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7 candidates seek 6 seats in Springfield council race

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By Jesse Osbourne

 

Seven candidates are running for six seats in the Springfield city council race.


All candidates were given a questionnaire from The Springfield Sun to complete. The candidates each returned their questionnaire. Their answers are below.

Brooke Coulter
I decided to run for Springfield City Council two years ago because I would like to see progression continue here. I am a life-long resident and am raising my one and two year old daughters here. I have never held any other political office but have been very involved in the community, working with the Jr. Miss program and the Chamber of Commerce in the past. I also wanted to serve on the city council because I feel that people my age (31) should become involved in their communities and politics. Many young adults don’t realize what goes on in the national level of politics, much less the local sector. I believe that progression starts at the local level with small business and industry. I want to see the citizens of Springfield “stay home” to find a job instead of commuting to surrounding counties. I would love to see our school systems soar to the top in the state. To succeed in doing this, we have to get back to small town pride. Teaching our youth here that you can be what you want to be even if you did come from a little town like ours. I want to be an example that no matter what age you are you can make small difference that can lead to a greater one.
I have completed numerous educational hours with the Kentucky League of Cites while serving my first term. Learning things from ordinance, personal law and code enforcement along with many others dealing with local government. I want the people of Springfield to know that I truly love this small town and only want the best for it.

Lisa Haydon
Why did you decide to file or re-file for this office?

It is hard to believe that my first two-year term on the city council will be up Dec. 31 because I feel I’ve just gotten started.  There is so much to learn about the workings of government and as everyone knows, the wheels can turn very slowly.  There is much to be accomplished; and it is my goal to continue to help Springfield progress for the good of the community and its citizens.
Besides running for this political office, how else are you involved in this community or your district (volunteering, previous political experience, etc.)?
I have volunteered my entire adult life in numerous community, church, school, civic and political activities and have taken leadership roles in many of them.  It is important, in my opinion, to participate and work to make things better; “pay it forward”, so to speak.  I am currently vice-president of the Springfield Business & Professional Women’s Club, board member of the Tri-County Red Cross, chairwoman of the Washington County Democratic Executive Committee and board member of the Community Education Advisory Council.
How have these experiences helped prepare you for office?
My involvement has prepared me for an active role on the city council with my knowledge of the community, its citizens, leaders, organizations and activities.  In addition, by taking advantage of the trainings offered to city council members by the Kentucky League of Cities, I have become more educated on city matters.  I have acquainted myself with our county and state representatives to enlist their support  in city matters, and I am not reluctant to call on them, or anyone, that can help our community prosper.
What would you say is the job description for the office you seek?
The job description for a city councilman is to help make decisions with the co-council  and mayor that impact our city; and to work with the mayor, council and city staff to identify and meet our city’s needs and supervise its finances and budget to ensure the overall development of Springfield.
Why would you be a good candidate for this office?
I am a good candidate because I am experienced, knowledgeable, energetic and have the “time to spare."
If elected, what would you like to accomplish or help accomplish during your term?
One of the goals I had when I was first elected was to focus on our youth because, as far as I’m concerned, their welfare is of utmost importance in the success of our future.  Making sure that our youth get the education, moral support and self-confidence they need to get good jobs and be productive citizens is imperative to the stability of our community.  As everyone knows, drugs have been the scourge of our society, and the availability of it to our youth is unacceptable.  Several school and community programs that I have been involved with address these issues.  I would like to help develop more afterschool activities for teenagers available to all, particularly at risk youth, that will provide recreational,  social, educational and vocational opportunities that encourage self-growth and responsibility.  With St. Catharine College being annexed into the city recently, I would like to develop more partnerships with them to not only serve their students’ needs but to encourage more involvement within the city.  Of course, we all want a new swimming pool, and that is something I think would be of benefit to everyone.  It would be a wonderful venture for the city, county and college to work together to accomplish that dream!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to say that Springfield has accomplished many great things.  Needless to say, the Farmer’s market, curbside recycling, the Opera House, theatre, city park, city police dept., city fire dept, Main Street development, tourism and other attributes have provided our citizens with a nice community in which to live and raise their families.  It would be great to see more people moving into the city, participating in community affairs and keeping us moving forward. It would be wonderful to see more progress with economic development and the creation of more jobs, something which we must be striving to achieve.  And I would be remiss in not taking this opportunity to mention my recently deceased husband, Mike Haydon, who sat on city council and served as mayor.  His leadership was an inspiration to me.  He was a true public servant who devoted his life to improving Springfield, Washington County and our State.  I am thankful to have been a part of that.

Debbie Wakefield
Why did you decide to file or re-file for this office?

