NOLANVILLE — Improving the city’s image and developing better lines of communication between the government and the community were the main talking points at a candidate forum attended by just one citizen Thursday night at J.W. Sims Community Center.
Five of the seven candidates running for spots on the council participated in the forum, including mayor contenders Denise Hungerford and Christina Rosenthal.
Dennis Biggs, Place 1 candidate, and Sherese Karlsson, Place 3 candidate, who are running unopposed, also were in attendance along with Duane Hampton, Place 4 candidate. Hampton’s opponents, Robert Meeks and Randy Samsons, were absent.
The candidates struck similar chords when answering questions about the future of Nolanville and the main issues facing the city, alluding to but not specifically naming the problems the City Council faced in the past year with the arrests of the mayor and a council member on unrelated sexual assault charges.
“I’d like a better relationship between the people and the government down at city hall, more of a trust,” Hungerford said. “I don’t want people to be embarrassed about living in Nolanville.”
Rosenthall agreed with Hungerford, saying she wants to give a “good face” to the community.
“To me, that’s what being mayor is all about, representing a good town, and we have a fantastic town.”
Hampton, who was appointed to Place 4 last November, said the people of Nolanville need to put the bad things of the past behind them and move forward. He wants the city to implement a long-term plan for growth and development.
“Without a strategic plan, the city is just wandering aimlessly,” he said.