The Union Recorder

Election 2013

October 28, 2013

District 3 Q&A: Denese Shinholster

Incumbent Denese R. Shinholster is currently one of the senior most elected officials serving in city government.

District 3 Q&A: Dense Shinholster

Incumbent Denese R. Shinholster is currently one of the senior most elected officials serving in city government. She is a graduate of Baldwin High School and Georgia College & State University as well as both finance and leadership development institutes at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA. She is currently employed by Central State Hospital in materials management. She has two daughters, Ashley and Ericka and five grandchildren.

Q: Why should citizens of your district vote for you?
A: I bring leadership, experience and stability to the table for the citizens of my district. I have completed my training classes for the Georgia Municipal Association and will receive the Certificate of Distinction. It is important for people to have someone they can count on to make informed decisions. I'm not a newcomer to the area. I've been involved with District 3 for some time. I am very familiar with the District. I'm always attentive to the needs of the district. It is important for the citizens to know that we understand their needs and are willing to help them in every way possible. They deserve someone who will be able to sit down at any table and represent all the citizens of District 3 from the least to the greatest. More importantly, someone who will know what the conversation concerning this community is all about, will be able to provide input on behalf of the district, and who will work well with the rest of the councilmembers.

Q: How would you define your job as mayor/councilman/councilwoman?
A: My job as a councilwoman is to work with the city's staff and its elected officials to establish ordinances and policies and to adopt resolutions that will continue to move this city forward in a progressive manner. I have a responsibility to the taxpayers to make sure that the city's finances are kept in good shape. The City's sound financial condition through this economic crisis should be accredited to the guidance of the current Mayor and Council as well as the hard work of the City's staff to make sure that they are not wasteful in their spending yet they provide excellent customer service to the citizens. My job involves working with citizens to make sure that their neighborhoods are safe and that their needs for the services we provide are met quickly and efficiently. At all times I have to be a positive and responsible representative of the City of Milledgeville locally, regionally and sometimes nationally.

Q: Will support allowing a unification measure to go to ballot for citizens to decide - yes or no? Please explain your answer.
A: I can't begin to say how many times I have been asked what does consolidation or unification means, how will it save money for the city and county, and what is it that needs to be changed. The citizens need and deserve to be educated on all of these issues. The elected officials need to have figures and statistics applicable to Milledgeville in order to make informed decisions on behalf of our citizens. We need a detailed account of existing conditions, some predicted conditions, and a specific set of questions to be further investigated once those accounts have been evaluated and a strategic plan is established. There should be an alignment between the vision for consolidation and the strategic goals and initiatives established to implement and finance the vision.

Q: How will you implement your vision for Milledgeville?
A: My vision for Milledgeville is for us to become a thriving community with available jobs and cultural activities that will entice our young people to remain in this community and to provide affordable housing for the families that live and work here. What I see the city doing is working with various organizations to establish what is best and unique for Milledgeville. I will be supportive of new businesses that are looking for incentives to establish their businesses here. I will be supportive of various resolutions and ordinances that we may have to adopt in order to move forward on an issue that may arise. In order to get to where we need to be I will support adding strategic planning tools that can identify and implement strategies to improve delivery, cost, and needed improvements to different levels of municipal services. I will also continue to be open and involved in discussions among organizations and businesses that are working to effect a positive change in our city.

Q: What should the city do to address emergency service issues/concerns with the county?
A: City officials and County officials are sitting down at the table and working together to resolve differences and make changes in our current system of emergency services. We want to make sure that every call for emergency services will not have to be delayed, deferred or duplicated for any reason. Any delay of time can cost someone their life. The safety of our residents is our main concern.

Q: Do you feel the city's ethics policy makes a strong enough statement? Should changes be made to the policy?
A: The City's Ethics Policy is indicative of many others that were adopted across the state for a City of Ethics. As with any other city we expect our elected officials to maintain the utmost standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty and fairness in carrying out their public duties. We expect the highest standards of ethics from all of our officials, whether elected to City Council or appointed to advisory boards. That should be enough said, however from time to time I am sure the policy will have to be revised for clarification.

Q: What, if anything, do you feel the city should have done differently in handling its first ethics complaint under the new policy?
A: The Ethics Committee made their decision based on the guidelines of the Ethics policy and its relation to the information presented. They are prominent citizens of Milledgeville and seriously accept their responsibilities as members of the committee. This first experience was a learning experience for all involved. As with all new policies and procedures, any adjustments will be made as they arise.

Q: How can city officials strengthen communication between city and county leaders and departments?
A: City and County leaders have been meeting together. Our Mayor and the County's Chairman meet separately as well to provide input for items of discussion for the entire delegation. This was not done in the past. These meetings are bringing about better communication between elected officials and a positive front for our staff to work together.

Q: As a member of Council, how will you support the Central State Hospital redevelopment efforts?
A: I am very supportive of the Central State Hospital Redevelopment efforts. I have voted in favor of everything that has been presented to city council thus far. I traveled with the local delegation to Washington, D.C. to meet with our federal legislative delegation and their staff. I am excited about the mission and the goals of the LRDA and its focus on job creation and education.

Q: What is your view of the chain of command in city government and who holds city officials accountable?
The City's Charter is the legal organ that outlines and establishes the “chain of command” for local government. Changes made to the Charter most recently delineated some of the previous structure and established a City Manager form of government. The constituents in each district and all of the city resident are the ones that should hold the elected officials to a level of accountability and a standard of ethics. The playing field is the same for each of us. We are all elected by the people.

Q: How will you support the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Communiversity project at the former Shaw building and what other efforts can be made to retain young professionals in this community after they graduate?
A: I am extremely excited about the Communiversity project at the Shaw Building. It is a new and exciting way to provide both education and opportunity at the same time. I am hoping that through these efforts we will be able to retain young people in this community with innovative ideas for business ventures and the technological skills that are need for future development. It will provide an opportunity for local leaders, Central GA Technical College, Economic Development, the LRDC, GC&SU, businesses, cultural ventures and much more to come together under one roof for the good of the community. It will provide much needed help and attention to the south side of Milledgeville. My support will come through supportive legislation to move the process along.

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Election 2013
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  • District 4 Q&A: Walter Reynolds

    Walter Reynolds is a lifelong resident of Milledgeville and Baldwin County. He is a graduate of Baldwin High School and Georgia Military College.

    October 29, 2013

  • District 3 Q&A: Denese Shinholster

    Incumbent Denese R. Shinholster is currently one of the senior most elected officials serving in city government.

    October 28, 2013

  • District 3 Q&A: Phillip Smith

    Phillip Smith is a native of Milledgeville. He grew up on the south side of town in Hardwick, near Central State Hospital. He is married with two children and works as a business manager.

    October 28, 2013

  • District 2 Q&A: Jeanette Walden

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    October 25, 2013

  • District 1 Q&A: Dr. Collinda Lee

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