Forest Park mayor cites job creation, developing Fort Gillem as big issues

From Staff Reports

Forest Park mayor cites job creation, developing Fort Gillem as big issues

Forest Park Mayor Chuck Hall is seeking another four-year term in a runoff election Dec. 6.

Hall has been mayor for the past 12 years.

This week he agreed to answer a series of questions to help the voters know about some of the issues facing the city. A similar article will appear Wednesday from his opponent in the runoff. The News Daily will also then profile the incumbent and challenger in a council runoff.

Q: What issues and goals for the city are most important to you?

HALL: Strong tax base, jobs, a clean City where people want to live and work. Decreasing our rental property and increasing home ownership

Q: Why are you more qualified than your opponent to address these issues?

Hall: Having been in office for twelve years and seeing the needs and responding to the well being of our citizens and community

Q: What is your position on the city's decision to privatize its sanitation service?

I supported the decision to privatize the Sanitation System even though a very small group wanted to keep our

sanitation system and impose the higher cost of increases on to our citizens. We were not able to foresee the increase of

fuel costs due to the Hurricanes that devastated our Country at the time the contract was given to Waste Management.

The privatizing was a big savings to all of our citizens. We also have a cleaner City as most everyone is willing to be a

part of this partnership.

Q: What would you like to see done to redevelop Army Garrison Fort Gillem?

I would like to see Fort Gillem developed in such a way to put the South Metro area into the 21st century to include high tech jobs and revenue replacement for the lost Fort.

Q: What do you think about former Clayton County Commission Chairman Crandle Bray being the head of the Fort Gillem Redevelopment Authority? He is a very powerful person known for being adamant about having his way. Will that be good for the city or are you worried he will have too much sway over the redevelopment process?

I know Crandle Bray, I know his commitment to this City and the Fort Gillem Redevelopment Authority. He is a powerful

person, well known throughout the County. If I did not feel he is the right person for this task, I would never have appointed

him to the Authority, let alone to be the Chairman.

Q: Do you think the owners of the Crazy Horse Saloon and the proposed Pink Pony II strip clubs have too much influence over the city government?

No, they do not have any influence over this government any more than the law allows. In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court

ruled that the adult clubs were covered by the 1st Amendment (Freedom of Expression) and that each community set aside an

overlay district known as the “Adult Entertainment District.” This government supports the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling as

we honor the U.S. Constitution.

Q: How important is the proposed commuter rail in bringing the Mountainview View area out of its current industrial mold? Is there some other way to change that area into commercial usage?

The commuter rail will not only aid in Mountain View Development for commercial establishments, but all communities along the

proposed line.

Q: How would you expand the city's tax base?

The greatest expansion of the tax base will be proper development of Fort Gillem as it closes and the development

impact on the City of Forest Park.

Q: What would you do to revitalize Main Street?

I think the city has started by redeveloping the right-of-way with $1.8 million for Phase 1 which is approximately 50%

completed for design of sidewalks, lighting and landscaping and the realignment of Ash St. and College St. which is out for bid now.

Q: How would you encourage community participation in the city government?

Attend Council Meetings, review the City's website and call with suggestions and recommendations. Citizen involvement starts at the neighborhood level and the City is eager to work with all community groups that take ownership of their neighborhood with neighbors helping neighbors with City Hall providing assistance to help wherever we can.