LAFOLETTE, TN. (WLAF)-  As part of WLAF’s coverage of the city of LaFollette elections, questionnaires were mailed to the council and mayoral candidates.The questions posed to the those seeking office came from WLAF staff and reader submissions.

Questionnaires were sent to Mayor Mike Stanfield, who is running unopposed and the candidates vying for two council seats.  Those people are:  Bill Archer*, Joe Bolinger*, Keith Cordell, Mike Evans*, Phillip Farmer, Wayne Kitts*, Sonya Lee* and Lonnie “Hot Rod” Wilson*.

Archer and Wilson are the incumbents.

The candidates (above) marked with an asterisk returned their questionnaires. To read their answers, CLICK on each candidates name.

Bill Archer

Joe Bolinger

Mike Evans

Wayne Kitts

Sonya Lee

Lonnie “Hot Rod” Wilson

Lonnie “Hot Rod” Wilson‘s response is showing up in full view on some devices, and it is not showing up in full view on other devices.  WLAF apologizes for the snag.  Until the situation can, if it can, be corrected, Mr. Wilson’s full response is posted here below.

Name: Lonnie Wilson

Position you are seeking: City Councilman

Have you held elected office before? If so, what office and when? County Commission (1990-1994) and City Councilman (2016-Present Day)

1) Why are you seeking to hold office in Lafollette?

I am seeking re-election for continuation of promoting progress for our city and serve its citizens. Since having served as councilman the past 4 years, I have been instrumental and supportive in the improvement of our city streets, renovation of bridges, individual department improvements with updated equipment, along with the development of the RV park, and obtaining grants. I am a councilman that has taken pride in our city and its citizens and want to see more improvements and growth. I have always been available to serve and listen to any citizen with any issue they have concerns with and will continue to do so with dignity to the best of my ability.

2) What sets you apart from the other candidates seeking office?

First and foremost, I want to continue with an atmosphere of cooperation among all city officials to promote continuous progress for our city. My previous political and work experiences have given me the knowledge in understanding the processes involved in having good leadership skills and collaboratively working with others on many different issues. I make every effort and am persistent in resolving issues in a timely manner. I want to assure all citizens that they have an open avenue to be heard through me about any concerning issues.

3) Currently, the Lafollette City Charter allows office holders convicted of a misdemeanor crime to remain in office. Should this be changed making any criminal conviction a reason to be removed from office? Explain your answer.

Any changes that are made to the charter regarding removal from office due to any misdemeanor crime is not a decision to be made by any city. The state laws of Tennessee addressees this issue and the City of Lafollette is required by the state to follow the state laws on this issue. If any such changes are to be considered by the city, those changes must first come through the state of Tennesse legislation.

4) In recent years, the Lafollette City Council has experienced turmoil within its ranks. Why do you think this has happened and how will you behave differently if elected?

The turmoil seems to have occurred over many years of personal grievances among previous council members and administrations. I plan to humbly but boldly ask all council members to put aside any personal grievances they may have with one another. In exchange for their agreement, I will solemnly promise to do the same. If we all agree to address all issues in a professional, courteous, and adult manner then we will not have to deal with personal insults that are unnecessary and lead to non-productive arguments. Our only concerns in our meetings should be what are the city’s problems and how do we formulate a resolution for these problems. With each problem we should see how our plan will impact our citizens both short term and long term. We need to be honest, open and transparent in all decisions.

5) If you could prioritize the items at need to me addressed in Lafolette, what are the two issues you place at the top of the list and why? (This question allows for 300 word answer)

Recreation and Industry are two issues that are important to me as a councilman.

Recreation for young people, the elderly, and retirees are important for the citizens of Lafollette. The city needs a facility that offers activities for each of these age groups. Our children have no where to go for wholesome activities. Those children who do not participate in sports have no access to any social activities. The elderly and retirees need a place where they can feel safe and socially interact with those of their same age group. Offering exercise programs, educational programs, crafts, and etc. in a facility designed and managed for all age groups is needed for our city. I would like to see this issue pursued by the council and given input by the citizens.

I also believe that growth is dependent on industry and as a councilman I would like to see the issue of industrial and retail development be addressed by city officials to see growth in jobs and revenue which in turn could open more resources for the city’s growth. There are several unoccupied buildings that could be used for retail shopping and acreage for small manufacturing companies. To achieve this growth, I believe recruitment is critically important and should take a more aggressive approach. The city could provide incentives and support for all businesses and our sound educational system, develop a more attractive downtown area with support from the merchants and building owners, clean up properties and buildings from city limit to city limit to make the city more eye-appealing, and provide the community with events and incentives to shop local. I believe the pursuit of these developments for industrial growth and retail shopping would attract smaller manufacturing companies and retail shopping for our citizens.