Incumbent Jeffery Washington is being challenged by former Commissioner Carolyn Parker in Tuesday's Democratic primary for the Etowah County Commission District 5 seat. The winner will face no Republican opposition in November's general election.
Each candidate was asked the same five questions. Here are Parker's answers; Washington did not respond to the questionnaire (the responses may have had mild editing):
What is it going to take to recruit industry/industries to the Little Canoe Creek Mega-Site?
PARKER: I think it will take a combination of things: an experienced, knowledgeable County Commission and openness to public-private partnerships. Also, having all of the municipalities locally and regionally working in one accord to recruit something major and sustainable to the Mega-Site.
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What kind of industry do you believe the county should try to recruit there, one large employer or multiple smaller ones?
PARKER: I’m open to either. Certainly, one large industry with jobs that paid a minimum of $20 an hour would make the greatest impact in the smallest amount of time. We wouldn’t see the impact of several smaller ones until the site was at full capacity, which could take several years to happen.
How should the County Commission respond to ICE's decision to remove immigration detainees from the county's detention center?
PARKER: It’s my understanding that the program had been losing money over the past few years. I think the commission should sit down with the sheriff and investigate other opportunities for the space that would be profitable.
What's the greatest challenge the county faces in coming years?
PARKER: The greatest in my opinion is sustaining population. Without the people, the taxpayers, you can’t survive.
Why are you the best candidate for the office you're seeking?
PARKER: I’m the most experienced candidate. I bring knowledge to the table, as well as working relationships to get things done. I will work hard for all the residents of Attalla and Gadsden. I will be visible, fair and accessible. I will be on the job from Day One.
This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Etowah Co. Commission District 5 Q&A: Jeffrey Washington, Carolyn Parker