Phillips talks platform in post 3 Hogansville forum

Published 2:13 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The forum for Hogansville City Council post three was expected to be a chance for incumbent Mandy Neese and challenger Bridget Phillips to discuss the issues and show the differences in their campaigns.

But Neese was unable to make the forum, leaving Phillips to answer the questions by herself.

The forum was organized by the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce and streamed by The LaGrange Daily News.  

Phillips was raised in Hogansville, holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and currently works as a records clerk in the office of student services for the Troup County School System.

Here are some of the highlights from Monday’s forum:

BUDGET

Phillips was asked what made her qualified to manage a budget of $15 million like Hogansville.

“Well, I can’t say I’m qualified for managing a budget of that amount because I’ve only managed my budget… ,” Phillips said. “If elected, I will sit down with the mayor, the city council and other council members to study the budget and figure out what can we do to keep the budget afloat and make it better for the city and the citizens of Hogansville.”

UTILITY RATES

Phillips was asked about utility rates in Hogansville, an ongoing discussion in the city over many years, particularly during election season. She was asked how she’d grade the performance of the city council in managing utility rates.

“I can’t say because I haven’t had the opportunity to go sit down with the council and see what are they doing to try to save the citizens on the electricity, the utilities in Hogansville,” Phillips said. “But again, if elected it is my job to work for the citizens to see how can we build a program or come up with some kind of plan that’s going to benefit the citizens and make the utilities work for everybody.”

INFRASTRUCTURE

Phillips was asked about how she’d balance infrastructure and road improvements while staying within the constraints of Hogansville’s budget.

“Well, the top priority is to work on building a well-maintained public infrastructure that meets the needs of the public,” Phillips said.

SPLOST FUNDING

Hogansville plans to use a large portion of its SPLOST VI funding for infrastructure updates, with the rest going toward parks and recreation purchases. Phillips was asked what she’d like to see the money used for.

“I would agree with using the money for the parks and other things in the city. Because if you want to be in a safe environment, you have to provide a safe environment for making Hogansville beautiful where you can go out on the evening and take the kids so that they can play and be on something nice,” she said. “I think that’s important. So putting money into that, I think that’s a great thing.”

MILLAGE RATE/WASTEFUL SPENDING

Phillips was asked about Hogansvile having the same millage rate for the last 19 years, as well as anything she’d cut as wasteful spending in the budget.

For both questions, she said she didn’t have an answer because she’d need to analyze the budget. 

The entire forum can be viewed on The LaGrange Daily News Facebook page and on www.lagrangenews.com.