District 3 Supervisor Candidate Questionnaire
UPDATE: A previous version of this story did not include responses from Independent candidate LaKeisha Borum. Borum’s responses are now listed below.
The general election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5. In preparation for the election, the EAGLE reached out to all candidates for Lafayette County Supervisor positions, as well as the two candidates for Sheriff of Lafayette County. Supervisor candidates were asked to answer five questions.
Below is the response from District 3 Supervisor candidate Dale Timothy Gordon (D). District 3 Supervisor incumbent David Rikard (R) did not respond to requests for comment.
1. What difference do you want to make in the lives of Lafayette County residents, if elected?
Gordon: I’m a resident of Lafayette County, and have been my whole life. When I talk about making a difference in the lives of residents, it’s because I was raised here, and I watched my kids grow up and move on because of the lack of opportunities available here. We used to have parks that were maintained. Our County is supposed to be flourishing, yet we still lack basic necessities like parks and recreation and proper transportation. If elected, I will make it my priority to find funding to properly build up our parks system.
Borum: This county is one of the fastest growing counties within the state. I want to ensure that all residents of Lafayette County, no matter the socio-economic background, feel included within this growth. Our community is so diverse and it’s time that our board reflects that, so that we can ensure that all lives within this beautiful place we call home can be well-represented and spoken for when it comes to protecting and serving the needs of Lafayette County residents.
2. In Lafayette County, there is a strong need for infrastructure improvements. How do you plan to see those needs met?
Gordon: As part of the County Supervisor’s duties, our job is to maintain road infrastructure. I’m aware that many roads have been updated or were part of a plan to be updated. I will continue to travel throughout my district and take note of what’s working and what’s not working so that we can address these issues. The larger part of our infrastructure is Highway 7, which needs state and federal funds to maintain and update. Our local roads will continue to be improved upon.
Borum: To improve the infrastructure of our community, the elected members of the Board of Supervisors would have to work together to ensure that the comprehensive plan that has been developed continues to be implemented and improved upon. The LOU Transportation Plan is also something that will steer us in the right direction with improving the county and city’s roadways – A plan that Lafayette County, Oxford, and the University are all in agreement on. I look forward to working hard to ensure that these plans are met.
3. Lafayette County has a large number of people who earn minimum wage, or struggle to make ends meet. What are your plans to serve this population?
Gordon: Question 3 and question 4 go hand in hand to me. I would like to establish a trade school for young adults, or older adults if it’s their desire, to learn trades. We know not everyone wants to or will go to college. It’s ok. I would like to give them the opportunity to become an entrepreneur by becoming a licensed plumber or electrician, or going to work in the construction industry as a laborer or machine operator. People keep leaving to find work or they have to drive outside of the county to get to work. I don’t think anyone should have to do that in Lafayette County. We are the home of Ole Miss, Baptist Memorial… Why should anyone need to leave?
Borum: It’s time to be honest about how expensive it is to live here. People want to work and provide for themselves, but if that person is only earning minimum wage, it is truly a struggle to live here. Making sure we can provide homes that are affordable for all who struggle to make it month to month would help tremendously. Lafayette County has repeatedly catered to students and student housing and it’s time to be inclusive to citizens who work hard and still struggle to make ends meet.
4. When it comes to education, what are your goals for the LOU Community’s youngest residents?
Gordon: For high schoolers, I would like for them to have more practical experience like maybe shadowing County Supervisors around to make them engaged on a civic level. Have them sit in on board meetings and hear their fresh ideas! All-in-all, with an updated parks system, we would like everyone to be able to enjoy their neighborhoods and have an active, outdoor lifestyle as well… when the heat is not an issue.
Borum: Early learning is very important to social development and can affect later learning in school and life. I believe that creating a supportive learning environment is essential to our youngest residents. My goal would be to ensure that the parents of all districts are aware of any educational activities within the community, encouraging them to be heavily involved in the education of their children. I look forward to investing in quality early childhood programs that are already well established within our community.
5. What is one fact about yourself that you’d like to share with the undecided voter?
Gordon: My platform speaks for itself. Each and everything I have listed is what I stand for… I truly care about this community, and I want to see everyone thriving. I don’t want to get bogged down in political games. I am for the people who live here and work here. Vote for me if you want to see change.
Borum: I’m about helping others. Male, female, purple or blue, we all want to trust that the people that we elect are making decisions that will grow and benefit us all. I want to ensure that community is safe to live in, enjoyable, affordable, inclusive, and fair to all. I’ve grown up in this town. I love this community and it hasn’t always felt as if it loved me back, but I’m hardworking, determined and I’m fair. I listen to others and take in their opinions. District 3 citizens deserve someone who can multitask, prioritize and has the passion to help and listen to their needs. I would love to erase political lines and focus more on making an impact on uniting us as a community. This isn’t just a position, a title, or even politics to me, it’s my home.