Message and Thanks from Mayor Tom McMasters
Many of you know that I have chosen not to run again for mayor this upcoming November. I would like to thank those of you that support me enough that you will still read through this article. I personally believe the progress made in educating many residents on ways to use TIF funding without hurting the schools, getting other officials to back my call to build the new fire station, and ensuring important discussions like the one about the fairground happen in public before council made a decision, was worth absorbing the negative reactions and actions resulting from winning these battles
Important issues and upcoming election for Mayor and Council at Large
Brandt Pike Revitalization: There are many interesting parts of the Brandt Pike Revitalization plan that we can use going forward and may scary parts that we need to put a stop too and many parts that are good ideas but suggested for the wrong part of town or offer the wrong timing. You need to pay attention to the discussions of council. We had one special work session since the final plan was introduced and there was no evidence that council or staff has begun the deep dive into the suggestions to determine if any individual suggestion is positive or negative. Instead of starting that analysis we had a number of council members suggest council should vote to say they are 100% behind the plan and tell staff to go out and implement the suggestions. Presumably this includes encouraging on street parking on Brandt Pike.
$2.5 million-dollar High Pressure Water Zone: Every piece of documented evidence we have shows our water service north of I-70 meets or exceeds the average municipal water pressure provided through-out the United States. The documents also show that by increasing the water pressure we could be exposing half the households there to pressures detrimental to appliances and plumbing. Yet council is $170,000 into the project without documenting how many homes will benefit or even thinking about creating a plan to prevent damage to those houses negatively affected. Before going forward on spending the money to significantly complicate the delivery of water in this city, residents and council need to make sure staff does the hard work to document that the benefits will outweigh the costs. Full article
Mayoral Candidate David Wilson studied Production and Operations Management at Bowling Green. He represented Ward 6 on council a few years back and once that term ended he volunteered as a member of the Planning Commission. He has shown his commitment to the city for a number of years. I was also impressed by his background knowledge of the Carriage Trails contract he showed during the primary debate. Overall, he is enough of an outsider to allow him to make independent decisions and still engaged enough in the city to have firsthand knowledge of its inner workings.
Mayoral Candidate Jeff Gore thinks that my letting you know about the issues affecting the city needs to be stopped. He mistakenly thinks there is a leadership problem because other council members run to the press enticing negative articles after your support forced them to do what was right for the city. His solution to this leadership problem is to drive more conversations behind closed doors. In his Facebook posts, he brags about already holding private meetings with city staff and council members. These types of meetings take up time Staff should be using to prepare solid read ahead materials for council meetings so all residents can be informed and have an accurate and permanent record of the issues of the day. Even worse, he comes out of these meetings reciting propaganda that have already been discredited in open public meetings. Examine his statements on TIF funding and the Carriage Trails Contract to see his lack of understanding of both these issues. We have managed to reduce the supplement to Carriage Trails from around $20,000 to less than $10,000 while still maintaining a vibrant and growing community but Mr. Gore has joined those on council that believe the City should give the developer anything they ask. As his slogan rightly proclaims: Trust Gore to Restore us to those days where council did everything behind closed doors and continually wasted our tax dollars.
Council at Large Candidates Chase Warden and Nancy Byrge: It probably will surprise many that I have not made up my mind which of these candidates I will be voting for in November. Chase in the nephew of a family friend and a pretty pleasant guy to be around. He was interested in politics before I knew him and I have encouraged him to run for council. I appointed Nancy because we have a similar background with both of us being test managers supporting WPAFB. A lot of the items that Nancy proposes such as a safe way for walkers and bikers to get down to the entrance of Thomas cloud, upgrading the baseball fields and comprehensive parks plan are worthy suggestions. We differ on subtleties on implementation and where we would put them on our priority list but they certainly make both our lists. Our issues come from the vitriol way she reacts when she learns that there are other priorities that should come before her suggestions. Chase on the other hand makes a similar mistake as Mr. Gore and fails to realize how much progress has been achieved these past three and a half years. Chase also has the issue of being hypocritical in his criticism. When Chase campaigns he indicates the problem with this city is I believe I would make a good congressman. His suggests the solution is to elect people to council that do not have higher political goals. Chase and his friend Ethan Reynolds are two of the most politically motivated young men I have ever met. They have traveled all over the state to get their pictures taken with high officials. Chase even got his job at the Board of Elections because of his political connections. Chase deserves to be chastised for his current message not because he basks in politics but because he hopes to get elected by talking about personalities instead of the real issues that affect the city. During this upcoming campaign season make him tell you what he knows about TIF, Carriage Trails, the High-Pressure Zone, Private meetings. Do not let him slide on a platform of “I am not them”.
Marylin got aggravated yesterday when I told her I was writing to you. The past three years I’ve let a lot of projects get behind. Recently, I re-did the family room and started to rehang my gutters. There is no ceiling in my office, I have a bathroom to redo and a deck that has to be done this year. Marylin’s heart would not break if the proposal to go to a Strong Mayor form of government I suggested in an article I published this morning went unheeded but with important issues like the Brandt Pike Revitalization Study, High Water Pressure Zone, and Energy Aggregation coming up and looking at the quality of discussions on each I felt obligated to give residents a chance for informed decisions.
As a rule, I have never asked for monetary campaign contributions because I do not send politicians my money and I do not typically ask people to do things I wouldn’t. I also have not ever sent friend requests on Facebook knowing that most of my posts are politically related. I still will not accept monetary donations but I believe if you are interested in knowing what is going on in the city you should sign up for hearing from me by sending me a friend request or liking my page Facebook page HuberResidents.org For those of you without Facebook keep an eye out on this website HuberResidents.org. I cannot write as often as I would like, but I will try and keep you informed on important issues.
Thank you for your support.