Martinsville City Council Election – Primary: See the candidates’ answers to Chamber questions

By | April 25, 2011

As we did four years ago for the last municipal primary election, the Greater Martinsville Chamber of Commerce has distributed a questionnaire to all of the candidates who are running for Mayor or City Council, requesting their thoughts on some of the concerns and challenges that Martinsville faces.  Our purpose is to initiate a conversation about some of the issues that are important to our membership and the community.  We don’t expect any one candidate to have all the answers but we appreciate candidates taking time to give us their thoughtful answers.

Below, we have shared the city council candidates’ responses.  The mayoral candidates’ responses are in a separate announcement, as well.

Please feel free to pass this info on to other interested parties or to prospective chamber members.  Our chamber is growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to you – our members, and to all the great work we are doing in the community.

Have a great week,
Jamie Thompson, Executive Director

 

Martinsville City Council Candidates 2011

 

District 1

Jim Barley

Terry Buster – Incumbent

District 2

John Badger

Ryan Ferguson

Thad Smith

Bob Strader

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price

Dave Trout – Incumbent

District 5

Phil Deckard II -Incumbent-Unopposed

At-Large

Doug Arthur

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

 

How would you propose the administration and the community reach out to our youth in order to determine how we might allow them to be part of the decision making for their community and in turn, encourage them to raise their families here?
District 1 

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

Youth issues need to begin in the home.  Parental involvement is where this should start.  Youth should have some input at the family level.  Parents should be involved in the community to set an example and help create a community that they as well as their own children would like to be a part of and continue to improve upon.

 

District 2

John Badger:

Encourage DECA and Student Council to send a representative to the City Council meetings with ideas and suggestions for the growth of our city.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

The youth can voice their opinion and have their ideas heard by the City Administration and Council, keeping in mind the Administration and Council vote on decisions.  Encouraging our youth to attend council meetings to see what is happening in our city would be the 1st step in the process.  Also, encouraging our youth to get involved in service type groups that volunteer to help our city.  This will hopefully be a successful experience and they’ll want to raise their family in Martinsville doing the same things that brought joy to them while growing up.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

We need to provide opportunities of fitness and fun for our youth to participate locally. This is best done by upgrading our parks system, youth sports league, local YMCA, working closely with the school system.  What we have accomplished in the last three years: Upgrading Jimmy Nash City Park (ongoing project), worked with the Martinsville Little League to upgrades at the ball diamonds, (City Property), working with local groups to get some soccer fields in place.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:

Ms. Thompson and Members of the Chamber,

 

I appreciate the questionnaire you sent and have worked on it for several days. I must be honest in my reply; I answered most of your inquires but reading them over I couldn’t honestly let them be my stand on the issues.  Pulling names and resources out of the air is an easy thing to do, putting them into action is quite another. Don’t get me wrong I am very concerned about the future of our youth and their involvement in Martinsville and the economic situation of our City; now and for the future.  My answers usually came down to these thoughts: Education in the Schools and within the Community of  local Government, business and our Social Clubs. Commitment to our positions in public service, commitment to business and Citizenship and to be the very best we can be. Lead by example and to not have a personal agenda. If we have different thoughts and views on issues, we must not build walls against different ideas but lay a foundation to partnership for the betterment of our City and its Citizens.

 

To give exact answers to your questions; I feel they have to be studied in great detail by many talented people of this community. I don’t want to give a quick, off the top of my head answer because I wouldn’t approach these issue in that manor.

 

This all can be done but it will take a common goal with a common care for this Community and for all that call it home.

 

Respectfully,

Doug Arthur

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

We should invite them to participate in the planning of our new park that will be created in the Southview area where the flood buy-out occurred. According to State law, we have to turn this area into green space for perpetuity. Our young people can tell us what they desire and put it into the planning process. Likewise, we are in the process of partnering with the Artesian Little League Board to build a new skate park for our youth. This has been a goal for years. Now we are on the verge of making it a reality. Good parks are an important variable for improving our quality of life and making our community a desirable place to live and raise a family. In order to help achieve these goals, our council recently established the Cum-Cap fund that will have a portion of the fund reserved for park improvements. This has been long over-due and I am proud to have been a strong proponent of this effort.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

Provide them with a community that offers young families opportunities within.  Decent paying positions, hometown feel, shopping at their doorstep, safe environment.  Encourage churches and local organizations to recruit young adults into their memberships where they feel they contribute to our community thru public service.  Offer quality education, reasonable taxes, adequate police and fire equipment and trained personnel.

