There’s one more race to go before we know the lineup of our future county commission. Districts 3 and 5, Bill Imfeld and Cindy Meadows, were voted in Aug. 14 in the primary election. During that election, Bill Chapman was victorious over other Republicans and came up against Democratic candidate Frank Day for the District 1 position, formerly held by Scott Brannon.
Before the Nov. 6 election, The Sun posed a handful of questions to the candidates, and below are their responses.
For Q & A with Walton County Superintendent hopefuls, CLICK HERE.
For more information about the Mosquito Control Board race, CLICK HERE.
Some have been edited for space.
When did you feel the push to run for this position? And what motivated it?
Bill Chapman: The first of 2012, knowing I was retiring from the sheriff’s office, I felt I could continue to serve. The BCC, I felt, needed someone with strong leadership skills, who was a fiscal conservative and someone who would fight for honest government. I believe I am that person.
Frank Day:As a board member of the Walton County Taxpayers Association, I have been part of the team investigating and uncovering the dishonest and unlawful actions of Walton County government leaders.My motivation to run for office came as the bridge referendum was made public Dec. 15, 2011. This project was years in the making and was presented to the public at the 11th hour with a urgent need for citizens of Walton County to make an immediate decision on passing an additional sales tax or else FDOT funds would be reallocated to another part of the state. The citizens of Walton County deserve better. I want to end backroom deals.
How does your political affiliation set you apart from your opponent? In what other ways are you the better choice?
Chapman:I am a strong fiscal conservative. Monies are tight and I want to make sure that what funds are available are spent wisely and will have a benefit to all of Walton County.
Day:This race isn't about party affiliation. This race is about choosing the best candidate to represent the citizens of Walton County. There are a lot of things that the voters of Walton County, regardless of party, share in common. We need to focus on those issues rather than divisiveness.I represent all parties and all interests. I am a local business owner and not a political insider or connected to special interest groups.
What is one way you could better serve the county’s constituents?
Chapman:I will push for a comprehensive review of all county ordinances that have placed an undue burden on business. There are confusing and duplicated requirements in the land code and comprehensive plan that is cumbersome and detrimental to those that want to start or expand a business. I want to streamline this process to make this county more business friendly.
Day:I believe we need more channels for collaborating with the citizens of Walton County. I would envision holding town hall meetings around the district to gain valuable insight on citizen’s desires, and the community's ideas. I believe we should embark on a visioning process with the public and let the public decide Walton County's priorities for the future.
If you were gifted $100 million dollars, how would you spend it to make the county better?
Chapman:I would work with citizen and government committees to identify needs within the entire county that would expand our economic growth, i.e. occupational/technical training, water and sewer expansion and incentives to attract new business. I would also find and support programs that would benefit our growing population of senior citizens. These needs would be prioritized to get the most from every dollar.
Day:I would pay off the county debt, including debt to widen the 331 bridge, which would in turn allow us to end the additional sales tax and allow Walton County to compete with our neighbors to the east and west. We need to pay off this debt so our children won't have to pay it. These are my ideas: Ultimately the citizens of Walton County would decide. I would seek public input and listen to what the citizens think is best use of these dollars.
What else would you like voters to know?
Chapman:I will provide leadership to the board. I am a fiscal conservative. It is the people’s money; the people have a right to know how, when, where and why it is being spent. I believe in open government and the rights of the people to know what is going on within their government.
Day:I want voters to know they can count on me to listen and to represent them honestly and fairly. I will return their phone calls. I will provide the Walton County citizens the representation that they deserve and in an honest and open format. I believe we can have honest government, and I can assure you if you elect Frank Day, there will be no apology email for violating the rules or your trust. It just won’t happen on my watch.