Q&A with Dwight Tankersley, Hartselle's new mayor
New mayor takes office Oct. 4
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
When Dwight Tankersley is sworn in as Hartselle's new mayor Oct. 4, he will face a challenge no other city leader has faced before. Tankersley will not be a part of the council and won't vote on routine matters. He will, however, be able to veto a resolution approved by the council, but that can be overridden with a two-thirds majority vote of the council.
Much of what Tankersley will do – any changes he hopes to make – will depend heavily on his ability to work with the council. And Tankersley has a lot of plans.
To learn more about those plans, the Enquirer posed a series of questions to Tankersley. The questions and answers are included below:
Question – Because of the change in Hartselle's population, Hartselle's next mayor will not serve on the city council. How will you deal with this change and how do you see it changing the role of mayor?
Answer – I see the next mayor serving the citizens of Hartselle in more of an administrative role.
Question – Hartselle's park and recreation needs are growing. What do you see as the greatest need in this area? Would you increase or decrease any of our current offerings?
Answer – I believe our greatest need in park and recreation is more soccer fields.
Question – Hartselle's airport has seen many changes in recent years. Do you feel the airport needs to be expanded? What do you see as the long-term plan for the airport?
Answer – Long range, I see our airport continuing to be an asset to our citizens and industry.
Answer – One of the more controversial issues in the last several years has been Hartselle's landfill. What do you see as the purpose of the landfill and would you change any of its current operations? How do you feel about the proposal to expand the landfill?
Answer – I see our landfill as a place to recycle our yard waste, and also serving as a place for our citizens to dispose of their junk.
Answer – Do you support a 1-cent sales tax increase for Hartselle? Why or why not?
Answer – I do not support a sales tax increase.
Question – Hartselle's council appoints members of the Hartselle School Board. What do you see as the interaction between the school board and the city? Do you support giving the school system more money?
Answer – I see the city as appointing school board members and allowing them to do their job.
Question – There has been talk about moving Hartselle Utilities back under the city's umbrella. Would you support this change? What do you feel is the city's role in dealing with the utility board?
Answer – I feel the same about the utility board that I do about the school board.
Question – Hartselle has been unable to complete many of the items on its capital improvement plan because of lack of resources. What areas of this plan do you feel should be a top priority for the new mayor and council?
Answer- I see the top capital improvement project as the Hammitt Street Bridge project all phases, downtown improvements and warning sirens.
Question – Hartselle has been working to attract new businesses to the city. What would you do to increase economic growth to the area?
Answer- I plan to work hard promoting Hartselle for economic growth. Working with the Hartselle Development Board doing whatever it takes to get developers to believe Hartselle is where they need to be.
Question – What are ways Hartselle and county officials could work together to benefit the city?
Answer – The city can continue to partner with the county for garbage pickup. We also need to continue to work with the county on industrial development.