Hatfield seeks South Point mayor#039;s post

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 6, 2003

SOUTH POINT - He may be a new face in Lawrence County politics, but Chadd Hatfield is using that fact to his advantage as he seeks the South Point mayor's position.

"South Point is a great village," he said. "It's a magnificent garden, and I want to be the water that makes it grow."

Hatfield, 23, has a degree in political communications and is the co-author of "Enter the Realm of Political Thoughts: Collective Writings" with Steve Payne. He is currently employed at Telespectrum in Huntington, W.Va., in the Bell South small business communications department. He and his wife Raynelle have a four-year-old son, Drake.

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The Point, a 504-acre industrial park in the village, is an area Hatfield said he would promote for further development. To do this, he said he would work with the Chamber of Commerce and state leaders in Columbus.

"I want to drive that initial search for jobs and opportunities for that land," he said.

As well as attracting large industrial operations, corporations in larger cities such as Columbus and Cincinnati are often interested in expanding their operations in smaller municipalities where property taxes are lower, Hatfield said.

Regarding the controversy with Biomass Energy LLC, in which local leaders were concerned about the company burning tobacco shipped in by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he said he would not have handled the situation much differently, because residents of South Point do not want any type of negative element causing them bodily harm.

However, he said the problem could have been handled through a more diplomatic sense, with further negotiations and research.

Some of his other concerns are providing more recreational opportunities for citizens, particularly the younger ones. Funding for these types of activities, he said, can be found through taking the initiative to do research and lobbying at the state level.

"We have a center that will become a village hall," he said. "This will be a place where people can come and debate and discuss issues with me."

This center will provide activities such as crafts, lifting weights and martial arts. It will be a "mini-YMCA", he said, a place where citizens can gather. He also wants to see a new swimming pool to replace the one that closed a few years ago. He would also like to provide tutoring for young people in the village, and he already does tutoring himself as a side job.

Also, Hatfield said he would like to see a "Festival of the Village" through different times in the year with live music, food and other entertainment.

"I'll be involved," he said. "I won't just go to football games and shake hands. I'll make it happen."

To get citizens more involved, Hatfield said he wants to create the village's own newspaper called, "Your Point of View." In this newspaper, he will not only brief the citizens on various topics, but citizens will have the chance to express their opinions.

One thing that will not change, he said, are utility rates in the village, which are approximately $30 per month for water, sewage and trash.