With election day being less than two months away, 13 News was able to sit down with the two candidates running for Bowling Green mayor. Last week, a shock to most, Current Mayor Bruce Wilkerson announced he was dropping out of the race. At the same time, he endorsed Todd Alcott.
Alcott is an Air Force veteran who now teaches ROTC at Warren East High School. His only known opponent is write-in candidate Tom Morris. After working in corporate America for quite some time, Morris now is a local business owner who also identifies as an environmentalist. Both candidates were born and raised in Bowling Green.
After asking a bit about their personal life, 13 News talked to each candidate about their priorities for Bowling Green if elected.
Reporter: What issues do you think Bowling Green currently faces?
Tom Morris listed off environmental issues he would want to fix, including accessible recycling and moving the city towards renewable energy. “That is not way out in the left field,” Morris said. “Scientists are telling us we need to do it.” He also mentioned affordable housing. “I think zoning needs to be looked at. That may be why we have issues with housing shortages. A lot of people are doing fine, but a lot of people can’t afford to live,” Morris explained.
On the other hand, Todd Alcott said he wants to focus on expanding broadband. “I think the first thing is to look at our county and our city. I think our invested interests are the same. That’s to build a strong economy and invest in the right infrastructure. That’s to entice jobs, and I think broadband is something that hasn’t been looked at very well,” Alcott explained.
Reporter: What would be your priorities if elected mayor of Bowling Green?
Tom Morris prided himself on having a positive attitude and being willing to communicate more with citizens if elected. “At least weekly I would address the city to tell them what’s going on,” he said mainly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re in a crisis right now and we need to understand that people are important and not just numbers.” Morris also said he would provide more resources for small businesses. “When I started my business it was really hard to figure out all of the regulations. I would make it a priority to encourage small businesses.”
Besides expanding broadband, Todd Alcott said he wanted to work more with the county to build infrastructure. He specifically mentioned investing more into Bowling Green Parks and Rec. “I have some ideas, you know, I would love to see our parks connected with green space,” Alcott said. If elected, he said the leadership skills he learned from being in the military would help him while holding the position. “I was fortunate enough to get a command at Ramstein Germany. I had 13 personnel and my job was to take care of people, to build morale and welfare. To basically invest in their quality of life. That is kind of what I see as a translation to being the mayor of Bowling Green.”
Reporter: Would you vote for or against a fairness ordinance?
Tom Morris said he would be in favor of passing a fairness ordinance. “As a business person, I know that a lot of businesses look at that when they decide whether to locate,” Morris explained. He went on to say some of his friends are in the LGBTQ community and they have felt like the city doesn’t value them. “I think the city should value all people. It really doesn’t take away from anybody’s religious beliefs. It’s a matter of valuing all people, it’s a basic human right,” Morris said.
Todd Alcott explained that he thinks the fairness is more about ’making a platform happy.’ “To me, to run on that, is not something that I am interested in. I do think that people think it’s important but I don’t see the real problem in the community. I think being a city commissioner or a mayor, it’s to seek out the problems we see as a community as a whole,” Alcott said.