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 ran those responses in the order the 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.
Roy Spears: Why are you running for Hawkins County mayor?
To create a positive change through job creation, economic growth and prosperity for our future generations to build on leading to lasting resiliency. Hawkins County is a wonderful area to raise children in, but as our children mature into adulthood they’re forced to leave because of stale economic growth. I want to ratify this atmosphere through diversity, unity and cohesion with Commissioners and residents that want to see Hawkins County prosper. I am not going to do normal political rhetoric of making promises that are never kept, but I do want to take what is currently a negative situation and turn it into a positive situation.
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.
BAE SYSTEMS (Holston Defense) Explosive Operator, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office (Corrections Officer), Tennessee Army National Guard Recruiter (22 years, retired), United States Army (4 years). Leadership, communicating and motivation are vital skills I have learned and mastered throughout my professional career. I want to share these skills with inter-agency collaborations to increase the clarity between one another to solidify our unity as “One Hawkins County”. These various jobs have taught me to understand what the hardworking men and women of Hawkins County go through to provide for their families, so with that in mind our leadership must be capable of organizing the needs of the county and implementing effective management to ease the everyday burdens our residents face.
What are your top priorities, and/or the main goals you hope to achieve if elected?
I would eradicate wasteful spending in hopes of eliminating the $40-wheel tax with a reduction to a $20-wheel tax. Research avenues to receive additional funding for emergency services. Balance the budget without increasing any taxes over the next 4 years while allowing for reasonable wage increases for employees county wide. I value transparency and I intend on working closely with County Commissioners, City Mayors, Alderman and Chambers of Commerce to achieve a goal of “One Hawkins County” instead of individual divided cities because I believe in there being power in numbers and when they unify they are unstoppable.
What can the county mayor do to help attract more industry, jobs and commercial development to Hawkins County?
Tourism is the key. With combined efforts of local and county historians, a list of all historical landmarks can be put into pamphlets, post cards or even small books at no cost to the county. By working with State Tourism Bureau, Private Bus Tour Companies, Hawkins County can be a stopping point at various locations and prosper from monies spent. By having tourist spending money creates prosperity and this influences businesses to invest more in the economy and other companies to relocate to Hawkins County. The need is great to create an Economic and Development Department by rearranging the Industrial Board to reflect the change for better paying jobs with better benefits through a collaborated effort.
Why are you the best person for this job?
My ability to lead, motivate and communicate with others by achieving goals through a simple philosophy of, there is no “I” in team, is why I believe I am the best person for the job. I have/will always support and defend my employees and advocate for the residents within Hawkins County against racism, biases, derogatory remarks, or sexual harassment. I believe equality, fairness and compassion are key components in creating a strong and unified work environment.