Opinion

Questions for supervisor candidates

To the editor:

In Henry County, there are six candidates on the June 2 ballot for two County Supervisor posts. For a number of reasons, study of candidate positions on key issues is not taking place.

We see only prepared statements. Here are a few questions not getting addressed.

Nearby counties are taking steps to insure essential rural ambulance and EMS. What should Henry County do?

Likely due in part to the initiative of a skilled professional administrator, the city of Mt. Pleasant recently awarded through Urban Revitalization law nearly $5 million dollars in tax abatement over 10 years for a housing development. Perhaps a good thing it is a substantial loss of revenue to schools and county services. Should the supervisors be consulted in such matters? Where does equivalent professional initiative come from in Henry County?

Our minority population will continue to grow, yet there are few minorities in county government, law enforcement and health care. Does this matter to you? If elected, would you promote minority recruitment?

What is your position on the master matrix and local control of CAFOs?

What do you see as the supervisor’s role in ensuring the sustainability of our hospital?

Henry County is blessed with two four-lane highways and a transcontinental railroad yet our population is largely stagnant, local business is hiring prisoners to fill jobs while young people leave and poverty persists. What can be done to maximize the transportation asset?

Our Local Option Sales Tax supports the highly regarded rural waste collection and recycling sites. Will you continue this service?

For far too long, local childcare services have been inadequate. We see mostly lip service to the problem. Are you concerned, and if elected, would you have a role in the remedy?

For over twenty years, all supervisors have resided in Mt. Pleasant yet the city is less than 40% of county population. How should supervisors ensure fair representation of rural areas?

Finally, do you see the supervisor job as primarily a bureaucratic and clerical or leadership post? If the answer is leadership, where would you lead?

- David Helman, Salem