After a year of delays caused by late census data, Hickory residents will now have the opportunity to vote in municipal elections.
The only Hickory primary on the ballot this year is for mayor. Mayor Hank Guess is seeking a second term as mayor in the race which also includes challengers Quentae Hill and Al Hoover. It is a non-partisan race.
Guess and Hill responded to questionnaires asking for their qualifications and views on affordable housing and transparency following the City Walk arch collapse. Hoover did not respond to the questionnaire, saying he does not use email.
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Quentae HillWhat makes you the best person in this race to represent Hickory as mayor? : I’m best suited for the job because I’m actually here for the community with no secrets or ulterior motives.
It was me supporting our local businesses during the pandemic, making sure they had what they needed to stay in business. I’m the best listener and prefer solutions to excuses any day of the week.
What policies would you support to ensure housing is affordable for city workers? : I love Hickory’s affordable housing initiative and think we could build on that a bit more and plan and implement an initiative for workers who may not be eligible for this particular one . I believe this is a great project on which we can build.
What would you do to ensure that Hickory residents receive a full account of why the Hickory City Walk arches fell? : First, there will be no politics behind the scenes.
My office will be open and transparent about everything that happens in the town of Hickory.
I think that’s where we went wrong in the first place, nobody knows anything about the decisions made here. For now, no one has a voice. That changes when I become mayor.
Hank guessWhat makes you the best person in this race to represent Hickory as mayor? : I’ve lived in the town of Hickory all of my adult life and most of my childhood.
My family moved back to Hickory when I was 12 after my father retired from military service. I went to school in Hickory, met my wife in Hickory, and we raised a family in Hickory.
I worked for 30 years in the city of Hickory as a police officer, which helped me deepen my knowledge and understanding of the community and its needs. During this time, I have had many opportunities to make friends and develop relationships with residents, businesses and visitors to our community.
I love this city and feel lucky to have lived here and served this community as a police officer and elected official.
Being mayor for the past four years has given me a wealth of knowledge and experience that only comes from actually doing the job.
Over the past four years, the city of Hickory’s economy has grown significantly, and people are moving to Hickory for jobs and quality of life. We currently have over $90 million in municipal projects, over 1,000 new jobs available, over $500 million in private investment and over 950 homes under construction.
On paper, being mayor of Hickory is considered a “part-time job”, but I can tell you that for me, being mayor of the town of Hickory is a serious responsibility and a full-time commitment that I am ready for. to contiue .
What policies would you support to ensure housing is affordable for city workers? : Ensuring housing is affordable and available to everyone in the City of Hickory is an important part of our commitment to growing our economy and our population.
Many initiatives and partnerships have already been established to ensure that current housing needs are assessed and future needs are met.
Our housing goal is to have a housing stock that is diverse, inclusive and meets the needs of our growing population.
Current policies include the Community Development Program, the Housing Rehabilitation Program and the Urgent Repair Program. These programs provide deferred repayable loans that improve the quality of the local housing stock and make improvements that prevent the displacement of low-to-moderate income homeowners within the city limits.
Recognizing the need for affordable housing, the City of Hickory launched the Affordable Housing Initiative in 2020. As a result of this initiative, vacant city-owned land was developed and two homes were created, with six more being built. planned for the near future.
In February of this year, Center Crossing Apartments opened 50 new affordable apartments for seniors in downtown Hickory.
Partnering with private developers and non-profit organizations to build affordable housing and working with government agencies to provide affordable housing funding revenue will continue to gain my support and help me determine future affordable housing policies in the City of Hickory.
What would you do to ensure that Hickory residents receive a full account of why the Hickory City Walk arches fell? : The collapse of the decorative arches over the Main Avenue City Walk Bridge was an unexpected catastrophic event.
Almost immediately, people started posting photos, commenting, offering opinions and asking questions about the collapse.
Our leadership team and your elected representatives moved quickly to gather and prepare factual information for public release related to the incident.
We have shared and will continue to share information as new information becomes available. Our focus right now is to move forward with the remaining bond projects, continue to focus on private/public partnerships, grow our economy and population, and improve the quality of life. of all our residents and visitors.