Foulk, Thayer contend for mayor of Euharlee
by Jason Lowrey
Oct 27, 2013 | 2024 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This year two candidates are in the running to be mayor of Euharlee. Incumbent Kathy Foulk is facing challenger Dennis Thayer in the race to lead the city. Euharlee voters will make their decision Nov. 5.

Name: Kathy S. Foulk

Occupation: Mayor, city of Euharlee

Family: I have been married to my husband, Chris for 24 years. We have two daughters married daughters, Sharon Vidrine, who resides in Ville Platte, La., and Brandy Headrick, who lives in Euharlee. We have five grandchildren, Tristan and Kennedy Vidrine, and Colby, Brady and Lakelynn Henson.

Education: I am a graduate of Lebanon High School, Lebanon, Ohio.

Age: 63

Email: ksf313@att.net

Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: I have a passion for our small town, the people here, and the history. I want to ensure that we don’t have to increase taxes on our residents. Every year we have the opportunity to roll back 5 mil in taxes to keep our city tax base zero, as we did again last month. We are on the right path at the present time, and have made major strides over the past several years to set a great foundation for the future.

If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: I would like to continue looking for ways to initiate smart, managed growth and encourage local and regional tourism as a tool for economic development. This helps to fund city programs and keep taxes down.

What is the most pressing issue facing Euharlee?

A: Maintaining that small town atmosphere while providing avenues for walkability, connectivity, economic development and tourism for the downtown area. We developed a 20 year Community Master Plan to ensure that we did not veer from the traditional vision of our founding fathers.

Once in office, what will be your top priority?

A: To continue to develop the downtown area. We are bringing sewer to the schools and downtown, rebuilding the Lowery Gristmill with an amphitheater, developing the area on the other side of the Covered Bridge with parking and restrooms, adding more walking trails along Euharlee Creek and downtown and improving the intersection at Euharlee Five Forks Road.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: I have four different perspectives of Euharlee, one as a 17 year resident. Second as city clerk and clerk of court for two plus years in Euharlee, third as a business owner for six years in Euharlee at The Roundhouse Restaurant, and fourth as mayor of Euharlee for the past eight years. Add that to 30 plus years of leadership and management experience which allows me a better insight on the position.

Name: Dennis J. Thayer

Occupation: Fire lieutenant-paramedic (30 years in fire service); consultant

Family: Wife, Karen, married 13 years; daughters, Alyssa, 11, Danielle, 9, Katelyn, 5; son, Drew, 9

Education: Patrick Henry High School (1982); diploma in Fire Sciences from West Georgia Technical College; graduating spring 2014 Associates in Fire Science, West Georgia Technical College.

Age: 49

Email: Dennis@Thayerformayor.com

Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: Short answer because I know I can do a better job than our current mayor. We are facing many important issues over the next few years which will no doubt change the way we look and live. If not managed carefully with foresight and a clear vision for the future, our city will become another overcrowded bedroom community, in fact more than likely just like the place we all moved here to escape. I have attempted several times to work with our current administration to try to get some action on working towards our future, but there always is an unwillingness to be proactive. There [is] time for someone new to lead our city, someone with vision and a desire to actively work to make it a better place to live.

If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: I want to accomplish a great deal, however I will not be able to accomplish anything without teamwork and cooperation from the city council as well as the employees and citizens. With an effective team working towards common objects and goals we can accomplish many things. First, redefine the city’s identity. We have lost it! Secondly, evaluate and ensure all aspects of city government are operating as effectively and efficiently as possible with emphasis and priority given to public safety — this includes ensuring that city employees are being fairly paid based upon their job description compared to that of equally sized cities. We need to assure we are providing a fair and equitable benefit package. Turnover is expensive and we should strive to hire and retain the right employees doing the right jobs, and for the long term, as our primary objective. Then we can start on the big stuff, better and safer amenities and better functioning areas, such as sidewalks and street lamps. In addition to these things we need to develop a good, working comprehensive plan that will appropriately address, manage and guide growth for years to come.

What is the most pressing issue facing Euharlee?

A: Two things: first the lack of confidence in our government by residents. We need to bring back some confidence in our city government. We need to be transparent and operate in a manner in which the citizens are confident we are working in their best interest. Secondly our brand is broken. We need to redefine our brand and bring the city’s assets back to a respectable status, and we can and should be better [than] what the city is today!

Once in office, what will be your top priority?

A: Using the teamwork approach to develop three strategic plans: Immediate (90 days or less), Short-Term (one year) [and] Long-Term (five years) to address the issues facing the city today and tomorrow. While these plans will no doubt be dynamic and fluid, it will give us a road map and objectives and goals to work towards instead of aimlessly treading along doing nothing unless forced to.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: I believe I have the background, the experience and, more importantly, the track record for accomplishing things. I have the drive and a clear vision of what I believe the majority [of] our residents want to see here. For most part these are the things that brought most of us here in the first place. While there may be a better candidate out there, they didn’t step up to the plate!

The current mayor has had eight years to lead and demonstrate what she can accomplish, and look at the shape it is in today. I believe, if given the chance, I can bring confidence back to our city’s elected officials and build a team that will embrace and utilize all those who want to be a part of something good. I believe given the opportunity in four years not only will our city be well on its way to being a better place to live, it will be a better place to live!