Mayoral candidates talk city website

Published 12:15 pm Friday, May 11, 2018

The Bell County League of Women Voters hosted a forum with the 2018 Middlesboro mayoral candidates at the Middlesboro Public Library on the evening of May 10.

The four candidates, incumbent William “Bill” Kelley, Rick Nelson, Clarence “Bo” Green and Lucas Carter were all in attendance.

Just as with any official debate or forum, the candidates had a set time frame to speak before the next candidate was given an opportunity to speak. There was a two-minute time limit and the order of who spoke first was chosen at random.

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The candidates all took their first session to introduce themselves and provide their reasoning for running for office. Then, the questions were fielded to the candidates who answered one after the other.

A couple of topics were economic growth and a functional city website.

Kelley stated there have been various issues with the website that have been a struggle to resolve.

“If I’m here, that is one of the things that needs to be brought up…as we move forward that is one thing I will make sure is taken care of,” he stated.

Nelson stated a website is “critical” to any city. He went on to state that he would like council meeting minutes from official meetings and agendas available on the website as well as city job openings.

“I will guarantee every Middlesboro city job will be posted and if you qualify for that job you will get an interview for that job,” he said.

Carter agreed that he would post minutes on the website and he would also post permits online as well, in order to expedite the process that comes along with securing permits. Carter stated he would have ordinances as well as city department heads posted for public knowledge and access. He also stated an anonymous tip line would be on the website for citizens to call if they have any concerns about suspicious or illicit activity they feel needs to be investigated.

Green stated, “I know from experience that the only way to get a website working is to dedicate a city employee to actually maintain it and help design it.”

Green also stated he would have links to the tourism website, the Chamber of Commerce, and links to tax information and a government tab, among other features such as the city budget and online tax payment.