Answers from Patty Hawkins, candidate for Post 3, Fayetteville

Wed, 10/28/2009 - 2:09pm
By: Patty Hawkins

Questions for Fayetteville candidates:

1. Whether an incumbent or challenger, what things do you bring to the table that would convince voters to cast their vote for you?

2. There has been some previous discussion about the area on the north side of Ga. Highway 54 between the hospital and Tyrone Road in terms of future development and possible annexation. What is your position on that or other potential annexations?

3. Fayetteville often has a very low voter turnout for municipal elections. Why is that and what can you do to increase voter participation past the 10 percent level?

4. The retail areas on Fayetteville’s north side continue to age and diminish. What will you do about that?

5. Grade the current City Council on openness and transparency to city residents. What will you do to improve the council’s “user-friendliness”?

6. Will you vote for or against the countywide SPLOST renewal? Why or why not?

7. Describe your general political philosophy, particularly regarding local government.

Answers from Patty Hawkins, candidate for Post 3

1. I am new to the political scene in Fayetteville; therefore I will be able to view the issues addressed by the council with a fresh perspective. I will be there for the citizens and businesses, and I will listen to their concerns in order to make the best judgment on what can be done for both the city and the citizens. I may not have all the answers, but I have the desire and willingness to learn.

2. With the present weakened economy, I think we should concentrate and work with what we already have. We need to get the empty building spaces filled. Smart growth can be good, but I do not think now is the time to do an annexation. When the economy turns around, it might be worth looking into.

3. There has not been much opposition on the local level in years. If a person does not know what the elected position entitles, they are less likely to show interest. In many cases, people do not think their vote counts, but it DOES. Newspapers run articles about the elections, but not everyone reads the local papers.

Most people travel around the Courthouse Square on a daily basis. I think if the elections were advertised on sandwich boards (example, the Lunch on the Lawn signs) around the Courthouse Square about who is running and for what office with the early voting dates and the final voting date, maybe the citizens would be more aware and be more passionate about the elections.

4. The city needs to work with the landowners and local businesses to see what funds are available from our state/federal government to help with redevelopment. If we work together, to see what resources are out there and put them to use, it will be a win-win situation for all.

5. I will decline to grade this one myself. The voters will be the judge of this come election day.

On user-friendliness, I will listen to the concerns and issues of the citizens and businesses with respect. I intend to make the City Council meetings a place where people feel comfortable to speak their piece about their concerns and needs. Most of the time people just want someone to listen to them. The council does not necessarily have to be in agreement with all that was said but at least validate the person’s concerns. While there are ordinances and laws that are set in place, they can be reviewed and/or changed. We, being the great city we are, must work together to meet the needs of our community.

6. It is a choice. Do you want to improve the roads in the city or are you satisfied with the way they are? Would you like to improve traffic control or are you satisfied with the way it is now? When the economy improves, relocation of people and businesses into Fayetteville will likely worsen traffic. Do we want gridlock?

I understand some of the monies are to be used to decrease property taxes, which would be a great help to the citizens. While this is not a new tax, but an extension of what is already in place. We, the citizens of the city/county, are not the only ones paying for this tax. People from other areas who come into the city/county to buy products and/or services are taxed as well.

With all this said we must make sure the money spent is for what is allocated. After asking myself these questions, my answer would have to be yes.

7. Elected officials are servants of the people. I am a strong believer in treating people with respect no matter what lifestyle they come from. The City Council must do what is in the best interest of the people as a whole. Sometimes a council member may not agree with all the laws and ordinances, but they must work hard to analyze and solve problems of the city with an open mind.

Unnecessary spending is out of the question, not only when the economy is weak, but in good times as well. We must live in the present and stay prepared for the future.

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Submitted by Dixieboy on Mon, 11/02/2009 - 1:09pm.

How are you able to finance your campaign when you have stated that you have recently been "downsized" and are presently unemployed? Could your brother in law, Mickey, have anything to do with that, seeing as you both went out of the County to buy your signs from Landmark Communications in Lawerenceville?

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