Candidates discuss District Two needs

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Editor’s Note: Today The DAILY LEADER continuesa special question-and-answer series with candidates in theSupervisor District Two race.

Three candidates — Clarence Edwards, Tommy McCullough andJames Howard Williams Jr. — chose not to participate inforum.

Do you think Lincoln County needs to upgrade the opticalscanner equipment used for voting in county elections? Pleaseexplain your answer.

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John Norton: I believe we must continuallymaintain and upgrade our election methods and equipment in order tomaintain and improve public confidence in our election process.This includes all aspects of elections from registration to votecounting. We should upgrade the optical scanner to improve theefficiency of, and the trust in, our vote tallies. We should alwaysbe open to improved methods and equipment for fair and accurateelections.

Bobby J. Watts: I would strongly encourageLincoln County to consider before buying new voting devices, anyregistration or mapping software, to wait until they have a betteridea of federal funding available for this project and how thefunds will be distributed to Lincoln County.

What needs does your district have that are differentfrom the other four supervisor districts? Explain how you can makethe best use of the available funds to meet the needs of yourdistrict.

John Norton: I believe Beat 2 has the highestneed for road and bridge repair and maintenance. We must alsoaddress the increasing number of families moving to what we used toconsider the rural areas of Beat 2. Our increasing infrastructureneeds, especially roads and bridges, are best illustrated by theamount of traffic we now have. While most beats have seen theirsignificant population increases near the city limits, Beat 2 hasseen significant increases throughout the beat. The Heuck’s Retreatarea is a good example of population growth away from the cityarea. With no school located in Beat 2, our children must travelfarther than in other beats with most attending the BrookhavenSeparate Schools and some traveling even farther to Enterprise.

The existing industrial park is connected to Highway 84 by theroads in Beat 2. A significant number of sports fields and thecounty multi-purpose facility are located in Beat 2. These usesdramatically increase traffic in the beat.

Our roads and other infrastructure needs can better bemaintained and improved through prioritization based upon trafficand growth patterns, especially school bus traffic patterns.

Bobby Watts: District 2 is the only districtthat does not have a school. District 2 needs an elementary schoollocated within its district. Lincoln County needs a school due tothe schools in the county being so far apart and the childrenhaving to ride the buses for so long and so early.

(Meeting needs) By using county equipment and county employeeson all projects that is possible for District 2 to fulfill.

Wednesday: Superintendent ofEducation candidates answer questions.