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TROUTDALE — The Grange Hall in Grant played host to a full house last Thursday night for the first of three candidate forums in Grayson County leading up to the Nov. 5 election.
Nine of the 10 candidates who will appear on the Wilson District ballot on Election Day were in attendance. Each candidate was allowed up to seven minutes to talk about their campaigns, and the order of speakers was decided by drawing straws.
Grayson County Treasurer Junior Young announced his intention to retire earlier this year, which led to the six-way special election for his replacement.
Young thanked the people of the county for allowing him to serve as the treasurer for 34 years. He said he looks forward to his retirement and will likely move to Pulaski County.
“I wish this county well and everybody in it,” said Young. “I feel privileged and honored to have served the years that I have.”
Haga, the Democratic candidate, was out of town on a business trip. He was represented by Young at the forum.
“I think he will be a great spokesperson for this county,” said Young. “He is a great promoter in that he traveled all over the United States selling his commodities, so he can talk to people. He was an educator. He dealt with children and their families, so he can deal with all kinds of individuals.”
“I told myself at the beginning of this race that I would not make any campaign promises because we know in reality that most of the time they can’t be fulfilled or they aren’t fulfilled, said Paula Carrico, the Republican candidate.
“What I will tell you that, as a Carrico, as your treasurer, I will commit myself to the three C’s: customer service, convenience and collections.”
“With my experience in business, I have a real respect and appreciation for the responsibilities of Grayson County Treasurer, said independent Pete Hall. “I believe the treasurer should be a professional manager actively engaged in all the processes and accounting of the treasurer’s office.
“I believe with my education and experience I am the most qualified for the office of Grayson County Treasurer.”
Gary Wilson, an independent, said he is running a low-key campaign. “I don’t have a campaign team. I don’t have a lot of signs, but I do respect the people of Grayson County and the hard work that they do and how hard it is sometimes.
“I would go on record to say that I would love to see every official in this county take a reduction in salary — no less than 15 percent to kind of ease the tax burden.”
George Whitaker, an independent, said he felt compelled to run when the vacancy opened up.
“I’d like to say that I’m trustworthy and honest ... the reason I’m running for this office is whenever I read the article in the paper that Junior Young was retiring I just felt the Lord opened up the door for me to pursue it.”
Stephanie Brewer, an independent, said she would “establish remote treasurer’s office days ... I would do this at no cost to the taxpayers, not even for fuel.”
“Another thing I’m interested in doing is setting up a monthly payment plan for your taxes so that you don’t have such a large burden due in December.
“I’m interested in implementing a country treasurer’s website.”
Wilson District: School Board
Brian Walls said he was “not going to blow smoke” in his campaign.
“I’m going to tell you the truth whether it’s good or bad. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it’s what you’re going to hear from me.
“I don’t believe in the past several years that we’ve had a voice here in the Wilson District to take up for our children in school and get things that our kids on this end of the county need.”
Incumbent school board member Shannon Holdaway said citizens are “very blessed that all of our schools in Grayson County are now fully accredited. We’ve made significant progress with regards to education.”
Wilson District: Board of Supervisors
Three candidates are running to fill the vacancy left by the death of Mike Maynard earlier this year.
Glenn “Eddie” Rosenbaum said he hoped that, “when you think of my campaign, I want you to think, ‘We the people want change,’ because it is not only our motto, it is our true belief and desire.”
His first priority is to cut zoning back to “at least make it user-friendly to the people.
“As of now, I am looking to restructure it and make it easier on people to do with and enjoy their land as they see fit, and to make it so that business can come into our county without fighting all the restrictions.”
“A lot of you may say that we have problems in our county — and we do. But who doesn’t?” candidate Arnold Peters asked. “What we do with those problems and how we handle those problems separates us from everybody else, and in order to change things globally, you start locally.
“Our county is headed in a positive direction. Just a few weeks ago, the county was able to give $20,000 over at the school for the food bank, and three years ago we couldn’t have done that.”
Candidate Kate Irwin said “I believe that participation in government at the local level is where we can make the biggest difference. I would like to be your voice in our county government.
“As supervisor, I would work to take advantage of opportunities for businesses to locate here and support businesses growing here.”
• Fries Volunteer Fire Dept. will host a candidate forum for all candidates for the office of Grayson County Treasurer at the old Providence School gymnasium on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. Eldon Burris will be the
moderator. Candidates will answer submitted questions from the public.
• The candidates also plan to attend a forum at the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence on Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. This upcoming forum will also include candidates for Elk Creek District school board and board of supervisors seats.