JONESVILLE — A Jonesville businessman held a special candidates’ forum Monday night at Jonesville Town Hall.
David Henderson of Davhenco, Inc. in Jonesville organized the event in the main boardroom. Roughly two dozen local residents showed up to pose written questions to town commissioner and mayoral candidates.
“We just thought this might be a good idea,” Henderson said. “I did this 20 years ago…but I was approached last month and I offered to do one this year.
Henderson welcomed the audience at 6:30 p.m. and said all the candidates had been invited to attend the meeting.
Commissioner candidate Tommy Casstevens told Henderson prior to Monday that he would not be able to attend due to personal matters.
Henderson said he had spoken to commissioner candidate Jerry Wood and was told he would be present, but Wood did not appear for the forum.
Each member of the audience was invited to write their questions on a piece of paper. The questions were collected as the meeting began and given to Danny Macemore.
Macemore acted as moderator for the event. He presented the questions in random order to mayoral candidate Gene Pardue and commissioner candidates Andy Green, Anita Darnell and Judy Wolfe.
Henderson told the audience prior to beginning that any questions deemed personal or inappropriate would not be asked. He said Macemore had the reserved right to make the call.
Each candidate was given one minute to respond.
“A lot of times this is a problem with politics and citizens,” Henderson said. “They never get a chance to really submit questions to see where the candidates really stand, as far as when they’re up for election or reelection to run for public office.”
Questions ranged from what each candidate would do to lower taxes to when the town would be cleaned up. Many of the questions focused on Jonesville’s future and where the town expects to find growth.
Industry and tourism were mentioned by various candidates as potential sources of growth.
Tax incentives and economic plans were discussed and presented as possible attractions for new employers.
Each candidate was asked why they were running and how they could help the town.
Darnell said she was running to help her town and also to work toward beautification of Jonesville. She said industry and tourists who enter the town by the interstate need to be invited in with clean streets and lighting that shows a good place to visit or put a business.
Green said he was running to give back to his community and bring in industry as well. He said he works here in Jonesville and is able to see some of the needs the local citizen faces firsthand.
Wolfe said she was running because several people in the community had approached her and requested she run. She also hopes to bring grant writing experience to the board and to lend an attentive ear to citizens and their problems.
Pardue said he was running because he hopes to bring in new jobs to the town and pursue grant writing. He also would like to see the town market itself rather than rely on the county to steer industry toward the town.
The meeting last an hour, closing around 7:30 p.m.
Henderson closed out the meeting with a special thanks to those who attended.
“I really do thank everyone for showing up and your participation and I hope you support whatever candidate that you feel comfortable representing the town,” Henderson said. “I think this one has been successful, it’s been quite an honor to be allowed to host this. I hope that next time that there’s another election if I’m around I’m going to host another one.”“
Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 ext. 15 or firstname.lastname@example.org.