COUN­CIL MEM­BER SEEKS MAYOR’S OF­FICE

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

Hutchens

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