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Mike Whatley Q&A
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Mike Whatley

Questions from the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce:

The city and county jointly fund the Office of Economic Development at the Chamber by way of a service agreement. Funds between the two total $240,000. What is your opinion about this agreement and is there anything either party can do to improve our Economic Development efforts?

A: As evidenced by recent news reports of pending economic activity and new jobs, it is obvious it was definitely a good decision to boost funding for the Chamber. I am very pleased with the agreement and the progress being made by the Chamber and will continue to be supportive.

What role do you see the Covington/Newton Chamber playing in your administration?

A: Because the city doesn't have its own economic development office, the Chamber serves that purpose. Our job on city council is to be sure the city is providing all those things that make us attractive to new investment, new jobs and new residents. That means maintaining and improving our infrastructure, keeping the downtown viable and inviting and keeping power as affordable as possible, among others.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the film and TV industry in Covington. Do you believe it is a positive or negative impact for Covington and what role do you see the City playing in it to support your decision?

A: I understand there are sometimes inconveniences due to the filming, but as a whole the film and TV industry have provided great financial impact for Covington during a very depressed economy. I am so grateful we have had the film industry and tourism to support us during this time. I think the city should continue to make this a desirable location and work with the Chamber to support their efforts in promoting Covington.

Questions from The Covington News:

What makes you qualified to essentially be a board member for an organization with 300 employees, a $120 million budget and several thousand customers?

A: My past work experience managing a large staff, developing a substantial budget and providing service to several thousand customers along with my educational background and knowledge of the city provide me with the tools to understand and deal with the current and future issues facing the city.

What steps will you take to help the council work more closely together?

A: I support working toward a common goal....what is best for the city. I would ask that each council member ask of themselves to look for ways to work together as a unit and not for ways to divide us.

If you had to choose a single thing, what is the one thing that you plan to accomplish during your four-year term?

A: I want to work closely with the Chamber to bring more retail to the Square. This seems to be the number one request from constituents. We owe it to all the merchants who have worked so hard to maintain business through this very difficult economy.

What have you done personally to make the city a better place during your term?

A: Personally, I am so proud of the July 4th Celebration on the Square. I worked with Mack McKibben and Josephine Kelly of Main Street to establish this event. It is something I hope will last for years to come because it is an important holiday to celebrate, and it is a great venue for all residents of the city and county. I have always supported all events on the Square to bring more activity to downtown.