DENNIS DEAL Contributed photo.
CHURCH HILL — Dennis Deal said Tuesday he wouldn’t be running for Hawkins County Mayor if he didn’t believe he could make a positive impact on the county.
The longtime Church Hill mayor announced during Tuesday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting he will seek to unseat Hawkins County Mayor Melville Bailey in the 2014 election.
In the 2010 Republican primary, Bailey defeated Deal by 475 votes, 2,759 to 2,284.
“The reason I chose to announce this tonight is, when I ran four years ago, a lot of citizens didn’t know I was running until they saw my name on the signs out on the highway,” Deal said during Tuesday’s BMA meeting. “I felt like I should tell the taxpayers that I am running for county mayor, and let the board know. I hope I can get your support and we can help the county.”
On Tuesday Deal also announced a new plan to refinance Church Hill’s debt will save the city $391,899.
Church Hill currently has about $1.875 million in debt, $1.3 million of which is left over from construction of the new sewer treatment plant.
Deal said financial planning such as the new debt refinancing program helps the city avoid property tax increases, and is the product of teamwork on the part of the BMA.
“I’m not saying I have all the answers, but it takes people working together to achieve things,” Deal said. “Right now (county government) isn’t working together very well. I think we surely have it right here (in Church Hill), working together. Our board, our police chief, everybody works together.”
Aside from the county mayor’s seat being contested next year, all 21 county commission seats and nearly every county elected office is up for re-election in 2014. The primary elections are in May and the general elections are in August.
Bailey has told the Times-News he intends to seek a second term in 2014.