CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY
I am seeking re-election for Mayor because as a life-long resident of Anderson, I see many things that still need to be accomplished in Anderson, not only to maintain and improve the safety and good quality of our town but also to prepare for future growth. Our town will definitely see growth in the coming years and we must make certain that it is orderly and desirable growth that will attract good citizens who will see Anderson as a wonderful place to live and raise children or retire and enjoy life in a beautiful and safe community.
In my thirty-two years of Public Works Superintendent and ten years as your Mayor, I have gained a great amount of knowledge of Anderson’s strengths, vulnerabilities and needs. I am determined to see that our city’s needs are met and improvements are steadily made.
In the last 30 years, we have replaced nearly 32,000 feet of water lines (13,700 in the last six years alone) at an average cost per year of about $91,000 and equipped our main Well No.4 with an emergency power generator at a cost of nearly $50,000 but much more needs to be done, including emergency generators at all wells and pump stations as well as additional water storage which we sorely need. We currently have 6-8 hours of water storage and we need at least 24. I am working on additional storage to give us a greater margin of safety in the event of major fires or prolonged power outages. Each year, when I form the budget for approval by the Board, I make sure to include $60-80,000 for water and sewer system improvements. It’s all very expensive work but it absolutely needs done.
Our water is sampled monthly for bacteria and routinely for nearly a hundred contaminants plus a yearly Consumer Confidence Report is published in the paper, showing no violations to date. I will persist in improvements so it will remain safe.
I will work toward more sidewalks for children to walk to and from school safely and improvements to our parks and recreational facilities. We currently have only 1,350 feet of sidewalks along our 8.7 miles of streets (about 3%), not including the Main Street business area and most are in poor condition. Average cost of a sidewalk in just one city block is over $10,000, so they are definitely not cheap but we truly don’t have enough and pedestrians aren’t safe. This needs to change. We have so many beautiful areas that people could enjoy if there were sidewalks or trails and those are things future citizens would like to see.
Beaver Branch low-water bridge is inadequate and needs replaced. It’s impassable for weeks due to high water and it’s single-lane with no pedestrian walkway. The cost of replacement is high, with engineer estimates ranging from $225,000 to $1,000,000; clearly amounts which would require financial assistance by outside sources from grants or bonds but given that this is a major thoroughfare, it is imperative that action is taken at some point in time. I will see that we do.
Safety and security are a primary consideration in attracting residents who seek a crime-free and drug-free environment in which to enjoy life. I will continue to strongly support our police and fire departments in their efforts to eliminate crime and assist our citizens in times of need. If they need more or better equipment to do so, I will make sure they get it if at all financially possible.
I will strive to see that Anderson is fully prepared, not only for growth, but also for emergencies. I believe all governments should work within their financial means so I am against raising taxes (which must be approved by the voters) or water rates unless absolutely necessary for improvements. The best way for a city to increase revenues is to attract more people to live and shop there which will increase the revenue without raising taxes or rates.
I continue to work with our engineers and FEMA for final approval and reimbursement for our flood damage repairs. It is a very lengthy process but well worth it for 75% funding. Main Street bridge repairs alone are estimated at $158,000 and our share will be roughly $40,000 so the wait is certainly worthwhile. Other flood repairs will need to be made, some of which are not covered by FEMA but I will do my best to see those are also accomplished in time.
I will truly appreciate your vote and do all within my power to prove deserving of your confidence in me as your Mayor.