Thursday, March 22, 2012
The only contested race for the Fulton City Council this year should be a good one as longtime Ward 4 Alderman Steve Moore faces off against challenger Kathy Segerson, while newcomer Lindsey Pace is the only candidate for the open Ward 3 seat. Incumbents Mike West and Mary Rehklau also are unopposed in Wards 1 and 2 respectively.
Moore, who has served on the council for 28 years, said he wants to serve another term because, “we’re still doing positive things.”
He said he believes Fulton has a lot to offer potential businesses, listing improvements the city has made over the past few years such as the new fire station and development of a new police station, instillation of fiber optics around town, the roundabout, increased water pressure, replacement of old water and sewer lines, starting installation of the Smart Grid and development of the south end of town.
“I believe we’ve prepared ourselves (to attract new business), we’ve worked on a promotional video and we’re working with FADC (the Fulton Area Development Corporation) and the chamber to put ourselves out there,” Moore said. “If you look around for cities our size, we have a lot to offer.
“Hopefully the economy will get better and we’ll be able to move more industry into our community.”
In addition to drawing in more businesses, he said he also would like to see more development and improvements to Fulton’s park system.
“I would like to see us come up with a really
good master plan (for the parks),” Moore said. “One of the things I’d like to get back to is our beautification projects like putting hanging baskets on our street lights downtown.”
Another concern is some of the coming expenses for the city.
“We have to be leery of the fact the utilities are going to be more expensive in the future and work to keep our rates as low as we can,” Moore said. “Somewhere in the future will come a time when we’re going to need a new warehouse, and as a council we should prepare to work toward that direction.”
Although he noted Segerson certainly could learn everything she needs to know to be a good council member, Moore said that he believes with everything going on in the city right now, his long experience would make him an asset to the council. He said he hopes to have the opportunity to continue to serve.
“I believe as long as I think positive and look to make progress I should stay — when I refuse to change and listen to anyone else, that’s when I should leave,” Moore said. “I take pride in the fact that I’ve listened to a lot of different people’s views, and I always think about what’s good for not only my ward, but the whole community. I would appreciate the support of my constituents for another term.”
While she acknowledges that Moore’s experience makes him a strong candidate, Segerson said it is time to get some new blood on the council.
“Steve Moore is a good councilman — he’s done a fine job and has served the city well — but it’s time for a new person to stand up and come in with new, different ideas,” Segerson said. “It’s just time for a change.”
A Fulton resident since childhood, Segerson said she was prompted to try to be that change based on an experience before the council.
“To be honest, as a citizen, I had some concerns on different matters. I went in once to address the council, and I felt like I was not heard,” she said. “I thought, if this is how it is — our council doesn’t even listen to the people that come in — I thought I should do something.
“My father was always one to say if you want to make a change, you’ve got to stand up.”
Segerson said one of her main goals is to bring the community closer together.
“We used to have community gardens and family fun days. We need to re-institute these things,” she said. “Fulton used to be a very, very tight community. We need to do something to get us involved with each other again.”
She also wants to focus on revitalizing the downtown area.
“We have to bring new business downtown— it’s a must,” Segerson said. “One of the main things we’ve got to get settled is the brick district and the plans for it. The council and the business owners are going to have to sit down ... and work as a team to build that so that everyone is working in the same direction.”
She said she believes one way to draw more businesses into Fulton is to offer incentives to small business owners.
“We got Dollar General in because we were able to give certain incentives,” Segerson said. “In a smaller fashion, let’s give to the small businesses as well.
“I think if you do this, you’re going to see we can get more small businesses up and running and staying in business.”
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