Thursday, March 29, 2012
Two New Bloomfield residents are seeking the office of Ward 1 alderman for a two-year term.
Incumbent Paul E. Hilchen, who was elected as a Ward 1 alderman in 2010, is seeking a second term. Hilchen is opposed by Bryan E. Manes.
Hilchen said he wants to use his experience as a materials engineer at the Missouri Department of Transportation to vote on issues affecting the city’s infrastructure, including its streets, sewerage and water systems.
Hilchen has lived in New Bloomfield for the last 12 years. He grew up in Matoon, Ill.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. He then received an engineering degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla, now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Hilchen works as a materials engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation. He tests materials going into road construction work.
“My main goal as an alderman,” Hilchen said, “is to help make sure the city’s infrastructure is maintained and to observe the day-to-day operations of the city. I want to make sure we have available funds to operate the city efficiently.”
Hilchen said he is pleased the city was able to secure federal funds to help finance the city’s water tower.
“I just want to be a good steward of city funds and try to do what the voters desire within available revenue,” Hilchen said.
Manes said he filed for office for the first time because he wants to see New Bloomfield grow more.
“We need more businesses to open in New Bloomfield in order to provide services to residents. More businesses also would provide more tax income to the city and enable the city to provide more services,” Manes said.
Manes said more sidewalks are needed in the city. “Kids going to school should not have to walk along Route J. I would make an effort to secure a state or federal grant to help build the sidewalks,” Manes said.
“Our drainage system in the city also needs to be improved. Water backs up in a lot of places when there is a heavy rain,” Manes said.
Manes said the city also could work on grants to provide the city more equipment to work in parks.
“Mainly, we need more businesses to expand our tax base. We can’t keep on relying on jacking up water rates for funding the city,” Manes said.
Manes said he also would like to find a way to help provide full-time paid police officers. “We need at least two full-time policemen,” Manes said.