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franklin county times

Political forum lacks fireworks

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
July 30, 2003
There were no big debates. No attacks on fellow candidates.
And, in some cases, not many differences among the answers Lauderdale County supervisor candidates gave, said Dr. Kathy Baxter, a longtime political activist and chairman of a political forum held Tuesday.
The forum, sponsored by Meridian Community College and the Human Relations Commission of the Lauderdale County Council of Governments, featured candidates for supervisor in all five districts.
It was the first forum of its kind this political season.
All five Republican candidates for District 1 supervisor and the two for District 3 supervisor attended the forum where they were asked questions by a panel of local media representatives.
Because no other candidates are running, those races will be settled either in the Aug. 5 GOP primary or a possible Aug. 26 runoff.
The forum also included some candidates in the District 2, 4 and 5 supervisor races all of which will be decided in the Nov. 4 general election.
The issues
Topics ranged from drainage to taxes. One of the issues was Tuesday's announcement that Mississippi is municipal and county leaders will once again lobby the Legislature to approve a local option sales tax.
Candidates for District 1 were asked if they would support such a move which would raise the tax on items currently taxed at 7 percent, including groceries and clothing, until enough money is raised to fund a specific project.
The Legislature failed to pass the bill this year. If it passes in 2004, at least 60 percent of local residents would have to vote for the tax before it would be implemented.
District 1 candidate Bill McBride said he believes residents in Lauderdale County should have that option.
Another District 1 candidate, Eddie Harper, agreed.
Other District 1 candidates, Jerry Marlow and David Pritchett, were not convinced.
Sidney Covington said she just likes the idea of allowing the public to vote on it.

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