Kingston mayoral candidates prepare for November
by Matt Shinall
Oct 26, 2011 | 2089 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kingston city residents will go to the polls in November to cast their vote in the election of the city's next mayor.

Three mayoral candidates will grace the ballot next month along with candidates for two city council posts. The Daily Tribune News spoke with candidates running for mayor asking identical questions discussing platforms and issues facing the city.

Sitting Mayor Dexter Jones is running for re-election with a focus on finishing projects begun during his first term. Infrastructure improvement, grant money and tourism development were at the top of his list.

Former Mayor Ronald Casey also is throwing his hat in the ring. After serving one two-year term, Casey did not run last election cycle but felt the need to run again for another chance to improve the city through infrastructure and quality of life improvements.

Mack Sanders will make his political debut in Kingston's upcoming mayoral race, running on a platform to develop recreational opportunities for local children as well as interests in improving the city's infrastructure.

Ronald Casey

Occupation: Retired school teacher and coach

Education: Gordon Military College, Shorter College, West Georgia College

Family: Married for 43 years with two daughters and three grandchildren

Why are you running?

A. I want to try to improve the standing of my town, make it a better place for people to live.

What makes you the best candidate?

A. I believe my educational experiences, my business experiences -- I own a little business here in town. I'm familiar with the town and the people, having lived here all my life.

What would you like to accomplish if elected?

A. I would like to get the sewage system in place, the downtown area developed better than what it is and generally improve the lives of our citizens. I would like to get a sidewalk on [Highway] 293 and lower the water rates.

Name: Dexter Jones

Occupation: Unemployed mortgage banker

Education: Some college: Southern Illinois University, Shorter University

Family: Married 13 years with two sons

Why are you running?

A. I feel like I am uniquely qualified to help Kingston move along. Since I've been here two years, I have drastically changed what is happening out here in Kingston. We're finally starting to get in the grant monies that it will take to move Kingston forward and I just want to finish what I started. I've got Kingston going in the right direction. I'm very proud of what I've done out here, and I just want to see it keep going.

What makes you the best candidate?

A. My experience. The two short years I've been in office, I've had more accomplishments than all the mayors of the last 10 years combined, just in the amount of money I've been able to bring to the table and the amount of things I've been able to get done. It was a quick two years but that experience counts, and the connections I've been able to make inside the various government agencies can direct money toward Kingston and keep us going in the right direction.

What would you like to accomplish if elected?

A. I've got a commitment from the USDA on the overhaul of the water system. That's huge, that's huge. Our next step will be to bring sewer to the city of Kingston and economic development in general, but we can't really have the economic development until we have the sewer in place. It takes time and it takes meeting a lot of people, convincing a lot of people -- I hope to do that.

Also, the history of Kingston has been neglected for years and years. We've got the 150th anniversary of the Civil War coming up in 2014, and I want to see Kingston play a pivotal role in the recognition of the Civil War, not only in Kingston but throughout Bartow County and northwest Georgia. I want to be able to see that through.

I'm contacted all the time about people and businesses wanting to come here to Kingston, but until we can get the infrastructure in place, they're not going to come. ... I just want to keep going in that vein, there's a lot of things I've been able to accomplish in two years, and there's a lot of things I want to see accomplished over the next two years.

Name: Mack Sanders

Occupation: Retired from Goodyear of Cartersville

Education: Some high school

Family: Five kids and 26 grandchildren

Why are you running?

A. I want to do something better for the city of Kingston.

Like I want to put a water system like you see in Atlanta, that goes up and kids run up under it -- a fountain. It just goes up and comes down and recycles itself. I want that for the kids because our kids don't have anything to do during the summer. Every time I talk to someone, they say they can't do it or won't do it. So, I said "I'll run myself; it'll give me something to run for."

What makes you the best candidate?

A. Because I'll get it done. It's something that needs to be done. Our kids need something to do, they've got two or three swings down at the city but that's it. They need something else where the parents can get involved with them.

What would you like to accomplish if elected?

A. There's a bunch that I want to do, including getting sewage here but that comes later. There's other things I need to do before I get to sewage. There's plenty to do but it's going to take time and I'm hoping I can get it done anyway. I'm not going to make any promises, but that's my goal, is to get it done. And to get some revenue in this town where you can get something done.