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on how the city might work in collaboration with the schools, other agencies, and the faith-based community to explore programs that are currently being used to the benefit of our youth and other programs and activities that would be beneficial to our younger generation?
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

There are already in place many sports related venues for our youth, ie baseball, basketball, football and soccer.  We need to create more computer, art and academic related character building opportunities four youth outside of school.  There may be an avenue for city support of the Boys and Girls Club.  For example:  $175,000 that was given to the City Park for vandalism repairs could have been used to implement youth programs at the City Park with adult supervision, vandalism might be mitigated and the youth might use their time in a more productive manner.

 

District 2

John Badger:

Have open table meetings with schools, then, faith based groups, and then other agencies.  Find similar programs and crossing programs and try to enlarge them citywide.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

Working closely with Economic Development committee and different associations to enhance and create programs and activities that are appealing to the younger generation.

 

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

I think the City needs to recognize the accomplishments of our students in all areas, academic, sports, music, and community service. We have done this to a certain extent, and we have provided funding for national trips to our youth.

I also think the city and school should take the lead in promoting our youth, focusing on the positives that happen here everyday. As for the Faith Based, I think we as leaders of the community should lead by example, put forth a positive attitude and encourage our youth to not be afraid to express the religious beliefs with out imposing them on others.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

As mentioned in the previous answer, we need to invite the youth to the table to find out what they desire in our community. We need to listen to them. I am fortunate to serve as co-chair of the Mayor’s Wooden Committee and we are in the process of creating a John and Nell Wooden Living Legacy and Education Center. I feel that our community will benefit greatly with a “community center” of this magnitude.  We have had a wide range of input from a number of community members in this project already, and we will be soliciting more input as we move along with the project.  This will be a joint private/public partnership that will benefit our youth as well as our older citizens for decades to come. We will desire to have youth input in the design of this facility as well.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

Explore grant opportunities that when received can be granted to local organizations that host youth based events after a screening process.    Promote wellness by publicizing the park trails and have a monthly walk there.  Many people overlook the 4-H program which exists basically for K-12.  Both my children were members and learned life skills that they use today.

 

 

There are many active groups of volunteers who have partnered with the city to foster improvements in Martinsville, especially over the last few years.  Share with us some ways that the city might work with and support these organizations during the upcoming years.
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

Coordinate!  Help coordinate facility usage and activities for youth organizations.  Better use of tax dollars.  Implementation of programs such as those I suggested in the above question.   Instead of throwing away tax dollars, after the fact,  to clean up problems, use that money to develop and coordinate programs that would help prevent the problems from happening in the first place.

 

District 2

John Badger:

Financially support Rediscover Martinsville to hire a director to help them promote our downtown.  Continue to work with them in helping to find grants to support their work in helping our city to grow.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

Continuing work with Rediscover Martinsville and Economic Development committees.  The downtown beautification is going really well and I think there are some creative ideas being used to liven up the downtown area.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

The city needs to encourage new events, new revitalization, new ideas and new groups to be formed.  I think the city in the past three years has made greater progress in forming public/private partnerships than at any time in the past. This momentum needs to continue.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

The Rediscover Downtown Martinsville has been a great asset to our community. It is a grass-roots effort created by local business owners to create an environment downtown where people want to visit through-out the year, not just at Fall Foliage time. They host monthly events on the square that are family friendly and attractive to a wide range of visitors. I have been pleased with their efforts and initiatives and have supported many of their efforts.  Our council has worked with them on many fronts; however, we need to increase our efforts even more. The recent addition of the go-cart race, “Thunder in the Valley,” recommended by Councilman Terry Buster, is just this type of effort and cooperation needed to improve our community.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

I feel the city has been blessed with the organization Rediscover Martinsville who has eagerly hosted events, created a vision and is working towards enhancing our downtown with updates and color.  The Master Gardeners have stepped forward to train and assist civic organizations that have adopted downtown plots to maintain.

The Martinsville Fall Foliage Festival is not only a local tradition but our chance to showcase our city.

 

The city needs to be open minded, willing to assist with city equipment, personnel, street closings,  and whatever else is needed within reason to promote said events.  I feel it is only proper to contribute financially to the Martinsville school teams that represent us well in national contests.

