I decided to seek a seat on the Town Council for several reasons. I want to ensure that public safety is first on the agenda. We must ensure that there are 10 fire personnel staffed on each shift. We need to monitor staffing levels at both the fire and police departments. We need to ensure our development agreement with Woodmont is strictly enforced should we need to increase staff after construction.
I count roads in the public safety category as well. They need to be reconstructed as appropriate, but moreover maintained as we go along to avoid the inflated cost of reconstruction. For years, a $1 million bond was passed by voters each March. This year, the roadway fund will receive just $275,000. The next council needs to come together and figure out a realistic plan to maintain this part of our infrastructure.
Additionally, we need to figure out how to retain our residents. People are moving out of our town and state at increasing rates. Our new graduates are leaving for college, and not looking back. The only way to keep our residents here is to ensure there are local jobs and an affordable living cost. We require an appropriate mix of housing.
Finally, we have several large developments coming. We continue to have discussions on bringing large businesses to the airport and Pettengill Road area. And, we have the new Woodmont development knocking on the door. There are major decisions coming in regards to all of these areas. I credit Town Manager Kevin Smith with focusing so much of his time on supporting current businesses and seeking new businesses to come to town. We must continue to increase the tax base so that residential taxes can be level-funded or even decreased.
A ballot in my favor is a vote for public safety, open local government, and an eye towards economic development. I was humbled by how many people encouraged me to run. I would be honored if you would join them in voting for me on March 11.
Please find “Chris Melcher for Town Council” on Facebook. You can also email me at email@example.com.