The three candidates hoping to lead Georgetown are current Mayor Karen Tingle-Sames, former Mayor Everette Varney and newcomer Al Catron. They tackled a number of subjects Tuesday night -- including the budget problems of one of the fastest growing cities in the Bluegrass.
Across Georgetown, it's hard to find a stretch of grass that hasn't been converted into ad space for political candidates. For many voters, the city's financial health is the key issue in the mayor's race. The importance of fiscal issues is one of the few areas where all three candidates for mayor agree. Incumbant Mayor Karen Tingle-Sames admits times are tough, but she says she inherited many of the problems from former mayor Everette Varney's administration. "If we hadn't had the past of going over, spending on computers, whether we acknowledge how much we would overspend or not, or buying property that the city had no plans on how to deal with, or buying property for pools and moving them around, you know what? We might have had a little bit more money left, so that our morale for our employees wouldn't be so low," Tingle-Sames said.
Varney defended his record, saying, "The mayor herself was six years part of that term. To point her finger and say that it was the previous administration's fault is pointing the finger at herself."
Al Catron seemed to welcome his opponents finger-pointing at each other as he spoke of the feedback he's received from voters. He said while he was out campaigning, a man had only one question for him, "I said, what's that? He said, you ever been mayor of Georgetown before, and I said, no I haven't. He said, you've got my vote."
The debate sponsored by the Georgetown News-Graphic is the first of several political forums. The newspaper will sponsor a meet and greet for candidates for other city offices next Tuesday. A meet and greet for county candidates will be May 6.