Today, we ask Saline City Council candidates to talk about the three biggest issues facing the city.
Incumbents Dean Girbach and David Rhoads are seeking re-election to council. Former finance director Lee Bourgoin is also running for office. There are three seats open in the Nov. 6 election.
What are the three biggest issues facing the city and how will you address them?
1. Council will need to continue assessing all services, revenues sources, and expense containment.
Council must develop innovated ways to sustain a viable and successful community. The incoming mayor and council will need contingencies to adequately prepare us for the possibility of further loss in local control due to both State and Federal legislative actions. Changes in revenue sharing, loss of Federal support due to possibly mandated deficit reductions, and changes to personal property taxes without adequate on-going replacement revenue will shift the burden of funding to residential taxpayers. Quality of life will become dependent on what we as residents and taxpayers are willing to support through local sources. The level of public safety(fire and police), infrastructure support (roads, sidewalks, parks) and other community services will require serious conversations by council and a willingness to consider all feasible options based on the known constraints.
2. New business development and retention must be encouraged.
The Saline Main Street program, along with other downtown organizations are working toward this goal in our downtown sector. However, we must also develop a comprehensive plan to address all commercial areas, especially our most recently impacted retail locations and industrial facilities. A plan which facilitates cooperation and synergy by building upon the reputations, expertise, resources and successes of our current businesses and community supporters is essential. Saline economic vitality can only be successful if we work together as a whole.
3. New mayor.
As the style and approach between an old and new leader often differs, any organization experiencing such a change goes through a period of adjustment. For the most part, core operations of the city will continue without interruption, however, priorities, visions and past practices may change. As Saline has not faced a change in its key leader in over a decade, each member of the council will be faced with both opportunities and challenges in working with the new mayor. As a councilmember, my priority will be to encourage a reasonable balance between the past and the future, while instilling a sense of continuity and confidence in our citizens, businesses and surrounding governmental bodies. The role of each councilmember will b elevated to show Saline is still a successful and forward moving community of which we are all proud to work, live and play.
1. Maintaining the quality of life for our residents.
2. Maintaining the quality of life for our residents
3. Maintaining the quality of life for our residents.
If we can accomplish that, then we will have fulfilled our primary responsibility to our citizens by achieving the proper balance of governance, taxes, services, sense of place, work, play and education opportunities, etc.
Did not respond.
1. Why do you want to serve?
2. What are your guiding principles and beliefs in public service?