Incumbent gives take on city topics

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 27, 2009

Editor’s note: Today, The DAILY LEADER continues to publishcandidates’ responses to questions on several issues facing thecity. Today’s focus is on the Ward One alderman race. In theDemocratic primary on May 5, incumbent Dorsey Cameron faces ElisaCorley, who did not respond to the newspaper’s survey. There are noRepublican candidates, so the Democratic primary winner will beelected alderman. The job of alderman pays an annual salary of$15,917.

Candidates’ responses have been checked for spelling but areotherwise printed as submitted.

1. Brookhaven’s annexation took effect in July 2007, andcities typically have five years to provide municipal levelservices to newly incorporated areas. From your standpoint, what isyour opinion of city progress in your ward toward that goal so farand what specific things will you do as alderman to furtherprogress?

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Cameron: I will continue to support the policeand fire protection in these new areas, pave the streets that arein poor conditions, and install sewer services where they’reneeded.

2. The Dr. A.L. Lott Baseball League Program has haddifficulty attracting participants, with the program being canceledfor the 2007 year due to a lack of participation. What is youranswer for increasing participation, and what would you do insituations where parents have trouble paying leaguefees?

Cameron: Try to get parents a lot more involvein the recreation programs. Also, lets have fund raisers such ascar washes and raffle sale to pay for children having troublepaying for their league fees.

3. The subject of liquor sales came up during a recentcity planning discussion. Proponents of legalized liquor sales citethe benefits of increased sales tax collections while opponentsworry about negative social consequences. What is your position onthe issue? If opposed, what suggestions do you have to find newsales tax revenue for the city?

Cameron: I do not oppose legalized liquor salesin the city because it will be a good tax revenue for the citygeneral fund. And for that reason we are not getting the finerrestaurants to consider coming to Brookhaven. They are going toMcComb.

4. 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?

Cameron: I would support a developer that wantto build a assisted living facility in Brookhaven but only if it’son the appropriate location.

5. Should aldermen be allowed to vote on their own payraises and have them take effect immediately, or should pay raisesbe made effective at the beginning of the next term?

Cameron: Voting to raise alderman pay is aBoard decision on how and when alderman and alderwomen pay raisesshould begin.

6. Open meetings and public records laws are designed toensure that the public’s business is conducted in public, but thereare some topics in which a board may go into executive session todiscuss. How frequently – if at all – should the city board closetheir meetings?

Cameron: A Board can go in to executive sessionto discuss personnel matters and the possibility of litigation asthe state legislative.