Can­di­date Q&A: Susie Keck and Chris Smith

The Covington News - - LOCAL -

The News: What does be­ing a coun­cil mem­ber mean to you?

Keck: Be­ing a coun­cil mem­ber means lis­ten­ing to, rep­re­sent­ing and serv­ing all of the peo­ple of the City of Covington. It means pro­tect­ing the in­ter­ests of the com­mu­nity and not bend­ing to spe­cial in­ter­est groups. It means cre­at­ing con­trolled growth op­por­tu­ni­ties for new and ex­ist­ing busi­nesses, and pre­serv­ing the small-town at­mos­phere and sense of com­mu­nity we all love. It means em­pow­er­ing our cit­i­zens through job train­ing and job op­por­tu­ni­ties. Th­ese things only hap­pen through open com­mu­ni­ca­tion with our cit­i­zens, in­volv­ing them in de­ci­sion-mak­ing, and be­ing trans­par­ent and ac­count­able to them. I would be both hum­bled and proud to have the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent the in­ter­ests of all of our cit­i­zens as a Covington City Coun­cil mem­ber. Smith: It means be­ing a friend to the tax­payer. While on the coun­cil I have con­sis­tently fought to keep taxes from in­creas­ing, we have taken a roll back rate and re­duced the mill­age since I have been elected. I have stood be­side our pub­lic safety and as­sured them that they have 100 per­cent sup­port from me. I have lis­tened to the peo­ple, done my home­work and done my very best to make good in­formed de­ci­sions. The News: With re­cent dis­cus­sion in the city re­volv­ing around pro­posed al­co­hol or­di­nances, if the topic is re­vis­ited will you vote for it or against it? What lead you to make that de­ci­sion?

Keck: As pre­vi­ously pre­sented, the or­di­nance was largely misun­der­stood due to an abun­dance of mis­in­for­ma­tion. I ac­knowl­edge that the al­co­hol or­di­nance, as cur­rently writ­ten, is a bone of con­tention among many res­i­dents. The lan­guage needs - tion is not con­cerned with hav­ing "too much al­co­hol" on the square, but rather about hav­ing ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures to con­trol and en­force a hospi­tal­ity or­di­nance. The busi­nesses af­fected will not be sell­ing al­co­hol. Wild Art could host par­ties with pa­trons be­ing al­lowed to bring a bot­tle of wine "brown bag" to share while paint­ing. Bou­tiques on the square might of­fer a mi­mosa or other al­co­holic bev­er­age to pa­trons at­tend­ing a pre­view of a new col­lec­tion or other spe­cial event. Hair and nail sa­lons could of­fer a hospi­tal­ity bev­er­age to pa­trons re­ceiv­ing a ser­vice. Th­ese busi­nesses would not be sell­ing al­co­hol; they would be pro­vid­ing a hospi­tal­ity ser­vice to their clients. The amount al­lowed would be small and con­trolled. This prac­tice is com­mon in other cities, both large and small, and takes place with­out in­ci­dent. En­act­ing a well­crafted or­di­nance would bring peo­ple to­gether, strengthen our lo­cal econ­omy, en­cour­age peo­ple to shop lo­cally rather than on­line, and sup­port the busi­nesses and fam­i­lies that have in­vested in our com­mu­nity. Smith: I did my job, which was to lis­ten to the peo­ple I rep­re­sent. I heard over­whelm­ingly that peo­ple do not like this pro­posed or­di­nance. A

con­stituent of mine ac­tu­ally had a pe­ti­tion of more than 400 peo­ple that live in Covington/New­ton County who were against this or­di­nance. So I did what I felt was right for the city, the is­sue was dis­cussed ex­ten­sively now we need to move on to other im­por­tant is­sues fac­ing the city. The News: Where do you see the City of Covington in four years? If elected, what are your goals for the four Keck: As a mother and a grand­mother, I have a pas­sion to make Covington the place where our chil­dren can make a good life for them­selves, raise a fam­ily and live/work/ play in a close-knit com­mu­nity that em­braces the past – while al­ways wel­com­ing the fu­ture.

As a Covington City Coun­cil mem­ber, I will ded­i­cate my­self to bring­ing con­trolled growth to our com­mu­nity. As I lis­ten to res­i­dents, I hear their de­sire for bet­ter choices for gro­cery, re­tail and whole­sale shop­ping. I will work to bring more of th­ese ameni­ties to Covington.

I will work to re­duce poverty and im­prove our econ­omy by cre­at­ing new jobs. With new jobs comes the need for train­ing, for trans­porta­tion to train­ing cen­ters and jobs, and for child care. I pledge to work with ex­ist­ing and new busi­nesses to en­list their sup­port and in­volve­ment in help­ing to

- tect our res­i­dents. I also pledge to work with th­ese de­part­ments to iden­tify their needs and see that their needs are met.

In four years, I see a strong, safe, and thriv­ing City of Covington that has main­tained its sense of small-town com­mu­nity. Smith: I see Covington con­tin­u­ing to be a big player in the state. I want us to grow through in­dus­try, com­mer- cial and hous­ing while work­ing hard to in­crease our per capita. I would like to see Cen­tral Park be suc­cess­ful, along with other parks in town. Also I will pledge to con­tinue to sup­port our pub­lic safety by con­tin­u­ing to add ad­di­tional po­lice of­fi­cers per the Chief ’s re­quest, Have the best fire­fight­ing equip­ment for our men, and 911 with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy avail­able. I have done that for the past eight years, and will con­tinue to do so if you the vot­ers see fit. The News: How can city res­i­dents reach you if they have more ques­tions?

Keck: I rep­re­sent “A New Brand of Politics.” I am ac­ces­si­ble and I want to hear what peo­ple have to say. I can be reached through my Face­book page, Susie Keck for Covington, email: Susie@Keck­ or phone 678-792-8955.

Smith: I can be reached on my cell at 770-560-2903 or via email at csmith@city­of­cov­ing­ It has been my plea­sure and honor to serve you th­ese past eight years, and look for­ward to four more. I ask for your sup­port and re­elect me Chris Smith Nov. 7.

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