Having served on the city Council for the last four years I have gained the experience, knowledge and interest in continiuing to move Springfield in a positive direction.  Looking into the future and the present challenges that Springfield faces I decided to refile for City County because I want to be part of the solution.
Besides running for this political office, how else are you involved in this community or your district (volunteering, previous political experience, etc.)?
As well as attending many communiy functions I am a  trustee of the Washington County Library Board and a member of the African American Heritage Festival Committee.
How have these experiences helped prepare you for office?
To turn criticism into constructive criticism.
What would you say is the job description for the office you seek?
The job description for a city council member is to be the voice of the people of Springfield.  
Why would you be a good candidate for this office?
 If re-elected this will be my third term and I now have a good understanding of how city government is run. In my current position as Administrative Officer for KY Farm Service Agency, I manage  HR/personnel, budget, contracting, office leasing, purchasing and travel authorizations and reimbursements.  With this experience I can continue to work with the mayor and council members to ensure that the city is well run and working towards financial stability.  
If elected, what would you like to accomplish or help accomplish during your term?
It has been very exciting to see the interests of small businesses wanting to open on Main Street. I would like work toward seeing downtown to continue to grow and support our local businesses.

John W. Ellery
Why did you decide to file or re-file for this office?

I decided to re-file for this office because I enjoy being actively involved in the community.
Besides running for this political office, how else are you involved in this community or your district (volunteering, previous political experience, etc.)?
Other than running for this political office, I have been a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 30 years, served several terms on the Chamber of Commerce and I am a member of Holy Rosary Church.
How have these experiences helped prepare you for office?
These experiences as a decision-making member of various groups has prepared me to be a person that knows the importance of listening to all sides of a problem before making wise decisions or choices.
What would you say is the job description for the office you seek?
I think that a job description for a candidate for city council is to be a good listener, be a compromiser, be available to members of the community, be able to make wise choices and to love your community.
Why would you be a good candidate for this office?
I am a good candidate for this office because I am a good listener, I am easy to talk to, I know how to keep confidential info if necessary, I make important decisions on a daily basis that affects a lot of people, which the council does and I love my community.
If elected, what would you like to accomplish or help accomplish during your term?
If elected, I will work with other members of the council and elected county officials to try to bring more jobs to Springfield and make Springfield a safer place for our families to live.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I promise to do all that I can to make you proud to be a resident of Springfield, Ky.

Carolyn Hardin
Why did you decide to file or re-file for this office?

To continue to work at making our community a better place.
Besides running for this political office, how else are you involved in this community or your district (volunteering, previous political experience, etc.)?
I am also a member of Springfield BPW, volunteered for the Chamber of Commerce and have been the owner of Hardin’s Jewelry for 32 years. I am a hometown girl.
How have these experiences helped prepare you for office?
I’ve held many leadership roles in many of these positions.
What would you say is the job description for the office you seek?
A public servant.
Why would you be a good candidate for this office?
I am a candidate that wants to listen to those who are in the community and work hard to make things happen.
If elected, what would you like to accomplish or help accomplish during your term?
I continue to try to get something here for our youth and also to do more for our economy.

Chris Essex
Hello, my name is Chris Essex and I am a candidate for Springfield city council. I was born and raised in Springfield and have been a life-long resident. I am married to a wonderful woman, Katie, and have four children. I attended St. Dominic elementary school and graduated from Washington County High School. I have been involved with our community since working at IGA, when it was located downtown, during my years at WCHS. Most recently I spent four years as the general manager at Snappy Tomato Pizza and currently I am the route service manager for Springfield Laundry and Dry Cleaning. These positions have allowed me to get to know Springfield residents on a personal level. I believe that the position of a city council member is to provide a voice for our families in the decisions that will shape our community. I decided to run for this position because I believe it’s time for me to join with the other council members in working to move our city forward. I believe I will be able to add more refreshing ideas and provide innovation when it comes to what our community needs to keep moving in a positive direction. It would mean a lot to me to have the support of my hometown in the election on Nov. 6. 

John R. Hardin
Why did you decide to file or re-file for this office?

I have lived in Springfield for most of my life. I moved here when I was five years old from the Hardesty community out the other side of Lincoln Park. I went to school at St. Dominic School for three years, then I switched to Springfield grade school and started the fourth grade and continued to the eighth grade. I went to Springfield High School for four years and graduated in 1957. I found a job at Ward and McCubbins Grocery. While working there I met a great young lady, Anna Lee Simms. We were married and we made our home on East Main. From this marriage, two sons were born , Glenn Allen and Steven Dewayne. Glenn lives in Lexington and Steven Dewayne lives in Indianapolis, Ind.
I have always liked to be a part of the community, so I ran for a seat on the city council and won. I enjoyed serving on the council. I have served a total of 20 years.
I watched Springfield grow from a chief of police and two officers and one police car to the great service we have today.
Besides running for this political office, how else are you involved in this community or your district (volunteering, previous political experience, etc.)?
Over the years I have served on several boards and have an active record of service to my church, Springfield Baptist Church. I belong to the Masonic Lodge and in the past years have been very active.
What would you say is the job description for the office you seek?
To make decisions and suggest things to try and get done whatever we need as a community, to always improve our town. We have a great past, let’s make our future brighter.
Why would you be a good candidate for this office?
I have had a lot of opportunity to watch great leaders lead us and would like to accomplish great changes for us all.
If elected, what would you like to accomplish or help accomplish during your term?
I would love to see two or three new businesses to our fair city to create jobs so our offsprings can work at home. This is possible with hard work.
If elected, what would you like to accomplish or help accomplish during your term?
Creating jobs is possible if we work together and really try. This is our home, let’s all pull together to make a change.