ANDERSON — Kathy Mougeotte was inspired to run for political office after reading a national magazine article two years ago that said more women should become involved in politics.
“I just decided this was the time to do it,” said the 56-year-old businesswoman.
Mougeotte is running for the Democratic Party nomination for Madison County treasurer on May 6. Her opponent in the primary is Tamie Dixon-Tatum, 43, who sounds more like a dedicated community organizer than a tax collector when talking about why she wants to be Madison County treasurer.
If elected, Tatum said she would perform the duties of the office, but also wants to build partnerships with other elected officials, community and business leaders, and churches in an effort to stem home and business foreclosures that have had an impact on the county’s property tax base.
“I’m vested here in the community and I want to see Anderson thrive,” Tatum said. “I want to make sure that the citizens of Madison County have a good quality of life. ... I want to try something different.”
Tatum said she would investigate state and national programs designed to prevent foreclosures, which she described as a crisis in Madison County.
Perhaps vacant buildings could be sold to local churches, she said, which would renovate properties and then sell them to create sustainable buildings and stabilize the county’s tax base.
“By collaborating with partners we could restore vacant properties and help increase the tax base,” she said. “If they (houses) are sitting empty, they’re not viable.”
Tatum also suggested that a “good faith” payment plan could be established as a way “to keep homeowners in homes and business owners in their businesses,” she said. “It’s not that people don’t want to pay for the most part.”
These efforts might not solve the county’s tax base problem instantly, Tatum said, but “what we do know is if people are forced out, their houses sit idle.”