Hot Springs mayoral candidates face-off

Voters in Hot Springs will take to the polls Tuesday to help decide two races. The main race on the ballot is that of mayor.

The race is not new for the two men hoping to swing votes June 5.  Incumbent Mayor Don DeVries and opponent Harry Burdett are going head–to–head for the city‘s top job for the third-time.

Burdett is a retired truck driver and former city employee, who worked 20–years for The Water Department. Still, Incumbent Mayor DeVries says he knows more about the workings of the city than Burdett. For one, DeVries says he’s worked at City Hall for three-terms.

“Every time I’ve been Mayor I’ve always been on the city council first,” said DeVries. “I thought it would be pretty important to be up to date on what the issues are in the city and what the mood of the city is before you take on the mayor’s position.”

Burdett says while experience counts, Tuesday’s votes could very well come down to who the candidate’s know.

“Most people in town knows me, I’ve been here 58 years,” Burdett said.

During that time, Burdett says the city’s economic climate has deteriorated. He also says his opponent’s lack of stimulating economic development sparked him to run once again.

“We need to build a little industry in here to support people,” suggests the former city worker. “People’s can’t live on fixed income and pay high taxes and stuff.

He says a solution to the economic problem would be to bring a Walmart or similar store to town.

Meanwhile, DeVries says his main goal is to end the bickering in Hot Springs: the proposed VA Hospital move, golf course improvement project, and the current mayoral race included.

“If elected I’ll work hard to keep going as I have and if Harry is elected I’ll spend whatever time it takes to bring him up to speed and help him in the office to get it going,” DeVries said.

As for Burdett, he says he’s hoping his third time will be a charm with voters.

The Mayor–Elect will be sworn in to office at the first city council meeting on Monday July 2.

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