• Members of the Limestone County NAACP claim the city does not have a good track record in terms of hiring minorities and promoting diversity. Do you feel this is a problem in Athens? If not, please explain why. If you agree with the NAACP, what steps would you take to ensure a diverse workforce?
The city of Athens has an adept, diverse workforce. The workforce should be a mirror image of the city’s population diversity and I believe the city of Athens has made great strides in accomplishing this. It is my belief that when hiring employees and department heads, the most qualified applicant should be selected. I will encourage all department heads to exercise diversity in their selection processes.
• Athens and Limestone County have been fortunate enough to land new industries over the last several months, while others like Steelcase have announced expansions and plans to hire additional workers. As a councilman, what steps would you take to make Athens appealing to out-of-state industries and retail developers? Please be specific.
The development that Athens has experienced has been tremendous. The people who work every day on securing industry and retail development, like Bill Ming, Tom Hill and others, know what is important to prospects and what the city can do to expedite development. The city of Athens should consult often with developers and the Chamber of Commerce to provide whatever is needed that will help in that cause.
As an individual councilperson, I would be an ambassador for the city and would make myself available in any capacity that is needed. The total council and mayor should review regulations and ordinances that may hinder developers and revise these issues, as long as the interests for the city of Athens are protected.