Election Q&A series: Ward Five candidates give answers

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, April 28, 2013

Editor’s Note: Today, The Daily Leader continues a question-and-answer series highlighting candidates participating in Brookhaven’s upcoming municipal elections. Today’s responses are from Ward Five alderman candidates competing in the Republican primary. There are no Democratic or independent candidates in the race. Responses appear as submitted by the candidates.

1. When voters go to the polls on June 4 to elect municipal officials, they will also have the opportunity to legalize the sale of alcohol within the Brookhaven city limits. If voters do legalize liquor sales, the Board of Aldermen must make a choice: The board can either restrict alcohol to by-the-glass sales in restaurants or allow package stores. If elected, which option will you support? What are the benefits of the option you favor?

Martha Arrington: If the voters of Brookhaven legalize liquor sales I will vote to restrict alcohol to by the glass. I benefits of the option I favor are that I will have done what the voters have requested that I have spoken with.

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Fletcher Grice: If the voters of Brookhaven vote to lift the dry ban, I will support a by-the-glass sale on premises. Restaurants will hire employees and therefore new jobs would be created.

2. What do you see as the most significant infrastructure needs in the city? Given the still struggling economy and tight finances the city has faced, how would you go about prioritizing these needs?

Martha Arrington: The infrastructure must be maintained at least at present level and hopefully improved upon. Priorities should be based on an overall “needs/wants” of the entire city without sacrificing our current services.

Fletcher Grice: The most significant infrastructure needs would be our water, sewer, and streets. Age and conditions would determine which repairs and upgrades should be addressed as a top priority. Because of tight budgets, it would be important to get input from each department to select the greatest and most urgent needs. A solution might be to combine a portion (as decided) of each ward’s budget to be used in the most needed areas.

3. What opportunities do you see in city government to cut costs and ease the taxpayers’ burdens?

Martha Arrington: First, once elected, I would not vote for a raise of any elected officials. Secondly, try to adjust the budget as adequately as possible.

Fletcher Grice: Most government problems are not that people are taxed too little, but that government spends too much.

We must regulate wasteful spending. There should be scheduled preventive maintenance on all equipment and city vehicles. Employee training to make sure job performance is of a high standard and safety is a priority. Accidents cost money, in lost time and increased insurance costs.

4. In your opinion, what could improve Brookhaven the most? How would you as an alderman make this possible?

Martha Arrington: Strive to bring new industries to Brookhaven by enticing new industry to come here and perhaps the thought of “Main Street” being considered as a development tool.

Fletcher Grice: In my opinion Brookhaven would benefit most from jobs. Brookhaven can and will attract industry to our city. The most powerful resource that we have are its people. The citizens of our city are hard working, concerning, and caring individuals who would be a great workforce for any industry seeking location in our community. Offering tax exemptions would be an incentive for industries.

Our economy is ready for growth. Other resources that we have to offer are our schools and its wonderful teachers and leaders, our churches, and our beautiful homes. Jobs bring stability, pride, and selfworth. Money earned is money spent in our community as well as tax dollars generated.

5. What are your reasons for seeking this office and why should voters elect you to the board?

Martha Arrington: I believe I can make a difference for my home town, our town, Brookhaven.

Fletcher Grice: As a life long resident of Lincoln County and a citizen of Brookhaven for the past thirty-two years, I have grown to love our city and care deeply for it. I have a desire to serve the citizens of Brookhaven and a vision for Brookhaven to grow and prosper. I am committed to making a positive difference for the residents of Ward 5 and our city through EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS.