Friday, October 21, 2016

TOP STORY >> Three compete for Cabot council seat

Leader staff writer

Three candidates are seeking the seat in Ward 3, Position 1 on the Cabot City Council.

Alderman Doyle Tullos is seeking re-election for a second term. He is being challenged by Cabot Public Works office manager Norma Naquin and real estate agent Wendell Gibson. Early voting starts Monday.

Tullos, 70, is single with no children. He has lived in Cabot for 43 years and in Arkansas for 67 years. He is a retiree. Tullos has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Naquin, 61, and her husband, Jack, have been married for 42 years. They have two grown children. Naquin has worked for the city for 19 years.

The Leader reached out to Gibson, but he did not respond.

Why do you want to serve as alderman for Cabot?
Tullos: As a longtime resident of Cabot, I want to give back to the community that has given so much to me. I further want to utilize my formal education and extensive work experience in government and private industry to help make Cabot a great place to live and work.

Naquin: I love this community. I want to contribute to preserving what we love about Cabot while helping to make it an even better place to live, work and raise our families. I have a great passion for public service, working for the city of Cabot has only increased my passion. It would be a great honor and privilege to serve as alderman; one I would never take lightly.

What do you think qualifies you for this position?

Tullos: My current experience serving on the City Council, which includes serving on the following committees: Budget and Personnel, Fire and Police, Economic Development and Hazardous Structures.

Thirty-five years of management experience: 13 years in state government and 22 years in private industry.

Extensive experience working with city, county, state and federal agencies, officials, laws, rules, regulations and ordinances.

Proven leadership skills and abilities throughout high school, college and entire working career as reflected by the following: excelled in three high school sports, earning all-conference and all-state honors in football; selected to play in the Arkansas High School All-Star Football Game.

Arkansas State University Student Government Associa-tion president;

Arkansas Human Resources Association vice president and board member;

Arkansas NCO Academy graduate;

Served six years in the Arkansas Army National Guard;

Mount Carmel Baptist Church personnel committee and vice chairman, finance committee;

Mount Carmel Baptist Church adult Sunday school director and teacher;

Mount Carmel Baptist capital campaign director and church council, and

The Hamptons Property Owners Association president.

Naquin: For almost two decades, I have served as Public Works office manager, City Planning Coordinator, and City Building Official. This has given me a vast knowledge of all affairs of the city as well as a working knowledge of all departments within the city.

I hold certifications in Arkansas Governmental Management from the Univer-sity of Arkansas at Little Rock and in ICS 400 Incident Command (disaster preparedness). I have extensive training in municipal planning, storm water management, international building code, building inspection, city budget and city ordinances. I am a 2013 member of Arkansas Metroplan Transportation Committee, International Code Council member and Lonoke County Leadership training alumni.

What do you see as Cabot’s strengths and weaknesses?

Tullos: Cabot has great, well qualified, dedicated department directors, supervisors and staff employees who work diligently to improve the services offered our citizens and our community.

Great strides have been made by the Cabot Planning Commission to establish short-term and long-term plans for future development of our city. Uniform Development Codes and standards have been developed and written.

These standards will greatly affect how land is used and developed, the flow of traffic, access management and various other projects in Cabot. A great partnership exists between the Planning Commission, Metroplan, the Arkansas Highway Depart-ment and city officials.

The city is very progressive in pursuing state and federal grants and other monies to fund a wide range of projects throughout the city that greatly benefit our citizens and community.

The city needs to place more emphasis on economic growth and development with the goal of balancing commercial, industry and residential growth.

The city should also place more emphasis on stronger partnerships with vocational schools, community colleges and other higher educational institutions, as well as the Small Business Administration, which would further entice more businesses to locate here and improve the local economy.

Naquin: Cabot’s strengths are its people, family values, great schools and that “small town feel”. Cabot’s weakness can be summed up in one word, Traffic.

If elected what would be your top three priorities?

Tullos: To continue to work closely with and support the Cabot Planning Commission in its efforts to make major improvements in our infrastructure and future growth and development of our geographical resources.

To always be available to meet with my constituents to discuss any areas of concern they may have and gather and weigh all the facts before making any conclusions or decisions.

To continue to expand my knowledge of city government and my responsibilities as a council member through continuing education programs.

Naquin: Traffic is a big concern; I will work with the Arkansas State Highway Department, Metroplan and state officials to find every available means to solve our traffic problems.

Economic Development is critical for continued growth. I will work with local and state leaders to craft incentives for businesses to come to Cabot. I will also get to know all existing business owners in the city, understanding their needs and building a trust towards developing a working partnership.

Pursue the creation of a county-wide, centralized 911 system. Our city and county has grown to a point where this needs to be considered. It is my belief that this will help our city police, fire department and other emergency services. It will also decrease the response time, therefore, enhancing the safety and welfare of the citizens of Cabot.

Why should residents vote for you and not the other candidates?

Tullos: I am very well qualified due to my comprehensive work experience in state government and the private sector; budget and personnel experience; extensive knowledge of state and federal laws, rules and regulations and my formal education.

I also am currently serving as a council member and my opponents have no current experience in that capacity. I would encourage and invite all eligible voters to fully examine my credentials and compare my qualifications to those of my opponents.

I have conservative values, believe in common sense government and have excellent human relation skills. I desire to continue to represent the city of Cabot, all its citizens and this community as a whole, to the best of my ability as a continuing member of the Cabot City Council.

Naquin: I have extensive knowledge in all affairs of city government along with working knowledge of every department within the city. For 19 years, I have enforced the policies and ordinances of the city. This has given me the insight to know what works and what doesn’t work. I will put this knowledge to use along with my experience and training to bring fresh ideas and make informed and responsible decisions that will benefit the city and its residents.

I truly love our community and its people. As alderman, I will work to ensure the safety and the security of our citizens, work to find solutions to our traffic problems, promote economic development, continue the partnership with our school and exercise fiscal responsibility.

I will stand committed to you to be accessible, to have an open door policy, work hard and make responsible decisions. It would be an honor to serve as alderman and I respectfully ask for your vote.