Seven candidates for the Mayor of Bastrop, including the current mayor herself, sat before a room full of their voters on Thursday night and laid out how they would make the city better.
Dozens of residents packed the room at Bastrop City Hall, hoping to hear answers to the biggest issues facing Bastrop.
"How they're going to tackle the downtown problem as far as bringing local businesses downtown to the historical area," said three-year Bastrop resident, John Nelson. "As well as growing the outer community."
That was one of the questions the candidates answered.
Let's see what they said.
"Having our budget under control better positions ourselves to recruit business," current Mayor of Bastrop, Betty Alford-Olive, said. "Because rarely can you get somebody to just come here and, except if they're very wealthy, and set up camp."
"Ideas that would bring attention to Bastrop," Mayor Candidate Samuel Jackson said. "Like I said, a marathon is what I see, national barbecue cookoffs, alll types of activities and we've got to turn this from a manufacturing base into really a recreational base."
"We got dillapidated houses, we got lots overgrown, we got people that's afraid to actually come out of their house. That's no way to get people here," Mayor Candidate Arthur Jones said.
"Without a certified work community of people, it's not done the way it's used to be doing," Mayor Candidate Henry Cotton said.
"We should have some type of tax exemption for these new businesses to come here, to make some type of encouragement," said Mayor Candidate Ricky Anderson.
"You can stay here and talk all day long but if you don't have good training, it just don't matter," said Mayor Candidate Troy Downs. "I'm a foundation man and if the floor's not right, I don't care how high you go up, you're going to fall."
Some candidates believe more business could be brought in once crime is down.
"If you draw a 50-mile circle around Bastrop, within that circle are 18 cities. Of those 18 cities, we have the most crime," Mayor Candidate James Murphy said. "Bastrop is 43% more dangerous to live in that Detroit. If you could pick any of those 17 cities to live in, would you live here?"
Now that each candidate has had their say, NBC 10 News went back to the same Bastrop resident to ask him what he thought of his choices.
"I thought every candidate had a unique response for each question," Nelson said. "I can't walk out and say that I like one over the other at this point."
Other than the economy, issues talked about at the forum included the implementation of new drug programs, workforce training, retaining the youth in the city and finding out ways to reinvent the downtown area.
Keep it tuned right here to NBC 10 News as we continue to keep you updated on the Bastrop mayoral race.