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Candidates given chance to answer questions on issues

With the 2009 Brookhaven Municipal Election primaries less thana month away, The DAILY LEADER has invited candidates for mayor andalderman to respond to a series of questions regarding a variety ofissues facing the city.

This past week, the candidates were sent the questions and theyhave until Friday to respond.

The questions and candidates’ answers will be published duringthe week leading up to the May 5 primary. Those candidates who failto respond will also be pointed out at the appropriate time.

We believe the questions are important to citizens andcandidates’ positions on those issues will allow voters to makemore informed decisions in the primaries and during the generalelection on June 2.

Mayoral and alderman candidates were asked the same fivequestions in the survey. Mayoral candidates were then asked aboutleadership goals for the next four years while alderman candidateswere asked for their opinions on officials’ pay raises and theirtiming.

Questions for mayor and aldermancandidates:

* Brookhaven’s annexation took effect in July 2007, and citiestypically have five years to provide municipal level services tonewly incorporated areas. From your standpoint, what is youropinion of city progress toward that goal so far and what specificthings will you do to further progress?

* The Dr. A.L. Lott Baseball League Program has had difficultyattracting participants, with the program being canceled for the2007 year due to a lack of participation. What is your answer forincreasing participation, and what would you do in situations whereparents have trouble paying league fees?

* The subject of liquor sales came up during a recent cityplanning discussion. Proponents of legalized liquor sales cite thebenefits of increased sales tax collections while opponents worryabout negative social consequences. What is your position on theissue? If opposed, what suggestions do you have to find new salestax revenue for the city?

* Brookhaven has an acute shortage of assisted livingfacilities. What is your vision for creating and furtheringdevelopment of assisted living facilities in Brookhaven? How do youplan to accomplish this goal?

* Open meetings and public records laws are designed to ensurethat the public’s business is conducted in public, but there aresome topics in which a board may go into executive session todiscuss. How frequently – if at all – should the city board closetheir meetings?

Other question for mayoral candidates:

* If elected mayor, you will be responsible for providing avision of leadership in the city for the next four years. Namethree specific goals you would like to see accomplished during yourfirst term if you are elected mayor. How will these projects befinanced?

Other question for alderman candidates:

* Should aldermen be allowed to vote on their own pay raises andhave them take effect immediately, or should pay raises be madeeffective at the beginning of the next term?

Look for candidates’ responses during the week of April 26-May3.