Editor’s note: We gave Richmond Hill mayoral hopefuls Harold Fowler and Floyd Hilliard a list of eight questions, time to do their homework and space for them to answer at length if they chose to do so. Here’s the result.
1. In consideration of the fact that the economy is still down and local and state governments are having to tighten their belts, where do you think the city will have to make the biggest financial adjustments in coming years?
We’re going to have to shift from big ticket items like a Conference Center and Amphitheater to smaller expenditures that provide more bang for the buck. There are a number of these types of less expensive projects that can easily and quickly be geared up or down to fit the budget and net a real improvement in our quality of life. Connecting our sidewalk and trail systems within the city and even out into the county is a good example of what I’m talking about. Our community parks need equipment and we need more emphasis on marine activities like sailing, swimming, rowing and waterskiing.
The debt the current administration has created is a major concern for all of us that presents its own set of challenges. I’d prefer not to make major budget cuts to deal with the debt problem. Instead, we’ll need to improve the city’s revenue stream to offset the monthly payments and expenses of the City Center. We can accomplish this by attracting new commercial and retail businesses through a working relationship with the Chamber of Commerce and the Bryan County Development Authority. Completed projects and community activities that produce an enduring quality of life will give us more to brag about.
Read the rest in Saturday's Bryan County News.