Ox­ford can­di­dates speak out dur­ing fi­nal days of cam­paign

Can­di­dates mostly in agree­ment on key is­sues

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Oswald

Can­di­dates run­ning for Ox­ford City Coun­cil don’t dif­fer on much. They are all largely in agree­ment that Ox­ford’s his­toric res­i­den­tial char­ac­ter should be pre­served and that in­dus­tries should be pro­hib­ited from fur­ther en­croach­ing upon the city’s lim­its.

The dif­fer­ences be­tween their can­di­da­cies are much more sub­tle — such as their stance on hous­ing mora­to­ri­ums or the city’s re­la­tion­ship with Ox­ford Col­lege.

Three of the five can­di­dates run­ning for Ox­ford City Coun­cil (can­di­dates for Coun­cil Post 3 in­cum­bent Hoyt Oliver and chal­lenger Toby Mal­colm and can­di­date for Coun­cil Post 1 Frank Davis) re­sponded to a can­di­date sur­vey of ques­tions sup­plied by var­i­ous civic or­ga­niza- tions and com­piled by The News.

While their re­sponses were largely sim­i­lar on a num­ber of ques­tions such as sup­port of plans to build a town cen­ter with new gov­ern­ment build­ings, the can­di­dates dif­fered in their an­swers to a ques­tion from Smart Growth New­ton on what they be­lieve the largest chal­lenges to be com­ing from growth.

Oliver, a re­tired pro­fes­sor of re­li­gion from Ox­ford Col­lege, listed keep­ing the col­lege and the city “con­nected and co­or­di­nated” through fu­ture growth as one of his top con­cerns. He also listed putting or­di­nances in place to al­low for “ap­pro­pri­ate mixed-use of large tracts of land east of Emory Street” as well as the de­vel­op­ment of the town cen­ter.

Mal­colm, a war­ranty su­per­vi­sor, wrote that traf­fic on Ga. High­way 81/Emory Street was his big­gest con­cern fol­lowed by con­trol­ling city wa­ter and util­ity rates and the city’s growth over­all.

Davis, a com­mu­nity ac­tivist for school tax breaks for the el­derly, wrote, “We must en­sure that our wa­ter and elec­tric sys­tem is ad­e­quate to sup­ply the needs of the city. This may in­clude re­plac­ing the old wa­ter pipe in Emory Street.”

Davis also listed traf­fic on Ga. High­way 81/Emory Street as a con­cern and sug­gested re-rout­ing traf­fic off the street and on to Ga. High­way 142 and the By­pass.

The can­di­dates dif­fered most strongly in their re­sponses to a ques­tion from Keep Cov­ing­ton/ New­ton Beau­ti­ful on whether they would sup­port a mora­to­rium on new con­struc­tion while the county and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties as­sess avail­able wa­ter re­sources dur­ing the drought.

Wrote Mal­colm, “I strongly agree with a build­ing mora­to­rium, at least on th­ese 100 plus sub­di­vi­sions. The county needs to stop and think not only about our wa­ter sup­ply but our schools, fire de­part­ment and po­lice. We have enough hous­ing just sit­ting now, that you don’t want to see it be­come rental prop­erty.”

Oliver wrote he would con­sider it as a pos­si­bil­ity, but only af­ter fur­ther re­search.

Davis wrote he didn’t think a mora­to­rium on build­ings would be nec­es­sary as the mar­ket place would stop the rapid growth of hous­ing on its own.

All three can­di­dates wrote that they were against fur­ther large com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment and that they liked the Ox­ford mix­ture of houses, churches and schools the way it is.

OLIVER

MAL­COLM

DAVIS

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