Two candidates with self-proclaimed conservative leadership styles, one with two decades of political leadership, the other with two decades of business ownership. You decided who will represent your interests in Montgomery, so we asked the questions and this is how these candidates plan to "Focus on the Future."
Harri Anne Smith\Candidate, State Senate District 29 (I)
George Flowers\Candidate, State Senate District 29 (R)
"My top priorities are jobs, jobs, jobs," says Harri Anne Smith.
"One thing I'm not going to do is increase taxes," George Flowers responded.
So where do the stand on Country Crossing?
Smith says, "...the country music, the water parks, what it will mean for the economy in Dothan I think will be wonderful and I am looking forward to fighting for the right for people to have the right to vote on this issue." While Flowers said, "Well, I've said all along that I'd be for an up or down vote as long as it had acceptable, enabling legislation which include regulations, taxing at national standard and, uh, determined exactly how the locations would be, uh, picked."
What should the legislature do to create jobs?
Flowers say, "... let's reduce taxes, let's, let's reduce the un-due regulation that is now constraining businesses from being able to grow and expand." Smith says, "...try to, um, recruit industry to our state by lowering taxes to create a better business environment for businesses to want to come to our area."
What about funding for local schools?
Smith says, "I can tell you what I'm not gonna do. I'm not gonna make cuts to those programs that have been very beneficial to our children, like the reading initiative, like distance learning, like protecting teachers jobs, like putting money back into the classroom. Those are the things that I will protect." Flowers responded, "…I would propose, uh, uh, the rolling reserve technique Where you use prior year receipts for future year budgeting and then any excess, uh, surpluses in the future should first go into a rainy day fund..."
And how about the long-awaited I-10 connector?
Flowers says, "... it looks like we're getting close to getting Federal dollars to tie 65 and 85 together. And then, uh, just south of Montgomery and then we should get private funding to go from Montgomery through the Wiregrass and terminate in the Port of Panama City. And that would be a toll road and, uh, I think that's going to be the most likely scenario." Smith responded, "I have been working on that for 15 years and Amendment 3 is finally our option to be able to get this project finally done."
In the interest of full disclosure, public records show that in 2003, candidate Flowers was part of a lawsuit and appeal involving the I-10 connector and its proximity to property he owned. It's an issue he says has since been resolved, leaving him in support of the project. Flowers said, "that, that, uh, issue that you're talking about that you're confused on had to do with the location. The location of it was all it was. There was no funding there at that time. But all it was talking about doing was moving, uh, that, uh, road 3 miles west of where it was which would have saved churches, schools and alot of residents."
His full response, along with candidate questions about repealing the grocery tax and education proration are available on the "Politics Page" of WTVY.com in the extended interviews with each candidate.