Candidates ready for elections in Bowling Green

Natalie Hayden

Bowling Green residents will vote a week from today for their next mayor and a city commission seat. There are three candidates for mayor and five for commissioner who have appeared in forums to express their views.

Melinda Hill, a WKU instructor and current commissioner, is running to keep the seat she currently occupies.

Running for mayor is Bowling Green sophomore Brandon Peay, who has not appeared in three of the four forums leading up to election day. Peay did not return phone calls for this story.

Mayoral candidate and current city commissioner Bruce Wilkerson said he hopes to have support of WKU students and said he would listen to what ideas they have to improve the city.

“My big goal is to make sure the city remains solvent and that we live within our budget,” Wilkerson said.

Both Wilkerson and current mayor and candidate Joe Denning believe that the most important thing is making sure the city’s public safety is provided. Wilkerson said that the city has had to cut back some on public service, and while he doesn’t think people have noticed, it’s still a bad thing.

City commission candidates are also concerned with the city’s budget. Candidate Grant McCullum said the Chamber of Commerce is one big thing on his mind.

“I don’t have an agenda at all, but we need to continue to work with the Chamber of Commerce to make sure the police department and fire department are funded properly,”  McCullum said.

“We have to make sure the Chamber of Commerce has what it needs to bring in jobs,” he added.

Hill said she wants to make sure Bowling Green lives within its means, and that people have access to their government officials.

“The main issue is that citizens know who to contact for these issues, whatever they may be,” Hill said. “My main issue is to educate the public on what the city can do for them.”

However, candidate Bill Goodwin wants to deal with another issue — the smoking ban.

“One of the main issues I have is equality,” Goodwin said. “It’s a violation of civil liberties. We need to alter the course of that code so that it reflects civil liberties.”

While he doesn’t promote smoking in restaurants, Goodwin said it isn’t fair that people have to stand outside in doorways to smoke, especially in bad weather.

Goodwin also wants to keep WKU graduates in Bowling Green.

“WKU is Bowling Green’s teacher and a great part of our future,” he said. “I want to keep [students] here. I want [students] working side by side with me to build a better future.”

McCullum, Hill and Goodwin are running against Robin Baldwin and Mark Bradford. Baldwin and Bradford did not return requests for comment for this story.

In order to be able to vote, a student must be registered to vote in Warren County.

Students who are from Warren County and have not already registered cannot vote because registration is closed. Also, students from other areas of Kentucky cannot vote locally.

Polls will be open on Nov. 8 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information on where to vote, visit