COUNCIL MEMBER SEEKS MAYOR’S OFFICE
LINCOLN — Lincoln City Council member Doug Hutchens is running for mayor of Lincoln in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Mayor Rob Hulse announced in January that he did not plan to seek re-election to a fourth term as mayor of Lincoln.
This left an open position to fill.
Hutchens, 47, has lived in Lincoln for 37 years and is owner/manager of R&R Truck and Trailer Inc.
Hutchens has been a member of the City Council for more than 12 years and has served on almost all the city committees at some point during that time. He has been a member of the Planning Commission for eight years and has served as Commission chairman for the past four years.
He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1989 and attended the University of Arkansas for two years in engineering, before transferring to Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden, where he earned an associate of applied science degree in computer integrated manufacturing. During the past 10 years, Hutchens has completed courses in computer science, human resources, financial and industrial management.
Hutchens is a member of Lincoln
Area Chamber of Commerce and Lincoln Band Boosters and is involved with 4-H shooting sports. He is certified as NRA shooting instructor and 4-H shooting sports coach.
Other community involvement includes participation in the Community Alliance program for Lincoln Consolidated School District, Rustic Relics tractor club and volunteering to help with the Arkansas Apple Festival and chamber’s annual car show.
Hutchens started the Lincoln Lake project and says he helps to maintain the Lake area, as well as helps to promote Lincoln Lake to the region.
The Enterprise-Leader asked the Lincoln mayoral candidates to answer the following questions about running for office.
Question: Why are you running for this position?
“I believe in Lincoln and its citizens and look forward to continued progress towards an even better Lincoln every year. I believe when a person chooses to live in Lincoln they should have a reasonable expectation of safety, peace, property protection and convenience that is higher then in any rural area and I want to work to provide the level of municipal service that meets and exceeds those expectations. When I graduated Lincoln High School I received a scholarship from the American Legion. Upon acceptance of the scholarship I was told to take the money, go and learn something, then come back to Lincoln and do something with what I have learned to make Lincoln a better place. That is what I strive to do.”
Question: What do you consider are some of your qualifications to serve as Mayor?
“I have worked in leadership and management positions most of my adult life. From Ag shop foreman, to shift maintenance supervisor in an award-winning 600,000-square-foot medical manufacturing facility to Chief Operations Officer at a tier 1 CNC machining facility to owner of a manufacturing and maintenance business.
“I have the ability to deal with people to get things done and I have experience and knowledge of the systems that make a city function both financially and physically. I have also dealt with security and law enforcement issues enough through business and personal relationships that I comprehend and understand the world of law enforcement and the court system as it pertains to the City of Lincoln.
“Serving over a decade on the Lincoln City Council, Planning Commission and most of the city’s committees has provided the opportunities to know what works, what doesn’t and what needs focused on.”
Question: Do you have ideas for local improvements that you think have not been discussed or considered publicly?
“Lincoln is in dire need of quality housing. Lincoln cannot sustain any growth in low income housing until affordable middle and upper income housing is made available and sold to balance out the community as a whole. The bulk of the improvements people want for our area are driven by disposable income. If the community grows in a segment without the disposable income available to support the community, everyone suffers.
“I believe that Lincoln is ready to begin marketing the area regionally to encourage growth that will invest in Lincoln. Lincoln is also to the point that we need a building inspector/construction coordinator/code enforcement position to help handle the growth in construction and real estate planning activities as well as ensure the quality and safety of the building inventory we already have.
“I would also like to see a rehabilitation plan for the square including buried power, sidewalk repairs, and a restoration of the community building.”
Question: What do you see as some of the issues the city will be facing in the next 5-10 years?
“Lincoln will begin to experience more growing pains. The city will need to continue to upgrade the water system as well as begin to rehab and expand the current sewer system. There is also a growing need for some connector streets that will have to be built to support the additional traffic between the schools and 62. The police and fire departments will have to grow at a faster pace then the City of Lincoln because of the rapid rate of rural growth just outside the city.”
Question: Is there any other information you would like to share about yourself as a candidate for elected office?
“I grew up in Lincoln and moved back to Lincoln to raise my children. I have been married for 26 years. My roots are here and I want to see this town succeed. I am running for mayor to serve the area to the best of my ability. I am not running because I have an axe to grind or a special interest to serve.”