Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ask the Candidates About These

Wilmer Public Citizen promised to pose questions for each of the candidates in the upcoming election May 9th. While exigent circumstances prevented our getting this out to the candidate and publishing their replies, Wilmer Public Citizen poses these questions for YOU to ask the candidates as they wrap up campaigning. In our final decision not to interview the candidates, we evaluated the probability of getting decent comparative responses to report and determined that our reporting would be criticized as "not fair" by the candidates.

There aren't any "right" or "wrong" answers - the voter is tasked with determining how the candidate's answers meet the needs of our community - just ask the candidates yourselves.

Questions for all candidates:

1. Do you envision the City of Wilmer successfully changing the community's image in the near future, and if so, would you see that future change in image as more or less progressive, regressive, libertarian, conservative, or otherwise?

2. Wilmer and Hutchins are inevitably compared and "linked" in the public viewpoint. Where do the similarities and differences between the two cities lay in terms of revenues, existing and targeted industrial/commercial development, and future growth?

3. Voters assume that a successful candidate for public office commits a great deal of time and effort in representing the citizens and operating the city government. What amount of time per week do you believe is required to fulfill the duties of your position, both with and without a full time City Administrator - and what kind of time commitments are you willing and able to make per week if you are elected?

4. What are your top five priorities for this term in elective office? What are your top five priorities for an additional two year term in office?

5. What do you perceive as the greatest problems, threats, or weaknesses facing Wilmer economically, politically and socially over the current elective term? Over two terms?

6. Rate the following statements on a scale of -3 (completely disagree) to +3 (completely agree). A rating of zero indicates no opinion.
a.- What is best for me is best for Wilmer.
b.- Serving the citizens of Wilmer is my primary mission.
c.- Regulating public behavior is a top priority for me.
d.- Encouraging public participation is a top priority for me.
e.- Maintaining the status-quo is a top priority for me.
f.- Investing my time and energy in governing Wilmer is my highest priority.
g.- I support consecutive term limits for elected city officials.
h.- I support lifetime term limits for elected city officials.
i.- I support on-premise liquor by the drink within the City of Wilmer.
j.- I support eliminating ad-valorem homestead taxes on seniors and the disabled.
k.- I support a local school for Wilmer's students.

Candidate Specific Questions ("zingers"):

Tiny Lange:
Why does your candidate application list your permanent residence as Panola County if you actually reside in Wilmer? or is it Gilmer?
Last election you stated that if you won you'd be here for two more years, otherwise you'd move to Gilmer in a few weeks - what kind of commitment to reside in Wilmer are you making this election?

Jeff Steele(I):
How do you address the concerns of certain council members regarding the proximity of your residence to Allen Group properties which have been the subject of recent council actions? Why or why not does this represent a conflict of interest in your position as mayor?

Stan Bell:
How much service to the city have you given in your latest appointment to the P&Z Commission here? Do you see the city council position requiring more or less of a commitment to serve the needs of the citizens?

Marlena Dyess (I):
What formal education have you received that has prepared you for elective office?
What other training have you received that has prepared you for public office?

Eugene Lowe (I):
You have long term care commitments that have in the past restricted your attendance at City Council workshops and meetings - has this situation changed to allow you to invest more time in governance activities?

Dean Rolison (I):
Your work schedule recently changed to evenings, precluding your attendance at some recent City Council meetings - what are your time priorities between work and representing the citizens of Wilmer? How much time do you have to govern the community (in addition to your Fire Department duties)?

Vicky Vandygriff:
Last election you ran for office and did no campaigning - what's different about this election? Do you consider city council duties as an obligation, a commitment, a duty, or otherwise?

Billy Wickliffe:
How do your recent health problems affect your ability to perform the duties of a city council member? Would you ever consider stepping down if your health issues preclude your participation in council meeting and if so, how much "missed time" do you consider reasonable before stepping down?

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