Two candidates seek spot as District 4 supervisor

Published 11:40 am Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two candidates are seeking the District 4 position on the Warren County Board of Supervisors. They are independent Bill Lauderdale, 64, the incumbent, and Democrat Casey Fisher, 45.

1. What is the best course of action Warren County can take in the next four years to build a modernized jail and justice system facility?

Fisher: The youth crime rate in Warren County is disproportionately rising and our efforts should focus on deterring crime, not building more edifices. In lieu of building a jail and justice system facility, preventive and intervention measures should be taken to rehabilitate and assist in early childhood development through educational opportunities. As conscientious leaders, concerned citizens and involved parents, we should make aggressive efforts to keep our youth engaged in positive activities. Before we build a modernized jail, which will increase our tax base, we should be vigilant to educate all children and create equitable recreational activities for our youth.

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Lauderdale: Our sheriff’s deputies and jailers deserve the best working conditions that we can afford. They lay their lives on the line for us whenever they go to work. Our old jail has a proven safety record, but does not meet the current state standards. I want to see the maximum use of technology in order to minimize prisoner transportation costs. I am committed to building the best facility that we can afford, but as everyone is aware of our current economic situation, a new jail will depend on the economy rebounding and the ability of the county to finance it.

2. If you had to write a comprehensive plan for residential and commercial development in Warren County, what would it say?

Fisher: Comprehensive plans for residential and commercial development in Warren County should be consistent with the city/county ordinances. Our goals and visions should be cooperatively aligned so that Warren County is competitive with similar cities in Mississippi and in our nation. For example, building codes should have uniformity in safety, structure and architectural design requirements. Additionally, residential ordinances should be written to maintain homeowners’ property valuation.

Lauderdale: We are blessed with a beautiful landscape of hardwood trees and Mississippi Delta. My goal is to preserve the beauty that we have while allowing the resident of District 4 to express the kind of guide that they want for the physical and economic development of this county. The Board of Supervisors is already in the initial stages of developing a comprehensive plan which, if passed, would require additional staff and funds to administer.

3. What criteria do you/would you use in voting for tax breaks or other inducements for new or expanding employers?

Fisher: We must be aggressive in our efforts to offer tax breaks and other inducements to lure businesses to Warren County. In voting for new or expanding employers as well as new development tax breaks or other inducements, criteria would be to obtain a commitment to continuing and sustaining economic development in Warren County. Through this commitment, employment opportunities will be provided, educational systems will be supported, cooperative relationships will be fostered and longevity will be achieved. Furthermore, we should diligently work to ensure that our existing businesses are afforded tax breaks and inducements as well.

Lauderdale: Having new industries locate in Warren County or having our existing industries expand is the key to our growth. I believe that we must be aware of what our surrounding counties and states are offering industries and be competitive with them. I also want to see new or expanding industries hire as many Warren County residents as they can, purchase from local vendors and utilize Hinds Community College to train their employees. I have requested this in the past and will continue to do so.

4. What is the best use of the old U.S. 80 bridge to remain a viable county-owned asset?

Fisher: In order for the old U.S. 80 bridge to remain a viable county-owned asset, the bridge should be used as a walking and/or biking trail and museum park. The citizens of Warren County are privileged to have two of the famous gateways — the new and old bridges — of this country. To capitalize on our tourism industry, we should open the bridge as a walking/biking trail during some of our community special events, to promote weekly healthy-living activities. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad Bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio, is similar to what I would propose.

Lauderdale: The old U.S. 80 bridge is a valuable asset to Warren County. It is owned by Warren County, but because of federal and state laws, the funds that are received must be used only for the bridge. It enables the trains to supply Warren County with a service that we may otherwise not have. The Warren County Bridge Commission has the funds in escrow to take care of any emergency, which reduces Warren County’s liability. I feel that the current use of the bridge might be the best, but I am open to other suggestions.

5. Why do you seek the office of county supervisor?

Fisher: I am seeking the office of county supervisor to provide safer communities, foster economic development, improve county infrastructure and create recreational opportunities for our youth. As a resident of Warren County, all of the aforementioned goals affect my family and me. Further, I want to help make our city and county the place of choice for our citizens and retirees. Consequently, I know that Warren County can be one of the premier places to live in the country, not just Mississippi! As a concerned, strong and aggressive leader, I can help us attain that distinction.

Lauderdale: For four generations, my family has lived and worked in Warren County. Our residents are caring, generous, self-sufficient and very capable. I have especially enjoyed serving and learning from the people of the 4th District. I believe that my varied work experience and knowledge of county government will make me the best person to ensure that Warren County thrives and is a place that attracts not only our children, but others who want to live in a wholesome environment.