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Council candidates questioned

By Staff, 05/2/18 2:13 PM

PRESCOTT – Candidates for the three contested seats on the Prescott City Council were grilled at Tuesday’s political rally at the Nevada County Courthouse.

The first question they were asked dealt with what could be done to combat poverty and raise the standard of living.

Satarra Williams, running for Ward 1 Position 1, talked about using available resources and working to improve housing.

Tommy Poole, incumbent for W1 P2, said not much can be done until the utility situation is corrected. Electric rates, he added, shouldn’t be more than house payments. He continued, saying there are a lot of old houses that could be raised and the land used to build on.

Ivory Curry, who’s challenging Poole, said Prescott’s in the shape it’s in because of the lack of small business. Until jobs can be provided, he added, the economy will be bad. Curry said the city isn’t allocating enough money for Main Street and it’s hurting his business. The street needs to be cleaned up and the city’s top priority should be cosmetic.

Stacy Jester, incumbent for W2P2, said improving things can’t be done by one person, adding everyone was saying basically the same thing. She talked about the process with the utility rates, saying the Prescott City Council is doing what it can there. “Prescott is a great city. It takes everyone working together.”

Jester’s opponent, Todd, talked about her work in public service, saying she’s seen a lot of poverty. She suggested people need to be taught how to apply for jobs and do interviews, adding it will take everyone working together.

The group was asked an odd question concerning what the city could do to improve the school system.

Todd said parents need to work with teachers, go to the schools with a positive attitude and work together.

Jester said Prescott has a great district and councilman Howard Austin has suggested meetings between the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, the mayor and superintendent of the Prescott School District.

Curry suggested the district offer programs to teach skills to those who don’t go to college, along with how to interview for jobs.

“You won’t find anyone who cares more about school than me,” Poole, principal at Prescott High School, said. The district, he told the audience has programs in place to teach students different skills, partnering with the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope. Recently, he said, the district offered a free welding course, but only two people signed up. Parents need to get involved, he continued, and know what their child’s doing and come to parent nights.

Williams said she would try to help build the PSD up.

The final question was why they were the best candidate for the position.

Todd talked about working with the state more than 30 years and having the experience to help. If people come together and work together they can make Prescott what it should be. Everyone wants to see Prescott grow. She suggested trying to attract a business like a neighborhood Wal-Mart.

Jester said she’s not done yet as the city and council are getting to the crux of things. She talked about being involved in the community, saying she isn’t going anywhere.

Curry followed talking about being a lifelong resident. He said he’d be a voice for the people and fight for businesses, while not ignoring the problems, doing what’s needed to get Prescott going in the right direction.

Williams said she’ll go into office with an open mind and listen to everything brought forth.

Poole said he has the experience to do the job, and has lived up to the promises he made his first campaign, 18-months ago, in that he’s fought for the utility rates to be lowered and made sure all problems brought to him by citizens are addressed at council meetings. “I will keep fighting for it,” he said.