Heritage Guild questions supervisor candidates: What will be your top three priorities to ensure the preservation of County owned historic buildings and historic sites in the county?
Published 5:39 pm Monday, August 5, 2019
Editor’s Note: The following questions were posed to 2019 Warren County Supervisor Candidates by the Heritage Guild of Vickburg Warren. The candidates were given until August 1 to respond to the questions. There was no requirement as to the length of the candidates’ answers. No responses were accepted after the August 1 deadline. Responses have not been edited.
The Heritage Guild of Vicksburg & Warren County is a volunteer organization established in 2016. The organization is open to all and encourages those who are interested to join them in championing our community’s historical assets. For more information on the group’s activities, please view their facebook page titled “Heritage Guild Vicksburg Warren.” As a 501c3 not for profit organization, the guild does not endorse any candidate.
Question: What will be your top three priorities to ensure the preservation of County owned historic buildings and historic sites in the county?
District 1 Candidate John Arnold (Independent): The Courthouse, the old courthouse and our Parks are my top priorities.
District 1 Candidate Edward Herring (Republican): First we need to educate the residents of Warren county of just what all we hold and the historic value of each and every property. Second we need to put those properties to work. With the progress of a new jail that will leave a historic property vacant. It does not need to sit vacant and deteriorate before gaining attention. Third we have got to get the Old River Bridge open for business.
District 3 Candidate Charles Selmon (Democrat): Priority #1 – Warren County Courthouse Roof – Bids have been accepted and awarded, and the project start date will be August 5th, 2019. The project will protect the integrity of the inside of the structure. Priority #2 – Old Courthouse Retaining Wall – a Study has been completed and accepted detailing the repairs for the retaining wall, and a quote of cost for temporary repair has been received. The Board is in contact with Mingo Tingle of the MS Dept of Archives and History for assistance with grants or emergency funding for this project. This project is very important to the community due to the amount of tourists that come on a daily basis to this property. Priority #3 – A new jail will be a great asset to Warren County; however, the old jail is equally asset. In order to maintain its historical value by preserving it authentic.
District 3 Candidate David Sharp (Independent): 1. Assess the needs of properties owned by the county. This will allow me to see what areas need the most attention so that contractor bids can be assigned. 2. Actively seek grants and Federal Aid that may be available for Historic Preservation. 3. Begin the steps to establish an account that would be used to help maintain county-owned properties. Properties that are owned by the county should never be neglected. The county should set the standard for property preservation. It should never be a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. If we are to establish guidelines, we should be upheld to the fullest extent. Our city properties should be up to date by all codes that are established. Again, if we are to be the leader of the community, we need to set the standard. (If we cannot meet the standard for a property, then we should seek a buyer who can meet the standard for which will be established.)
District 4 Candidate John Carlisle (Republican): At the present time our number one priority is the repair to the west wall of the Old Court House. The estimate for this repair is 148,500.00 dollars. We need to encourage property owners who have historic property to maintain their beauty and encourage others to do so. We will work with the owners to the extent of the law to aid in a way that is legal.
District 4 Candidate Jeffery P. Holland (Independent): I am construing this question to relate to specific sites in our community. If a more general philosophy was desired, please advise and I will reformulate my response accordingly. (1) Restoration of the Mississippi Hardware Building and subsequent creation of the MS Center for Innovation and Technology therein. This is the key to several hundred jobs potentially within our community; (2) Expanded support for the Vicksburg National Military Park and all of its components, including the new acquisitions at Champion Hill and in Claiborne County. These historic sites, combined with the VNMP main site, have the potential to increase tourism 2X in our community; and, (3) the US 80 Bridge over the Mississippi River and its full conversion to safe and joyful recreational use in addition to rail.
District 5 Candidate Kelle Banks Barfield (Republican): Within the first 90 days of taking office, I would: 1. Review budget, strategic plans and records of maintenance for historic assets that are within the domain of the board of supervisors. 2. Assess status of county infrastructure that impacts the high priority historic assets owned by other public or private entities. 3. Combine results of the assessments into an action plan that establishes clear short-term and long-term commitments and expectations for needs, timing and designation of county resources or other organizations responsible for those assets.
District 5 Candidate Richard George (Independent): The Warren County Courthouse, The Courthouse Museum, The County Jail, and The River Bridge are all important historic sites. The preservation of these facilities has to be continued and a funding plan developed to enable preservation efforts.
Responses were not submitted or submitted past the deadline for the following candidates.
District 1 Candidate Bill Jeffers (Republican)
District 2 Candidate William Vollor Halpin (Independent)
District 2 Candidate William H. Banks Jr. (Democrat)
District 2 Candidate Stan Collins (Independent)
District 3 Candidate Shawn Jackson (Democrat)
District 3 Candidate James E. Stirgus, Jr. (Democrat)
District 4 Candidate Marty Crevitt (Republican)
District 5 Candidate Hunter Vinzant (Independent)
District 5 Candidate Carl Campbell (Independent)