Incumbent faces 2 challengers for Smithville mayor’s seat | Election News

SMITHVILLE — When voting in the April election, voters running for mayor of Smithville will have three names from which to choose a candidate to represent them as mayor.

Incumbent Damien Boley takes on challengers Mary Ann Becker and Ali McClain for a two-year term.

In the interest of fairness, we have asked candidates to limit answers to issues questions to 50 words each. In addition to the coverage here, extensive coverage including videos of each candidate explaining why they think they should be elected and answers to other questions is available at {a href=”” target=”_blank”}

The answers are published in alphabetical order of the surname of the candidate.

Do you believe that FITs should be granted to companies for land that is not degraded?

Becker: “Any TIF must be carefully evaluated and the terms must be negotiated responsibly and in the way that is most beneficial to the ratepayers in the community.

Boley: “No.”

McClain: “No, TIFs last on average about 23 years. Corporations benefit from the tax relief, not residents. TIFs should only be used to assist developers with street, sidewalk and sewer costs. TIFs are a burden on residents, the fire protection district and schools. They must be issued judiciously.

Should the police be improved in terms of transparency and communication of data and information to the public? If so, how?

Becker“Without our own news station or print newspaper, I think our police department does a great job with their strong social media presence. They keep citizens informed with up-to-date information about our city as well as the surrounding communities. .

Boley“Yes. The police department continues to make improvements to reporting data to the public. The council receives regular reports on crime statistics and the department provides updates on social media. Most Cities are facing staff shortages and we have made progress in bridging the gap by offering scholarships to the academy.

McClain“No, the Smithville Police Department Facebook page is updated regularly. Smithville police complete an after action report for significant incidents; therefore, transparency is already in place. State-of-the-art technology would help ensure a better flow of information to the public.

If elected, what would you do to improve and grow animal services like Megan’s Paws and Claws Animal Shelter in the community?

Becker“I would suggest a thorough needs assessment at Megan’s Paws and Claws Animal Shelter. I also support their efforts to raise funds through fundraising and external resources.

Boley“As mayor, I have personally donated to Megan’s, helped with adoption events and provided funding for the shelter. One of my proposals for our next fiscal year is to add an animal control officer. I am currently working with a group of citizens to start a 501©3 so that the shelter can receive additional donations.

McClain: “The Smithville Water Department is duplicating their regular jobs and the Smithville Animal Shelter. They need a full-time animal control officer. I would increase their budget. Grant money must be sought out.We must partner with veterinarians willing to volunteer for the public good.

Do you support a multi-million dollar plan to improve parks and recreation? Why or why not?

Becker“If this issue is about more parks, ball diamonds or trails, I would support them if there were grants available for them. I would also support a community center with a swimming pool for our citizens and swim team, especially if there were resources to help fundraising as well.

Boley“Yes. Our constituents passed a half-cent sales tax in 2020 to improve our parks and people visit Smithville for outdoor recreation. Our youth and adult recreation programs have grown and we must invest the money generated by the sales tax in our parks.

McClain“No, I am not supporting a multi-million project at this time. Projects must be tabled until this record inflation is brought under control. Future projects can be revisited when residents are less financially strained, especially in this regarding the new taxes.

Should city employees be required to live within the city limits? Why or why not?

Becker: “While it is ideal for a city employee to live within the city limits, I think that is not a realistic requirement for a city our size as it may limit the pool of qualified candidates .”

Boley: “No, Smithville wants to attract and retain talented employees. The majority of our community does not work in Smithville and we wouldn’t have the vibrant community we have if their employers had that requirement. As elected officials, we give direction to city employees and represent citizens.

McClain: “No, municipal employees should have a choice of where they choose to live. We also get a larger pool of candidates by not limiting ourselves geographically. A first responder’s conscience should dictate where they live for rapid response in an emergency.

How can a mayor help end division and conflict in a small community?

Becker“The mayor must set a positive tone that reflects on the community. Having an optimistic attitude and being approachable, available, caring and encouraging is important. Listening to people and treating them equally and with respect can also go a long way. »

Boley: “As mayor, I provided opportunities for participation, including our Citizen-Centred Strategic Plan, which led to improvements in our parks and the Main Street Group. Leading change won’t always make everyone happy, but we do our best to include everyone in the process.

McClain: “Communication is vital. The mayor should have an open door policy and be accessible. Time should be set aside for community concerns and have a question and answer session at one of the bi-monthly aldermen/mayor meetings. Bring back small town community events to encourage Smithville pride.

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Jennifer R. Strohm