Mayor of Monroe
Ed Davis vs. Geoffrey Thomas
MONROE - The candidates for mayor of Monroe, a four-year term, are Ed Davis and Geoffrey Thomas. The candidates responded to a Tribune questionnaire in June. Their responses were edited for style, clarity and brevity.
Why are you running for mayor of Monroe?
Davis: In the past four years, Monroe as well as cities all across the country, has had to deal with a very depressed economy. We have all felt the results and we have all struggled. The city has done a fair amount of belt tightening and has looked for opportunities to economize without negatively affecting the services it is required to provide for its citizens. Not only have we been able to accomplish that charge, we have been able to attract new businesses, create and fund reserves, streamline our administrative process and reduce regulations while at the same time not raising taxes. I am regularly informed about city workers who not only have provided good service, but did so with a friendly attitude. All in all things are looking very good for Monroe, and I want us to continue in that direction.
Thomas: When we invest in our community, we improve the value of our homes, our businesses and our lives. We need a mayor with a vision to lead an open and broad-based effort to reinvest in Monroe — to deliver a safe, successful and vibrant community. With 15 years of community experience, I have the drive and motivation to fulfill this vision; with 20 years of related public and private work experience, I have the knowledge and skills to deliver on it.
What do you think needs to be changed in the operation of Monroe?
Davis: I have been working for the past three years ( one on the planning commission and two on the City Council) to make the changes to Monroe that are responsible for the success we are beginning to see. We have not raised taxes, we have a balanced budget, we have new jobs (not just Wal-Mart) coming, and several other opportunities in the near future.
Thomas: We need to do a better job at investing in our community. To do this, we need to work more openly and broadly with our neighborhoods and schools; our firefighters, businesses and non-profits; and other elected and appointed officials to set a direction that better reflects our community. As we work more openly and broadly, we need to include people with different points of view and we need to present the facts to our decision makers and to our partners.
What are the main issues you’ll be running on?
Davis: The city needs to continue with its policies of disciplined spending, not raising property taxes, promoting business, limiting government red tape, and maintaining a close, small-town feel. People still tell me on a regular basis that the thing they like the most about Monroe is its small-town feeling. That was something about Monroe that was always very attractive to me and it’s good to hear it still is for others as well.
Thomas: We need to invest in our community. We need to promote Monroe to fill our vacant storefronts with thriving businesses and bring family-wage jobs to our industrial park. We need to attract development that meets our community’s vision without burdening taxpayers, schools or neighborhoods. We need to ensure public safety, invest in our roads and deliver the best services we can afford.
Do you support the East Monroe rezone request?
Davis: He did not respond by press time to this followup question sent last week.
Thomas: I do not support the East Monroe rezone. If approved by council, the rezone would do more than change the color on a map; it would allow higher intensity development on property that is impacted with wetlands, flood plain, and other areas; it would allow higher intensity development that would generate more traffic than currently allowed, reducing safety and increasing congestion on an already unsafe and already congested U.S. 2. I am committed to economic and commercial development, but this site just doesn’t make common sense — it is the wrong place for it.
What makes you the better candidate for mayor?
Davis: It’s not theory, it’s practice. We have a good momentum moving forward. Let’s keep it going.
Thomas: We need a strong, dynamic, dedicated and experienced mayor with the ability to deliver a safe, successful and vibrant community. I have the proven leadership, vision, and experience to serve effectively as mayor. I will draw on over 20 years of work experience in both local government and private business: balancing budgets, improving customer service, managing projects, developing neighborhoods and representing local communities. I will draw on 15 years of community experience including as a youth coach, scout leader and planning commissioner.
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