Etowah Co. Commission District 5 Q&A: Jeffrey Washington, Carolyn Parker

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Incumbent Jeffery Washington is challenged by former commissioner Carolyn Parker in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the Etowah County Commission’s District 5 seat. The winner will face no Republican opposition in the November general election.

Each candidate had to answer the same five questions. Here are Parker’s answers; Washington did not respond to the questionnaire (responses may have been slightly edited):

Commissioner Carolyn Parker and Jeffery Washington.  Parker is challenging incumbent President Washington in Tuesday's Democratic primary for the Etowah County Commission's District 5 seat.

What will it take to recruit industry/industries to the Little Canoe Creek megasite?

PARKER: I think it will take a combination of things: an experienced and competent Departmental Commission and an openness to public-private partnerships. In addition, to have all local and regional municipalities work together to recruit something important and sustainable for the mega-site.

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What kind of industry do you think the county should try to recruit there, one big employer or several smaller ones?

PARKER: I’m open to either one. Certainly a large industry with jobs paying at least $20 an hour would have the greatest impact in the least amount of time. We wouldn’t see the impact of several smaller ones until the site is at full capacity, which could take several years.

How should the county commission respond to ICE’s decision to remove immigration detainees from the county detention center?

PARKER: From what I understand, the program had been losing money over the past few years. I think the commission should sit down with the sheriff and look at other opportunities for space that would be profitable.

What is the biggest challenge the county will face in the coming years?

PARKER: The most important in my opinion is the maintenance of the population. Without people, taxpayers, you cannot survive.

Why are you the best candidate for the job you are looking for?

PARKER: I am the most experienced candidate. I bring knowledge to the table, as well as working relationships to get things done. I will work hard for all the people of Attalla and Gadsden. I will be visible, fair and accessible. I’ll be at work from day one.

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