On Nov. 3, voters in Walker County’s District 3 will choose between Republican candidate Brian Hart and Democrat candidate Hakie Shropshire to represent them on the new multi-person commission. District 3 encompasses LaFayette and the southeast corner of the county.

We sent the candidates a list of questions to help voters get to know them and where they stand on issues. We published their responses in September and are republishing portions of the responses below.

What are the three most important issues to you (or voters you have spoken with) and how are you going to address each one if elected?

Hart: 1) The debt; I think that Shannon has done a good job with this. I hope that the new board can continue to reduce and eliminate the debt in the next four years. 2) Infrastructure; there is a long list including roads, bridges, utility lines and buildings, that will need maintenance or replacing. Once the debt is gone, our county can start focusing on many different infrastructure issues in our county. 3) As our county digs out of debt and improves infrastructure, it is imperative the we insure that we have good, qualified, well-educated, and well-paid employees to operate our day-to-day operations. Having worked in city/county government for 30 years, I feel that a well-trained and well-paid work force is imperative to getting full benefit out of our tax payers’ dollars.

Shropshire: 1) The first issue that voters have brought to my attention is the lack of maintenance in our neighborhoods. People are wanting trees trimmed back from power lines, and streets paved correctly, mainly in the city limits of LaFayette. This I will need to bring to the city of LaFayette attention. Outside city limits I’ve already been working with GDOT getting vegetation cut and removed. 2) Small business is the second issue – we continue to take from small business owners and never give back. I want us to invest into our local business owners, if they grow we grow as a county. 3) The third issue: I want us to think more into the future. We have 700 acres of land not being used, we need to sell it or use it. We can’t pay ourselves property tax. I’m looking to create a power purchase agreement with Georgia power and TVA and use some of this land that makes no money. This will help fund our future.

What is your educational and work background?

Hart: I am a 1985 graduate of LaFayette High school and graduated Southern Tech with an associate’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology in 1988. I am also a graduate of several U.S. Army schools, the highest of them being the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy in 2008.

I served 30 years in the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Reserve. I served on three combat deployments in the Middle East and deployed several times on humanitarian aid missions in seven different countries. I retired in 2015 as the Command Sergeant Major, 1st/100 USAR Engineer School.

I also worked with the City of Dalton/Whitfield County for 30 years. I worked there as a Building Inspector, Construction Superintendent, and Operations Manager. I retired in 2018 as the Construction/Operations Manager for their Solid Waste Authority.

I currently own and operate a 200 Acre Cow/Calf Operation in Villanow on the east side of Walker County.

Shropshire: I graduated from LaFayette High in 1995, Joined the Army National Guard in 1999. I moved to Ohio and studied computer networking at Edison State in Piqua, Ohio, Graduated from ITT Tech with a degree in Computer Networking in Dayton, Ohio in 2016. Currently two years working with World Wide Tech Service as Senior Engineer. I also have eight years in the trucking industry, two years electrical engineering, three years working in auto manufacturing for Honda of America, and two years’ experience working in highway road construction.

How can voters contact you?

Hart: Phone: 706-996-5070, Email: brianhart@windstream.net

Shropshire: Phone: 423-616-3461, Email: shrophakei@gmail.com, FB: Hakie Shropshire for District 3 LaFayette

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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