The final push of the campaign is here, and I would like to take this opportunity to post the current council’s seven-point plan. After being on the council for eight years, this is what I KNOW with facts to back it up.
- Streets- we did a pavement study in 2012 and found that we would need over 20 million dollars to fix our streets. We have $100,000 a year available. We would never be able to complete the project without borrowing and 100,000 a year would only pay the interest leaving us and our children forever I debt.
- Sidewalks- we have an ongoing project of repairing the sidewalks…..those replaced two years ago are now lifting because of the trees. We have three men who take care of all the projects in town…….it will be a long process.
Park improvements. We have money set aside ($100,000) for park improvements. We need to make improvements to our pool and parks but not until we have water. This was passed months ago, but planting sod in a drought is not prudent.
- Street lighting. We are working on this. Again all it takes is money.
- Mosquito abatement…… Again the money is an issue….we could add an assessment to home owners, but again who pays? You do.
- Utility rebates. This was brought to the council months ago, and we discussed it at length. We had to raise our rates in order to get a loan to fix the infrastructure. Moreover, we are bound by law not to discount utilities. We have $5,000 in late payment fees available to use, but the cost of setting up the program would use the fund up. With 80% falling in the low-income bracket, it cannot be done.
- Parks and recreation program. For the first time since 2007, we now have a parks and recreation commission. They are a new board but eager to resurrect our programs. We have a parks and rec. Director and we are moving forward.
So you see, we are working and know what we can do and can’t do at this time.
I have yet to see anything concrete come from Spencow other than promises with no elaboration on their plans.
I find it concerning that this election will be decided by people who have never been to a council meeting, know nothing of what we have done and that the candidates have no idea of the critical and crucial projects coming very soon that will bring millions of dollars into our community.
Anyone can make promises but be wary of who will pay in the end.
Also ask yourself why the candidates might be running. Do they outwardly show a real concern for our town or do the have an agenda? Do they walk the walk not just talk the talk?
Keeping the current council in place? A very prudent decision for the betterment of our community!
Pat Ash, Williams California
Candidate for Williams City Council 2014