On July 9, all seven candidates were asked the same five questions and asked to return their answers by the end of the week.
The Times-News will run those responses in the order they were received starting with Independent John Neubert and continuing with at least one each day including (in order) 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.
John Neubert: Why did you run for Hawkins County mayor?
I am not a career politician. I am a frustrated taxpayer that has had enough. I spent several hours researching alternatives to the county government’s decision to impose a 40 dollar wheel tax. I would attend county budget committee meetings and county commission meetings only to have county commissioners allow me to present small portions of my findings or completely talk over me while presenting alternatives to raising taxes either because of their lack of willingness to accept a common taxpayer’s ideas or because it exposed their inability to make the changes necessary.
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.
My work history gives me a unique skill set to be a good mayor I have an associate’s degree from Boston College. I am certified in A/C refrigeration and heating and I am an ASHI certified home inspector. I also have several SBCCI certifications in plans reading, surveying, structural engineering, fire safety and balcony and landing inspection. I have worked for a commercial real estate developer planning new businesses and securing investment. I have owned several businesses myself and currently I am working as a specialty run truck driver.
What are your top priorities and/or the main goals you hope to achieve if elected?
I plan to bring in new businesses and create an area in Hawkins County that draws in tourists. I want to bring back vocational training in our high schools so students that are not planning on going to college can learn a trade so they can help build the new infrastructure and I want to create jobs that our students that do go to college will want to stay in Hawkins County after graduating and have a career alternative other than the eleven dollar an hour warehouse jobs.
What can the county mayor do to help attract more industry, jobs and commercial development to Hawkins County?
By bringing in these new businesses our children will have someplace other than Walmart parking lot to go to on a Friday and Saturday night and instead of the majority of residents leaving the county for entertainment bringing places in the county that provide entertainment keeping the revenue here and giving us places to enjoy close to home.
Why are you the best person for this job?
I am the only candidate running for county mayor that has stood up for the taxpayers of Hawkins County and no other candidate knows the county budget better than I do. Unlike all of the other candidates running for county mayor I know how to eliminate the wheel tax, increase county revenues without increasing taxes and provide more funding for the Firefighters EMS and the Humane Society.
Hawkins County we must drain the swamp if we as taxpayers want to move forward and stop the tax and spend system of county government we currently have. This election is our chance as residents and taxpayers to stop business as usual and move the county in a forward direction that retains the simple lifestyles we enjoy but embraces the history of Hawkins County and allows us to enjoy a better living environment.