Springhill council Dist. 3 candidate responds to questions

Springhill District 3 alderman candidates are Patsy Leonard, Debra Rester and Stacey Willard.

The Webster Parish Journal emailed all candidates the following questions, although not all candidates responded. Below are their responses in alphabetical order.

1. What are three steps you would take to improve the city’s financial stability?

Leonard: No response.

Rester: Declined to answer.

Willard: One area of interest to me is increasing the tax base and population through annexation. Springhill currently provides multiple homes outside the city limits with water and garbage pick-up. The pros and cons should be considered, of course, since the city would need to lay sewer lines, provide police presence, and assume responsibility for the streets in those areas.  Another area I am interested in is Alderman Wages. Just this year, I made a motion to exclude Alderman in a 4% wage increase for elected officials. While I believe we should be paid for our time, most of us have full time jobs and can do without a pay increase. A third area for improving financial stability is utilizing grants to offset expenses. We used a grant to pay for most of the repairs that were done on 11th Street NE, which included long overdue sewer repairs and street resurfacing.

2. What do you propose to bring more businesses to the city?  How would you bring more visitors?

Leonard: No response.

Rester: Declined to answer.

Willard: Bringing new business to Springhill depends on having the infrastructure in place. Currently there are efforts underway to bring reliable internet to this area. Historically, lack of fast, reliable internet has been reported as a reason that businesses do not favor this part of the state. We have plans to build a splash pad and a new pavilion at Frank Anthony Park.  The splash pad, along with the RV Park and building has the potential to attract out of state visitors who are traveling with children. It would bring in families from surrounding areas looking for inexpensive activities for kids without the need to drive over an hour to another city. The splash pad would also be a plus, as it would draw more visitors to the annual Lumberjack Festival. We also need to revamp Main Street. There are empty buildings that are being used as storage, that have broken windows, and in general, create a negative impression of our city. For the past 4 years, I have been a member of Christmas Extravaganza. This is a committee of women who volunteer to raise money to purchase Christmas lights for the city. We have added to our collection every year.  The citizens seem to truly enjoy the displays throughout the city and our goal is to be a destination for holiday sightseeing.

3. What are the pressing needs in your district and how do you propose to address them?

Leonard: No response.

Rester: Declined to answer.

Willard:  We need to complete the last phase of the water project.  There are portions of District 3 (and District 5) that were not part of the original project from several years ago. The pipes in these areas have aged to the point that replacement is necessary.

4. Would you be in favor of broadcasting city council meetings to the public via social media like Facebook or YouTube? Why or why not?

Leonard: No response.

Rester: Declined to answer.

Willard: Currently, our city council meetings and workshops are being broadcast on Facebook by a private citizen. I am not opposed to broadcasting meetings online; however, we would need to hire a professional videographer and purchase the appropriate equipment to do so.

5. What do you see as the top priority for your city and why?

Leonard: No response.

Rester: Declined to answer.

Willard: The top priority for Springhill is Revitalization. Our city is run down with many old buildings and houses in disrepair. Revitalization should be a combined effort between the city, private citizens and business owners.

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The election is Tuesday, November 8.

Early voting is Oct. 25 through Nov. 1 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 30) from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the registrar’s office in the courthouse.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 4 by 4:30 p.m (other than military and overseas voters). You can request an absentee ballot online through the Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office.

The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted absentee ballot is Nov. 7 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).

On election day, the polls are open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. If you are unsure of your voting precinct, please call 377-9272.


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