Name: James “Jim” L. Hickman
Occupation: Retired accountant with over 40 years’ experience
Education: Degree from Draughons Business College, Paducah, Ky.; studied at Southern Illinois University and Calhoun Community College
Previous political experience: Currently serving as councilman for District 4
Community involvement: Member of First Baptist Church Athens
Personal: Wife Dana; three children, Steve, Susan and Ron; and 12 grandchildren
What is the biggest issue or issues facing District 4 and what specific plans do you have to address them?
Hickman: Our issues in District 4 include infrastructure such as paving, drainage and neglect from property owners that will not step up and maintain their properties in a responsible manner.
Some of the citizens of District 4 have expressed concerns regarding safe neighborhoods free from vandalism, drugs and other crime. Burned-out homes left unattended by the property owner invites infestation of vermin and other potential dangers.
Area developments and future developments should be held accountable regarding the ordinance on weed abatement. All these items only decrease property values for District 4 and the city of Athens.
We need to take a more in depth look at funding for paving Hine Street north of Washington, south to Browns Ferry Street and paving Washington from the new fire station west. After two years of the sewer line settling in Glenn Valley subdivision, it is past time to repave East and West Glenn Valley.
District 4 has some large drainage ditches throughout the area and we need to maintain and keep them cleaned out. Watercress subdivision should be mowed regularly without the city having to go through the lengthy legal process to have the developer maintain the unsold lots.
To correct the drainage and paving issues, we need to work with the Athens Public Works, the sewer department and the mayor’s office. In addition, we need to encourage the police enforcement officer to enforce the ordinance regarding unkempt properties and weed abatement. We need to encourage the police department to keep up the neighborhood patrols to help reduce crime.