 

 

Now that the City of Martinsville has prepared strategic economic development and comprehensive plans, as well as a downtown revitalization plan, what will you do to ensure their implementation?
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 2

John Badger:

The Mayor should appoint a councilman to over see each of these plans.  Once a month there should be a report.  These are only guidelines; we must work them to make our city grow.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

As with current administration, work with these groups closely and provide insight if needed, as well as, follow up that the job is getting done.  I think the administration and those working on the revitalization have the city’s best interest in mind.  This is something that our community is going to be able to see happening and the end result will very much anticipated.

 

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

Public / Private relationship…we need to work hand in hand and hold each other accountable to make sure the plans are implemented in a timely manner. Funding becomes an issue with most projects, so the city needs to help take the lead on finding grants and match money when possible.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

I will work with the chamber and the mayor to ensure that the goals of the plans are put in place. With this in mind, we need to improve enforcement efforts and coordinate the various plans so everyone knows what is involved. We also need to educate our public on what the benefits are of supporting these efforts and how we will all benefit from them.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

With a council of seven members which all feel the need for growth and job creation I feel it is important that we make every employer willing to locate in Martinsville feel very welcome.  We should have personnel in place, whether it be the Mayor or someone else that rolls out the red carpet when Martinsville is being considered.  The city and county needs to be behind the downtown revitalization by volunteering at some of the functions.  The downtown square is important to me as it reflects on our community as a whole.  I would like to see every store front filled not only in the downtown section but on the outskirts as well.  I would vote to allow these businesses to open their door here. I am not opposed to volunteering to work at events that promote Martinsville.

 

 

Many rural communities are recognizing their unique qualities as an economic opportunity for tourism and thereby creating jobs and new businesses through marketing these qualities. What part should City government play in the marketing and promotion of our community?
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster- Incumbent:

City government needs to be the tip of the spear.  The mayor is the face and voice of the community and he can be complimented with the promotion and backing by the council.  Buildings and infrastructure need to be in place as well as tax incentive.  Good schools, safe and crime free streets, good housing is also very important in attracting new business as well as maintaining current businesses.  Overall improvement of our quality of life.

 

District 2

John Badger:

The City should play a huge part in promoting our City.  Work with other groups working on brochures and other events.  Councilmen should be part of the other groups, so they report back to the Mayor.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

I think the City needs to recognize our local businesses and this administration has done a good job at doing so.  The unique qualities I see in Martinsville may differ from others, but if we promote the success of the local businesses it may lead to businesses outside the community wanting to bring business in our community.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

There are a couple of things the City could help concentrate on: The John Wooden legacy, The Grassyfork Fishery and our own Martinsville City of Mineral Water.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

We should take an active role in marketing our city. We have a synergy of local action taking place in Martinsville where various groups are making a difference. I feel that the city needs to take an active role in coordinating these efforts. I feel that the mayor’s assistant position could help in this endeavor. Likewise, I feel that the steps we are taking to improve our parks and creating a new “Wooden Center” will entice more people to visit Martinsville and maybe choose to raise a family here.

 

Along these lines, I also feel that we should create a department of Parks and Recreation for Martinsville. This will enable the city to coordinate efforts in improving our parks and unifying our vision for the future. Currently there are many good ideas being discussed; however, our current system creates a disjointed effort that stifles growth and success. I feel a parks department could help secure grants and private funding. I will join with the mayor in taking the necessary steps to make this a reality.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

Much talk has been said about a Wooden Museum but I feel our community has been home to many great attributes.  Certainly John R. Wooden  should  be honored as he was a vital part of our heritage.  Consideration should be made to the fish hatcheries which has a long standing in our area.  The sanitariums which provided many jobs for the people of the community should be remembered.  Old Hickory Furniture is well known in many regions.   Agriculture plays a large portion of our history as our county including land on the outskirts of the city help to feed people around the world.

I feel the city needs to continue to work closely with the Chamber of Commerce and support their efforts that promote tourism.  I would be willing to attend Chamber meetings also as a member of the city council.

 

 

 

With the reduction of revenues from State and County sources, how do you view annexation and increased fees for services as a means to continue to fund the City’s increased need for capacity?
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

That is a double edge sword.  You increase taxes and also increase expenses to support the newly annexed area. With the current poor condition of the city infrastructure it would be difficult and potentially disastrous to run new spokes from our crumbling hub.  Shoring up the main infrastructure should be our immediate priority.

