HOOPER -- Concerns about the fast-paced growth of the small farmland community of Hooper has two candidates competing for the mayor's seat being vacated by Glenn Barrow, who has held the position for two consecutive four-year terms.
Korry Green, 55, is an owner of Dallas Green Farm and Home in West Haven. He served a three-year term on the city council and was chairman at the time the city incorporated in 2000. He also has served in the West Haven Business Association.
Green said his concern is managing the growth of Hooper city.
"We enjoy the great quality of life that is found in a small community," he said, "and it is because of that lifestyle families select Hooper as the place they want to live."
He said open spaces, larger lots, low crime rate, friendly people and no congestion is a big part of what people are looking for, and high-density developments are most likely to infringe on the lifestyle that people come to Hooper to enjoy.
He said he doesn't want to dismiss the rights of the property owner -- such as the retiring farmer who needs to sell his property for retirement -- he just feels there needs to be the proper planning that doesn't cater to big developers who want to build townhomes and apartments and change the farming atmosphere of Hooper.
"Single family homes on smaller lots would better suit our community," he said. "If elected mayor, I hope to bring better financial business sense to the city in order to be more financially viable, and thereby not having to rely on high-density growth. I am not a politician, just someone who wants Hooper to be a great place to live."
Jared Preisler, 45, is a certified residential appraiser and the lead appraiser and owner at J. Leland and Company, which also does home inspections. He is the current chairman for Hooper City Council.
"Preserving the heritage of Hooper city is a priority to me," Preisler said, "since it is rooted in a farming lifestyle and atmosphere."
He said, like all Americans, Hooper is feeling the effects of a slow economy, and now is not the time to raise taxes or fees, but rather to cut the city budget, consolidate billing of utilities, and lobby the state Legislature for a more equitable portion of the sales and fuel taxes that citizens already pay.
"If I am elected, my first priority as mayor would be to have a complete review of city expenditures," he said. "As an example, I cannot magically make the sewer expense disappear, but by restructuring it, we could take advantage of existing tax laws and put some of those dollars back into residents' pockets."
He says he has many other plans for cutting the budget without cutting services, and increasing revenue without raising overall fees and taxes.
"I believe in Hooper, and I know that within our city limits we have all of the talent, resources and abilities to come together as a community and solve our challenges," he said. "I have the time, skills, energy and desire to find the solutions to the challenges that are ahead."
"Whether it is managing residential and commercial growth balanced with protecting property owner rights and agricultural activity, or aggressively reviewing and cutting the city budget to put money back in your residents' pockets, we can come together to preserve Hooper city's heritage, solve the challenges of tomorrow and leave a great legacy for future Hooperites."