On July 9 all seven candidates were asked the same five questions and asked to return their answers by the end of last week.
The Times-News will run those responses in the order they were received: John Neubert-I, David Bailey-D, Dennis Deal-I, Danny Breeding-I, Jim Lee-R, Roy Spears-I, and Republican Kelly Markham, who lost his primary race in May but has qualified as an official write-in candidate.
David Bailey: Why are you running for Hawkins County mayor?
I want to help the people of Hawkins County. I love our county and want to make it a place where people want to come visit, move to and work and raise their families. To unite the county commission so we could make our county more profitable, to bring industry in and make our schools better.
Please list your past employment experience, educational background, past political experience if any, and any other special skills that will serve you well as Hawkins County mayor.
I am a 1987 graduate of Cherokee High School. I worked in management at Kmart, Ortho Chemical Corporation, and Big Lots. I am presently co-owner and operator of Golden Dairy Restaurant in Rogersville. This is my first time running for political office even though I have been interested in politics for many years. I have great communication skills which includes listening. I will have an open door policy for all. I want to have a unified county government with elected officials and the county commission. This is the only way for a successful government. I would like to have “town hall” style meetings throughout my term to listen to concerns and try to find solutions to problems and prevent some reoccurring issues we currently have.
What are your top priorities and/or the main goals you hope to achieve if elected?
The top priority is to have a unified county government. I want to get a balanced budget and control spending. I will try to lower taxes. I will work together with the Industrial Board and our state government including the governor’s office to promote Hawkins County to not only bring in industry but retail and restaurants to our area. I want to support our school system to provide a better and safer environment for our children who are our future. Last but not least to establish grant writers in every field of our government in both state and federal agencies to get as much money as possible.
What can the county mayor do to help attract more industry, jobs and commercial development to Hawkins County?
Promote the county by working with the Industrial Board. Contact local businesses and industries for help attracting potential new businesses and industries. Advertise our local small businesses and restaurants to encourage our citizens and surrounding counties to shop, eat and support our economy. Make, spend and keep money in Hawkins County. We have too many people who go outside our county to spend their money because we don’t offer a particular service or product locally.
Why are you the best person for this job?
I am a lifelong resident of Hawkins County. I have lived in Surgoinsville for the past 15 years. I love our people and I have a genuine concern for their problems and issues. I am not a career politician, I am a business owner. I have worked successfully with the public for 30 plus years. I realize the importance of having communication skills, a good business sense and being respectful of each other to accomplish a common goal. I am a person with good Christian morals and would not ever do anything intentionally to hurt the citizens of Hawkins County.