 

District 2

John Badger:

Fees should be increased on a regular scale to keep up with the pace of inflation.  Smaller increases are easier to handle then a larger one all at once.  Annexation should happen in small steps, so the city can keep up.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

I feel we really need to weigh the cost of any annexation to our City and in the long run will it be a profitable decision.  We need to understand the pros and cons.  Along with the increased tax base is also the added area for the City to care for.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

Proper planned annexation when done right is a great opportunity for the city, with an emphasis on planned. As for increased fees, I have always wanted user fee to be implemented to charge the person wanting the service instead of funding from the general tax base. I will continue to push this….many things still need to be addressed, such as Planning Department, Trash service, Water and Sewer rates to name a few.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

We have to look seriously at annexation. If we do not grow we will stagnate and die slowly. Over the past three years we have increased our ability to offer services for future expansion through various sewer and water projects. This makes us more attractive to citizens living near our city limits to consider the benefits of city residency.

 

Likewise, we have to pay for the services that we use.  There are no free lunches. We do not have to look far for an example of the problems created by seeking a free ride. Look at our water rates over the past forty-years. Martinsville residents had one of the lowest rates in the state, and now our current residents are paying to make up the loss.  This hurts everyone but the past residents who were the persons who benefited from these low rates. There had been no budget line-item to maintain and expand our system.  Therefore, the state had to come in and address these deficiencies during the past administration.  We are continuing with following through with the measures established by the state.  We have to pay for our services now so that we do not “pass the buck” on to our children and future generations. This current council is planning for future expansion and maintenance upgrades in order to prevent these types of problems in the future.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

Annexation will certainly bring more revenue into the City but in exchange we will have to provide additional services in public safety, water and sewer and allow us the opportunity to apply for more grant funding.  I feel something definitely needs to be done concerning our shortfall in the Water Department funding.  I am opposed to selling our water supply.

 

 

 

One important criteria viewed by prospective employers in selecting a new business location is a well educated workforce. What activities would you facilitate to establish continuing education opportunities for our workforce and to foster an environment of lifelong learning?
 

District 1

Jim Barley – NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

Partner with a provider of continuing education such as Ivy Tech Community College.  A satellite facility would be beneficial to our community.  The city must support such a move.

 

District 2

John Badger:

See what it would take to purchase and remodel the Kennedy Home.  Invite Ivy Tech to use the space to promote education.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

Working with our schools administration to make certain we are doing all that we can to provide the opportunity for lifelong learning.  When there are opportunities we need to be sure the community is aware.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

One big item I am all for and will continue to work for is the establishment of a community college here in Martinsville. Another item I would like the city to become involved with is a grant for workforce development. This would be done through a public/private relationship through the State.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

I feel that we need to continue courting Ivy Tech and try to help them establish a foot-hold here in Martinsville.  I think the new “Wooden Center” would be an ideal location for this effort.  The schools currently offer Ivy Tech classes on a periodic basis based on Ivy Tech’s needs.  Likewise, we need to help educate our local businesses in the programs available to them currently from various governmental agencies.  We need to explore all avenues and make them available.  Once again, I feel that the mayor’s assistant that we created several years ago can be a valuable resource in this area.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

I was pleased to see our local public library offer various computer classes last year and would encourage more of this.  Ivy Tech has a beautiful education facility that many from our community attend and I would welcome Ivy Tech or an accredited school into our community to offer a series of classes.  This is an opportunity for our schools, county and city to work together to provide a facility to host classes in.

 

Statistics show that much of the economic growth comes from within a community, both through existing businesses and through entrepreneurs’ efforts.  What would be your plans to support these efforts and assist in the retention and growth of these companies?  How might we encourage an entrepreneurial atmosphere?
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

Make an effort to talk with all willing established, successful business owners to see if the city can partner to help tem expand/branch out into other endeavors.

 

District 2

John Badger:

We the City should have a strong “BUY LOCAL” campaign.    Encouraging people to buy from local small business and local chain stores, keeping tax dollars in our community.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

I feel we’ve done a great job creating an entrepreneurial atmosphere.  We have a lot of business men/women in our community who have stepped out in faith and opened a business of his/her dream.  There has been great success with several businesses in different markets.  As stated previously, we need to honor these businesses and make known their successes.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

The city now has a couple of things in place to address this very topic. We have just implemented the TIF districts in Martinsville. This will provide a direct benefit to new and existing businesses. Also, we have established a fund to acquire property and to help fund existing property development.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

Please see answer above.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

Make infrastructure available.  Provide an adequate pool of workers who can be trained if needed.  The newly created TIF Districts will provide funding to allow updates over time.

