July 21, 2003
The Meridian Star mailed issue questionnaires the first week of June to candidates running in contested primaries on Aug. 5 for Lauderdale County supervisor.
The Star used addresses candidates supplied to the county.
Supervisor candidates were asked specific questions about high-profile issues. They had a two-week deadline to complete the
questionnaires and return them to the paper.
Here is what we asked the candidates:
LAUDERDALE COUNTY SUPERVISORS
1. I [support, oppose or am undecided about] consolidating law enforcement in Lauderdale County, Meridian and Marion.
2. I [support, oppose or am undecided about] consolidating other government
services in Lauderdale County, Meridian and Marion. If you support this, please list
specific areas of consolidation.
3. I [support, oppose or am undecided about] working with the city of Meridian to clean condemned property in the city limits.
4. I [support, oppose or am undecided about] the county contributing an extra $2 million in addition to the $3 million already pledged for the Riley Education and Performing Arts Center.
5. I [support, oppose or am undecided about] other precautions the county can do to reduce the possibility of future flash floods. If you support this, please specify what you would like the county to do.
TOP PRIORITIES: Please list your top five county priorities in order of importance, with No. 1 being the most important. Examples could include "road maintenance," "reduce property taxes," "raise property taxes" and "reduce expenses."
IN YOUR OWN WORDS: In 50 words or less, please write a brief statement outlining why you are running for office and what you hope to accomplish. This statement will run verbatim. Any response of more than 50 words will be edited.
The winner of the Republican Party primary for District 1 supervisor automatically will win the office.
Family: Husband, James E. "Jimmy" Covington; children, Ricky, Lisa C. Sessions, Carrie and Kathryn.
Religion: Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church
Education: Meridian public schools; MCC; MSU; certified in conflict resolution and mediation
Experience: Lauderdale County school counselor; MCC part-time instructor; Wesley Community Center, therapist; partner in Covington Development, retail and commercial development); local business owner; completed all MRI course requirements for real estate licensure; commissioner of Dalewood Sewer District
ON GOVERNMENT CONSOLIDATION: Undecided about consolidating law enforcement and other government services in Lauderdale County, Meridian and Marion.
ON HELPING CLEAN MERIDIAN: Undecided about working with the city of Meridian to clean condemned property in the city limits.
ON THE RILEY CENTER: Undecided about the county contributing an extra $2 million for the Riley Education and Performing Arts Center.
ON FLOOD PREVENTION: Supports other precautions to reduce the possibility of future flash floods, including exploring options of forming drainage districts where the citizens can use county, state and federal resources to mitigate future flooding problems.
TOP FIVE PRIORITIES: 1) Economic development; 2) Explore formation of drainage districts in Lauderdale County; 3) Governmental spending and accountability; 4) Safety of citizens; 5) Eliminating campaign signs.
IN MY OWN WORDS: "Because of my experiences and background in business, economic development, and in the educational arena, I bring a fresh approach to an area that is ready and in need of some considerable changes. I don't know it all, but as a woman, I'm willing to ask for directions."
Family: Wife, Donna Hathorn Harper; children, Peyton, Matthew
Religion: Northcrest Baptist Church
Education: Graduate, Lauderdale County schools, MCC; U.S. Air Force training in emergency management and human relations.
Experience: Owner, Harper Electric Co.; management in retail business.