FORUM: 9 vying for Winchester commission
Published 8:02 am Thursday, May 3, 2018
There will be at least one new face on the Winchester Board of Commissioners beginning in January.
Wednesday, eight of the nine candidates took to the stage in the Clark County Candidates Forum with their plans and visions for the future of Winchester.
The May 22 primary will eliminate one candidate from the ballot between incumbents Kitty Strode, Kenny Book and Shannon Cox, former commissioner JoEllen Reed and challengers Seneca Anderson, Ramsey Flynn, Tom Korb, Paula Thomas and David Walker.
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The remaining eight will advance to the November general election. Strode did not attend the forum because of a work commitment.
The questions for the candidates started with what areas of city government needed additional resources, if they became available.
“I believe Main Street needs more restaurants and volunteers,” Anderson said. “I believe in history and restoring history. At some point, we need to replace history” if buildings are not up to code.
For Book, the answer was more basic with infrastructure and boosting code enforcement.
“I think the biggest problem is drainage,” he said. “We’ve got to go in and start repairing the drainage (system).”
Cox wanted to “tackle and defeat” the illegal drug situation, which Flynn echoed.
“You’ve got to support every resource you have against drug abuse,” Flynn said. “Next would be public service. We need more manpower at the fire department. We need more police officers on the street.”
Korb wanted to add things for children and youth to do in town.
“We’ve got go give our kids something to do,” he said. “I’d like to see us look into swimming pools, skate parks and things.”
After meeting with students earlier in the day, Reed said she wanted to make sure there were opportunities for them to return to Winchester after college.
For Thomas, opening a safe hangout for children ages 10 to 16 and staffed by off-duty police officers for security would top her list.
Walker wanted to increase the staff at the Winchester Police Department and attract an anchor business for the downtown district to encourage growth and renewal.
Finishing the proposed splash pad near the site of the Eugene Gay pool was another priority for several candidates.
Book said he would like to see the community donated toward the splash pad.
“It takes more than the city putting in $50,000,” Book said.
However, Anderson said donations shouldn’t be required.
“I feel we shouldn’t have to fund-raise for anything,” Anderson said.
Korb wanted to revamp the city’s sign ordinances, which he said would attract more businesses to Winchester.
Many said they were running because they wanted to make the city better.
“I think we all want what’s best for this community,” Walker said.
“I love this community with all my heart,” Reed said.
“I have to fight for Winchester because I want to raise my daughters in this beautiful city,” Anderson said. “I love this town. I love everyone here.”