 

 

 

Areas to the East, West and South of the City have been identified as potential new business park sites. What actions should the city administration undertake to initiate the development of one or more of these sites, including infrastructure extension, purchase, tax incentives and zoning?  Once sites have been identified and prepared for marketing, what types of businesses do you believe should be approached as the City moves forward in developing a new economic base for growth and employment?
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

First, a good hard look at the types of businesses most suited to locate in Martinsville.  Once this is established, then absolutely, purchase, improve and put in place tax incentives.  Seek the businesses we need.  Seek the businesses that would complement our community.

 

District 2

John Badger:

I believe we should pick one site and do as much as possible to get it ready for industry.  New industry and with the promotion to buy local, will help the city to grow.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

I feel the administration has made incentives to attract businesses to our community.  We have the resources to bring different types of businesses and industries into our community.  The promotion of our city to potential businesses plays a crucial part in having them choose Martinsville.  I don’t think there is any one industry that we need to bring into our community, as we cannot choose, but we do need to take the necessary steps to show what Martinsville has to offer.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

Everything is on the table…The city should have every option available. If there is a business that we don’t think is a good fit for Martinsville, we will still encourage that business to stay in Morgan County and help to facilitate that venture.   The cities first priority is to get business to Martinsville. The council established a fund to purchase property and implemented TIF Districts to capture funds to help with business development.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

I am proud of the steps we have taken over the past few years to set the table for economic growth. I agreed with Councilman Trout in establishing a fund ($200,000.00 per year) to assist the city in the purchase of property, or allowing the city to assist a business in locating or expanding here in Martinsville. The mayor was also a strong supporter of this effort. The mayor’s office needs to have the tools and resources available to get the job done when it comes to economic growth.  Businesses do not want to wait around for a city to deliberate, they want us to act.  To them, time is money.  This fund and pre-planning is an example of what we need to continue doing to move Martinsville forward.

Rick Kivett – Inncumbent

A study group needs to be formed with members from the business community, governmental representation, city engineer. Economic Development board, & members of the general public  The closing of Harman-Becker left behind many factory workers that are available to staff a manufacturing plant.  How much incentive we can offer needs to be decided.

 

 

 

What have you done or what would you do to improve relations with the county?
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

I can personally state that the Martinsville Grand Prix is experiencing good co-operation between the city and county in order to stage the event.  Meetings between the city and county council members would be beneficial and welcomed by me personally.  Developing communication between each government body to discuss ways in which we could partner or co-op with matters that would benefit both and our community as a whole.

 

District 2

John Badger:

One of the groups needs to change their meeting night, so that an appointed city council member can attend a county meeting and visa-versa.  Attend meeting, get involved and know what’s going on, before it is in the paper.  Help each other with problems.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

I feel the City is working well with the county at present.  We need to continue working with the county so that we are not only growing Martinsville but the county as well.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

I will work closely with county government to consolidate offices, because whether we want this or not, it is a reality. I have a good working relationship with many county and city governments in our area.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

When I first took office I met with Kenny Hale and Jeff Quyle from the county along with fellow Martinsville City Councilman, David Trout, in an effort to discuss improving communication and cooperation between the city and the county.  We established a monthly breakfast in order to accomplish these goals. This was very beneficial in dealing with the after-math of the June, 2008, flood. We have continued meeting and discussing opportunities for improving the county and Martinsville, and we have added the expertise of County Councilman, Ryan Goodwin, to the meetings. I feel we have a good relationship as a result of these meetings.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

I have been exposed to county government the past 25 years and have a good understanding of what is taking place on that level.  My wife Vickie serves on the county council and has held the offices of county recorder and county clerk and together we have seen our county grow.  I feel when the economy picks up growth will follow with housing starts, light retail business and hopefully car sales.  We both care about doing what is right in the right locations.  Business should be kept with business, housing with housing and industry with industry contained in a well thought plan.  I know I could work well with county representatives.

 

 

 

What have you done or what would you do to increase economic development opportunities for Martinsville?
 

District 1

Jim BarleyNO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Terry Buster – Incumbent: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 2

John Badger:

Taking an active role in the development of the Farmers Market, Rediscover Martinsville, Artie Fest, Martinsville Grad Prix “Thunder in the Valley” and owner of the Martinsville Candy Kitchen.  All of which have brought many people to our town.  As we build these events, and they grow bigger, so will the opportunities to establish new growth as new companies find a new home in Martinsville.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

Working with the Economic Development and Rediscover Martinsville committees and having innovative ideas and trying a different approach could mean everything when trying to increase economic development.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

Work with any business however we can to get them interested in Martinsville. We need to promote, promote, promote our city.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

When I ran for the city council at-large seat four years ago, I ran on three points. I wanted to create a grant writing position that aided the mayor and economic development. I urged the creation of a Re-development Commission in order to create vital Tax Incremental Finance districts (TIF districts). Likewise, I wished to pursue a better relationship with our county government (see answer above).

