ends on Nov. 1. Regular voting begins Nov. 5. With municipal elections
underway, NAACP hosted the candidate forum for Walthourville and Hinesville Oct.
10, at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center. Council-members and Mayor
Candidates from both cities were asked about their future goals.
A majority of the Walthourville candidates didn’t attend the forum, however current councilman Larry Baker, who is running against Daisy Pray for Mayor, did attend. So did Incumbent Post 4 Council-member Luciria Lovette and new candidates Sarah (Betty) Hayes, for Post 5 and Paulette Jamison, Post 3 candidate.
Baker, who is relinquishing his Post 3 council-member position to run for Mayor, said that he would like to tackle issues like restoring and improving the Walthourville Police and Fire Department, and addressing the water issue within the city. He said he wants to add additional lighting in certain neighborhoods to decrease crime. Baker said if elected he would have a community center built within the first year if his term.
Hayes is a resident of Walthourville for over 20 years and a military veteran who thinks it’s time for change. Hayes said the city has great potential, but needs people “ready and willing to work.” A former council-member, Hayes said she continued to serve the community even after she left office.
She said council-members should be the “eyes and ears of the people” and go out into the community. “If you’re not out there working, in the trenches with the people, getting to know the people, then how are you going to go back and work for the people when you don’t even know them?” Hayes said.
A Walthourville resident for six years, Jamison has a military background as well and plans to assist the city in moving forward in a “positive fashion.” Jamison said she will be accountable and supportive in her role. She stated that she will bring leadership to her role and believes leaders should lead by example.
Lovette has been in Walthourville since 1992. She has been on the Walthourville City Council since 2002 and said that she’s brought in new ideas to the Council. “You have to have compassion in this capacity, and you also have to have passion for what you do,” Lovette said. She said that the city needs to be watchful of their elderly and their children. Lovette said she is currently in the process of trying to get a Boys and Girls Club in Walthourville to help the city’s “future leaders”.
Incumbent Mayor Allen Brown is currently finishing his third term and is running for a fourth. He served as Mayor of Hinesville twice “back in the 90s” and has served on multiple boards and committees in the area including serving as a City Council-member. The Hinesville native and Bradwell Institute graduate said that community inclusion events need to be enhanced to grow community involvement, but believes it is important to be open and available to the community through social media platforms. An example he gave was the recently established live streaming of City Council meetings. He also invites residents to attend these meetings and give their opinion. Brown ended by saying that citizens of Hinesville should do their research and be informed on the candidates, regardless of who they vote for. He stated that he and the current council-members have not always gotten along but they always come together for the better of the community.
Liston Singletary III is originally from South Carolina but has been in Hinesville for 20 years. Singletary is challenging Brown for Mayor of Hinesville. He is a military veteran and is the former NAACP president for the Liberty County area as well as serving on various other committees. He said he offers the community 40 years of management and leadership experience. Singletary aims to be a proactive leader within the community and encouraged citizens to get involved. He said, “I believe in a diversity of thought. If you want our city to be one community with a common destiny, it’s going to take the total inclusion of the entire community…” Singletary concluded that he will never take on a task without seeing it through and described himself as being a strategic leader who will listen to and embrace the “diversity of thought”.
Incumbent Council-member and Mayor Pro Tempore Jason Floyd, serving District 2, has served in his position for nine years. He stated that a part of being a City Councilman is to accept policies and procedures meant to allow the City to work efficiently.
Richard Hayes who is challenging Floyd, is a pastor and military veteran and sees the role of a City Council-member as that of a servant to the people. He wants to bring the skills he learned while working at the Manna House and United Way and other non-profit organizations to the table.
District 4 incumbent Council-member Keith Jenkins wants to continue to serve his district. He said he wants to work with his fellow Council-members to improve roads and establish youth programs. Jenkins also aims to help provide affordable housing and better opportunities for veterans.
District 3 incumbent Vicky Nelson has a degree in sociology and stated that she works well with others and also works well with families. She doesn’t mind “pulling up [her] sleeves and getting in the trenches.”
Dexter Newby, who is challenging Jenkins in District 4, works as a substance abuse counselor for the Wayne County Drug Court. He said it was time to “invest in the City of Hinesville,” saying everyone who lives and visits the city is an investment and that it is time the city invests back to the people. He thinks that council-members should into the communities and see what the problems are and go back to Council to find an active solution. Newby also said that there is no need for “personalities or hidden agendas”. He stated that people in District 4 are often lost and that he aims to fix that.
Arthur Nixon is challenging Nelson in District 3. He thinks that Hinesville is a great city, but needs a new mindset to move forward. He has experience with leadership and has a Master’s degree in addiction as well as a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Nixon said that he has been “set aside” for this role in particular.
District 1 incumbent Diana Reid was raised in government housing which, she said taught her the importance of engagement and support within a community. To Reid, Council-members should be accountable for the policies they put in place. She stated that she is transparent and has a social media page and has given her phone number out to those in need no matter the issue.
Recently elected District 5 Council-member Karl Riles describes himself as being an “all around good guy,” much to the audience’s delight. He said that he is always available for those who need him and is proud to be a representative for the people. Riles said that being a council-member is more than just being a leader or doing what they want to do, but rather listening to the people and working together to serve the community.
Andrew Smith Sr. is a business man challenging Riles for District 5. He has lived in Hinesville for over 20 years and has a background in construction. He stated that he has been studying the city for many years and will work to make Hinesville a good place to live not just for the “fortunate few” but for everyone. Smith stated that District 5, has been under represented and sometimes not represented at all. He said that there are roads in his district which have not been touched since being initially paved. He said he wants to resolve these issues. He claimed to have already brought jobs into the area, and aims to bring in more.
Cathey Winn is challenging Reid in District 1. Winn has been in real estate for over 20 years and is a native of Hinesville. She wants to give a voice to those in her community. Winn also wants to bring affordable housing into the area, especially due to the increase in the homeless population. She strives to bring positive changes to Hinesville.
More information on the candidates and their political agenda can be found on the Coastal Courier website, as well as a video of the candidate forum.