” Stuart said. “I didn’t get compensated, didn’t draw a check or anything.”