I am pleased to state that we accomplished these goals. The mayor and the council created an assistant to the mayor who focused on seeking and securing grants for our city. Sharyn Kersey was a great appointment for the city of Martinsville. She brought in over $2,000,000.00 into our city coffers. Mrs. Kersey was instrumental in coordinating and guiding the city’s rebuilding efforts through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after the June, 2008, flood. Likewise, she helped secure grants for downtown and for other water and sewer projects. These efforts improved our position for future economic growth.

With the devastation of the flood came opportunities for growth. I was appointed to the Board of Works by mayor Deckard after my election in 2007. I am honored by this trust. With the guidance of the mayor’s office, the Board of Works and our current council, we have continued to improve and increase our water and sewer capacity in order to provide the opportunity for future growth. I am pleased with this accomplishment.

Likewise, the council along with the mayor recently created Martinsville’s first Redevelopment Commission. The commission has since proposed three new TIF Districts and the council has formally approved them in the past month. This gives our city the same economic tools that other successful cities have had for years, including several of our regional neighbors. For example, Mooresville recently had nearly $2,000,000.00 in their TIF district fund which can be used for infrastructure improvements and economic development. We now have the same economic tools in position to create the same opportunities. However, it will take planning and persistence which I hope to continue to provide with my follow councilmen’s help if I am re-elected.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

I feel people need an education about our community.  Outsiders have heard negative and untrue rumors and I feel a video put out a couple years ago about Martinsville is a good collection of memories, facts and true accomplishments from our own neighbors.  It reflects Martinsville as the hometown everyone would want to be a part of.  We need to tout our high school students who win academic championships as receiving a great education at MHS.   We have many wonderful people with memberships in civic and professional organizations here in our community.

 

 

 

What do you see as the number one priority for the city of Martinsville?
 

District 1

Jim Barley – NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Terry Buster – Incumbent:

Positive, can-do, will-do, people in charge.

 

District 2

John Badger:

To work with our local service groups, special interest groups, schools, faith based groups, other cities and towns in Morgan County, and County Government to promote events and buying local while improving the County and City image.  It would help to have a calendar of events, so that they run one after another, not on top of each other.

 

Ryan Ferguson:

It’s hard to determine one single priority for the City because so many different projects go hand in hand.  I feel the present administration has made leaps and bounds in working the City’s water and sewer issues, which in turn has led to repair of our city streets and sidewalks.  It is projects like these that will help and benefit Martinsville going forward.  As mentioned earlier, I feel we need to work with the Park Board to see that the equipment at our Jimmy Nash Park is updated and repaired.  The repair of the park pool and repaving of the parking lot was indeed a necessity and I’m very happy with the end result of those improvements.

Thad Smith: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

Bob Strader: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

District 3

Gary Lester – Incumbent – Unopposed

District 4

Jeff Price: NO RESPONSE SUBMITTED

 

Dave Trout – Incumbent:

Business acquisition and jobs. Public/Private momentum that is moving Martinsville in a positive direction.

 

District 5

Phil Deckard II – Incumbent Unopposed

At Large

Doug Arthur:  ** See Mr. Arthur’s note with response to first question

 

Eric Bowlen – Incumbent

Economic growth and following through with the coordination and implementation of our strategic plans. In this regard, I feel that the “Wooden Center” would benefit Martinsville for decades to come.

Rick Kivett – Incumbent

Public Safety is always #1.  People must feel safe and know our police and fire department personnel have the needed equipment to do their job and are well trained.   I feel we already offer this.  My #1 priority to accomplish is jobs within our community.

 

 

 

 

Thank you to those candidates who took the time to seriously and thoughtfully consider these questions and to respond to us.

 

Please exercise your right to vote!

 

From the Morgan County Election Board:

Walk-in voting started last week in Martinsville. Office hours 8-4 Monday-Friday and 8-3 Saturday. Open through the lunch hour. Remember your photo ID! We’ll roll out the Mooresville satellite on Saturday, April 23.


Morgan County Election Office

Morgan County Administration Building

180 S. Main St.

Martinsville