Mike Hammonds

Political party: 
Question 1: 

What are the major issues facing the City of Berea?

the number one issue right now is probably the electric issue (switching from KU),drugs,  something for the youth (youth center, indoor pool, indoor soccer facility, etc.), something besides art to bring tourists to this town, Duerson Stadium, buying land they don't need, pay for police & fire, soft crime, economic growth, need more businesses

Question 2: 

What is your position on future growth and development issues as they affect Berea; including further development of historical districts, tourism, and sustainable “buy local” initiatives?

I have no problem with developing/restoring historical buildings & districts. I think that is the lifeblood of the long time citizens. I think the tourism aspect of this city needs to be expanded (not just arts & crafts).  Every city has that now! We need events, concerts, ball tournaments, etc.  I have no problem with Kentucky Proud, 'buy local', 'farm to table'.  I think since tobacco is amost gone it gives people some badly needed income & it supports the local economy.  Plus we know the stuff is local & grown right & not from Mexico or California.

Question 3: 

Are you in favor of the development of pedestrian and bicycle pathways as safe and practical options to motorized transportation in Berea? If so, what projects of this kind would be your priority?

I think they are neat, but let's get our priorities straight. There are other things needed more. Plus let's get the current ones upgraded.  For instance, they have benches & waste receptacles but maybe water & maybe portable bath rooms could be added.

Question 4: 

State and federal laws do not exist that ban discrimination against people in areas of housing, employment and public accommodation based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Knowing that, would you be in favor of passing a fairness ordinance in Berea that would address this type of discrimination? Please explain.

I did not support the last fairness ordinance. I do not think we need separate laws for every single group of people in the United States. These discriminations will never cease.  There will always be a racist or bigot somewhere.  The laws on the books now were intended for all citizens.  Just enforce them.

Question 5: 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the years of 2010-2014, 19.7% of the residents of Madison County lived below the poverty line. What policies will you support to improve the availability of safe affordable housing and increased economic opportunities for all citizens?

I do not believe in entitlements to those who do not deserve them.  If you are disabled or incapacitated they are fine.  But for those lazy people sitting around depending on the government to take care of them,  GET A JOB!  There are more of the latter than the former.

Question 6: 

What actions or initiatives can the city take to provide help and alternatives to families and people in Berea living with addiction?

Drugs are an epidemic if not pandemic everywhere.  I think Berea needs more focus on helping these people.  First would be rehabilitation instead of incarceration when at all possible.  I know it isn't possible in every case.  The Madison County Jail is overcrowded & they let them out the morning after they are arrested.  This is not the answer! A rehabilitation facility & program would be nice. Give them a simple job, responsibility, & therefore HOPE!

Question 7: 

What measures do you support to foster good relations between law enforcement officers and our local community?

In my opinion better pay would help.  Also look at the police as your friend (& on your side) instead of the enemy (always against you).  Help them out, turn people in, don't hide them.  There are 'dirty' cops everywhere, but I would venture to say 95-98% of them are good guys & gals!  Start neighborhood associations.  They will support you.

Help them to help us cut down crime.

Question 8: 

Last year there was a great deal of controversy around the selling of confederate flag merchandise at the Spoonbread Festival, and Berea students reported being harassed on the basis of race while in town. Given that, what measures do you support to address racial harassment in Berea?

I am very, very disappointed at the cancelling of the Spoonbread Festival.  That has to be a huge loss for Berea & it's merchants.  There may not have been 60,000 here as estimated, but there were many, many thousands.  I blame the city for this loss, not the C o C.  The confederate flag is a symbol from our past history.  The Civil War DID happen much to the dismay of those who want to forget it.  What about the Revolutionary War?  Do they want to forget it also.  Then we would have to forget America, home of the free & land of the brave.  Unfortunately racism will never cease to exist.  This is not a perfect world.  Plus our president now has set race relations back 60 years.  As far as harassment that will never end either.  Even rednecks displaying the confederate flag to stir up trouble are harassed also. Even though we have the right to protest in this country, most of these protests are mean spirited & not addressed in the proper way.  Their intention is to instigate, not protest.  Enough said.

Question 9: 

Berea is in the midst of making long-term decisions about where and how it gets and manages its wholesale electric power. Beyond safety, reliability and affordability, what considerations should be made with respect to Berea's electric power choices?

Well, IF Berea is growing, they had better be very wise in this decision.  KU has supplied the electricity here for decades & decades.  Sometimes the grass IS NOT greener on the other side of the fence like it looks.  I would need to know a lot more detail on this subject.  Remember your rates will probably go up too.  Who wants higher rates on their electric, water, sewer, & taxes for that matter?