Cave City Candidate Forum
Two of three mayoral candidates present for forum
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Sponsored by the Cave City Chamber of Commerce, a candidate forum was held last week for those seeking elected offices in Cave City in the November General Election.
Mayoral candidates Leticia Cline and Dwayne Hatcher, incumbent, were asked a series of questions relating to their potential leadership for Cave City if elected. A third candidate, J.R. Poynter, did not attend the forum.
Moderator Chris Summers of Cave City said the questions asked were taken from multiple online sources. Candidates were not allowed rebuttal and were limited to three minutes each per question.
Cline, a native of Cave City, said one of the greatest qualities a mayor can have is “someone who is one of us.” She also said having experience for this position isn’t political, but includes a multitude of things such as managing the city’s finances and improving the quality of life for citizens.
Mayor Hatcher said, “First and foremost, I am totally one of us.” Hatcher has served as Cave City’s mayor for the last 12 years.
Despite not having a business degree, Hatcher said he has worked on the city’s budget for over a decade and pointed out property and personal taxes have been reduced in the last two years.
Speaking on attributes he possesses that make him the best choice for the next mayor, Hatcher discussed equipment upgrades for the city’s departments and working together to serve the citizens.
In regards to setting budgets and providing services that governments should provide, Hatcher said, “We have worked together and discussed, especially with our budget, which is the most important thing in my opinion.”
Hatcher said governments have one purpose: to serve the health, welfare, and safety of its citizens and to do the best possible with the financial position they’re in.
When asked how time would be managed to ensure adequate attention is given to concerns and needs of the community, Cline said putting the right people in the right positions will help the city run efficiently.
Hatcher said the mayor’s position is far from a part-time job and making oneself available to dedicate time to take care of concerns and needs of the citizens is a “number one” priority.
Focusing on both the immediate and long-term plans and vision for Cave City, Hatcher echoed Cline’s comments regarding an immediate need to hire individuals for community development contacts and a computer/technology person. Hatcher said negotiations for the industrial park are the long-term goals despite daily discussions for industry recruitment.
Cline said her immediate focus if elected, would include having a presence online with better communications with full disclosures and transparencies on aspects such as financial documents. Long-term, Cline said her vision in five years would be the vision of the citizens. She said involving your people for major decisions and having better connections with the state and county governments.
Candidates were asked to describe what they see as the connection between the success of Caverna Independent School system and the growth of Cave City, and vice versa.
“We have one of the best school systems in the area…” Hatcher, a 1966 graduate of Caverna High, said, “There was a point in time the relationship between our school system and our communities wasn’t good.”
He further said due to work and dedicated people at school, and working together with the cities of Horse Cave and Cave City, that relationship has greatly improved. Hatcher retired from Caverna Independent as a coach and educator after 40 years.
Cline said she would like to be more informed on the interrelationships of the City and Caverna School and emphasized the importance of their youth.
“The most important thing is our youth because it is our future and how best we can foster that is through education,” Cline said, adding that bringing jobs to Cave City would help create a place they can come back to raise their families.
Cline is currently a council member of the city council, a 1996 Barren County High School graduate, and co-owner of The Dive Bar in Cave City.
Last week’s forum also included city council candidates. Seven out of eleven candidates participated and those were: Beverly Ford, Shaun Johnston, Ronald Coffey, Brandon Wright, Steve Pedigo, and Denny Doyle. Ford, Doyle, and Pedigo are current council members in Cave City.