Election Guide: LaGrange Council 1C Race

Published 9:05 am Saturday, November 4, 2023

With Election Day coming up in just a few days on Tuesday, the LaGrange Daily News spoke with each of LaGrange City Council candidates for their final message to voters.

For the District 1C race in LaGrange, incumbent councilman Mark Mitchell is being challenged for a second time by Curtis Brown. Mitchell has held the seat for two terms.

MARK MITCHELL

1. Give your last-second pitch on why someone should vote for you.

“Experience. I believe that I’ve demonstrated experience in good leadership while acting as the Mayor Pro Tem during the last mayoral election when we didn’t have a mayor. We had internal issues at the police department and tornadoes that came through, and I felt I represented our public’s best interest during those two major issues.”

2. List your top three priorities.

Public safety, road systems, stay within budgeted spending limits

3. Of those three, which one can you immediately make a difference in? How and why?

“The most immediate thing that we’ve got to address is public safety. The police department answered 44,000-plus calls this year already and the fire department’s answered over 4,000 calls.  … That is our most immediate need, in my opinion, is making sure that we are fully functional and fully staffed so that we’re providing the best response times in an emergency.”

4. How would you handle a situation where the majority of the council felt differently than you, and you needed to sway their opinion?

“I would handle it the same way I have in the past when they don’t agree with me. I’ve tried to explain my viewpoints, I listen to their responses, and I’ve tried to work with them one-on-one. Working on the council, there are six of us, plus the mayor is seven. Everybody has different life experiences and different opinions, but ultimately we do a pretty good job of working together to hear each other out and to make decisions that we feel is best for the city.”

5. What’s an interesting fact about you that voters may not know?

“I help my son raise cows, and I help my son raise farm-raised chickens. A lot of people don’t know that.”

CURTIS BROWN

1. Give your last-second pitch on why someone should vote for you.

“LaGrange is navigating a new era of growth and we’re faced with a set of complex issues and to solve those issues it requires fresh ideas, the ability and the talent to bring us to a new day. We can’t afford to go back to some of the old playbook that has as that has gotten us away from being a great place … I’m the new way that can lead us into the future that the LaGrange deserves.”

2. List your top three priorities.

Safe neighborhoods, smart growth, infrastructure

3. Of those three, which one can you immediately make a difference in? How and why?

“Of those three, I would go with smart growth. I think the immediate way to impact that is to form a citizen’s task force to help the council identify what the citizens believe are priorities for growth, what they believe are their issues in terms of zoning and how these new projects are impacting the lives of the citizens that we have here.” 4. How would you handle a situation where the majority of the council felt differently than you, and you needed to sway their opinion?

“The good news is that I work well [with others]. I have a working relationship with every councilman so far, even Councilman Mitchell.  I would leverage our working relationship I have with everyone on the council. I would also make sure that my points are listened to.”

5. What’s an interesting fact about you that voters may not know?

“I can sleep with one eye open. That’s a skill I developed growing up doing public transportation in the New York/New Jersey area. I get to a very deep relaxation.”