Carter, Smith an­swer ques­tions

The Covington News - - THE SECOND FRONT - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­

Though it’s been a slow elec­tion sea­son to date, some lo­cal city coun­cil can­di­dates are be­gin­ning to an­nounce their runs for of­fice, and The News is ask­ing more, tougher ques­tions than ever be­fore.

The only pub­licly con­tested race to date is the Post 1 east Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil race be­tween in­cum­bent Chris Smith and chal­lenger Mau­rice Carter. Both men re­cently sub­mit­ted their in­depth ques­tion­naires to The News; the ques­tion­naires cover plat­form, pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence, ed­u­ca­tion, civic in­volve­ment, any crim­i­nal back­ground is­sues, fi­nan­cial back­ground and vot­ing his­tory. As an in­cum­bent, Smith was also asked about prior plat­form items.

The full ques­tion­naires are at­tached as PDFs to the on­line ver­sion of this ar­ti­cle. The ques­tion­naire was based on is­sues from past elec­tions — par­tic­u­larly last year’s in­creas­ingly con­tentious county races, in which can­di­dates tried to use the news­pa­per to at­tack op­po­nents’ pasts. This year, The News staff cre­ated a 35-plus ques­tion vet­ting list that is given to ev­ery can­di­date who an­nounces a run for of­fice. Be­low are ex­cerpts from Carter and Smith’s ques­tion­naires.

When asked what he was most proud of from his first term in of­fice, Smith said. “The AED’s (au­to­mated ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tors) in the po­lice cars; we have saved a life be­cause they were put in them,. I commend the city man­ager, po­lice chief, and ev­ery­one at the po­lice depart­ment for re­ceiv­ing the train­ing and putting it to good use. I am also very proud of our fire depart­ment; we now have over 20 EMTs to serve our city, and in the near fu­ture will have more life-sav­ing equip­ment on them. Thanks to Chief McNeil for this.

“(Also, I’m proud of) not rais­ing taxes, but, I feel, pro­vid­ing a bet­ter ser­vice to the city.”

How­ever, Carter felt the city coun­cil is not on the right track.

“When I talk with peo­ple about the di­rec­tion our city is headed, I hear a mix­ture of great op­ti­mism about the po­ten­tial and real frus­tra­tion with the lack of vi­sion, fore­sight and thoughtful lead­er­ship ex­hib­ited in re­cent city coun­cil de­ci­sions. I share that view,” Carter said in re­sponse to why he was run­ning for of­fice at this time. “I also be­lieve it is the role of cit­i­zens to not just talk about what needs to be done, but to step up and be will­ing to as­sume the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of stew­ard­ship.

“I feel those rep­re­sent­ing my dis­trict on the coun­cil are op­er­at­ing in a re­ac­tive man­ner from a nar­row agenda. They have lost sight of the city’s strate­gic plan and are med­dling in op­er­a­tional mat­ters at the ex­pense of long-range ob­jec­tives. I want to help re­turn the fo­cus of the Coun­cil where it should be: on real­iz­ing long-term plans that ad­dress the needs and pri­or­i­ties of our com­mu­nity as a whole.”

The other two Cov­ing­ton coun­cil seats up for elec­tion are the west coun­cil Post 2, held by Hawnethia Wil­liams and the west coun­cil Post 3, held by Ocie Franklin.

Qual­i­fy­ing for Cov­ing­ton will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Aug. 26-30 at the New­ton County Board of Elec­tions, 1113 Usher St., Cov­ing­ton.

To read com­pleted can­di­date ques­tion­naires from Chris Smith and Mau­rice Carter, click on this story at www.cov­



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