Election ’09: Four are vying to fill Landis board seats
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó Four people are vying to fill two seats on the Landis town board. One is a newcomer, the other a former alderman, and two are incumbents.
Challengers Charlene Nolt and Will Beaver are up against incumbents James Furr and Craig Sloop. Beaver was on the board previously.
– Charlene Nolt, 52.
This is Nolt’s first foray into town government, but she is passionate about helping people.
“I don’t always think politics should always run a town. A person who has lived in this town and knows the people of this town and who has a caring heart can get in here and try to help them,” she said.
Nolt did that in July when she headed up a community yard sale for the town with proceeds benefitting Landis schools.
She is concerned about bringing the community together for more activities.
One of the biggest issues the town faces is having something for people to do, she said.
“We have no recreation for our children or our adults,” Nolt said.
She would also like to see more businesses in Landis. Nolt is also a businessowner herself. She works at Kings Quick Stop #1 in Landis.
She would also like to see some sort of volunteer committees that can be formed to help the elderly.
“Or anybody who can’t afford repairs and other things done at their home,” she said.
Nolt would improve some of the town’s services. She said many citizens are worried that there is only one police officer on patrol at night. The issue was brought up at this month’s board meeting. Nolt was one of those who spoke. She said she’d like to find a way to get another officer on the street.
– Will Beaver, 83.
The biggest issue facing the town, Beaver said is to continue the water/sewer improvements.
When Beaver was in office, in 2007 the residents voted to pursue water/sewer bonds to pay for improvements to the outdated system. The town has yet to begin the major construction for these projects.
“It’s something that should’ve been done a year ago. That’s the most important thing now,” Beaver said.
Beaver also wants to see the town continue to grow, “for the future of the town.”
He would like to see the passive historical park come to fruition. The late Frances and D.C. Linn, longtime residents, donated property to the town to create a park.
“We need to get that park completed soon as we can,” he said.
Beaver would also bring in new businesses to the downtown business district.
He also thinks the electrical system needs to be expanded and upgraded.
Beaver believes people should vote for him because he has more than a decade of experience.
“We need someone in there with a little more experience,” he said.
Beaver has been on the board a total of 13 years.
– Craig Sloop, 54.
The biggest issue facing Landis, Sloop said, is the economic recovery.
“We have an elderly population that lives on fixed incomes as well as those town residents that were laid off or the companies that they worked for have closed,” he said.
The layoffs and closings have impacted the town’s operations, Sloop added.
“Employees are required to take a furlough day each month. This was done to balance the budget for the 2009 and 2010 fiscal year,” he said.
The board also held the tax rate the same as it was last year, which prompted the mandatory furlough days, Sloop said.
The economy has also impacted the expansion of services the town provides.
These services are a priority, Sloop said, “but during this struggling economy, we are unable to provide any additional services at this time.”
He hopes that when the economy improves the town could look at expanding some services.
The town is pressing forward with its water/sewer projects, which Sloop said are ready for bids.
“We are hoping that they will come in at a lower bid price due to the downturn in the economy,” he said.
Sloop said there are some good things going on in Landis including the passive park. The town also acquired the Linn family’s old hardware store in the downtown area, which will be turned into a community building and possible museum.
Sloop aims to do his best at getting the citizens what they want.
“I know we as a town board cannot always do what every citizen wants done, but we try to listen to everyone’s suggestions,” he said.
– James Furr, 51.
The biggest issues Furr sees in Landis are the quality of life and economic development.
“I want our small town, the Landis traditional values and quality of life to remain constant even through the growth that we will experience,” Furr said.
Furr also believes in encouraging job opportunities for residents by, “whatever means available without excessive incentives costing the taxpayers.”
He would improve the town’s services by continuing to refine the departments that include fire, law enforcement and public works, “at a constant cost structure despite the economic downturns.”
“I have strived to keep our services without excessive taxation,” Furr said.
Furr has a proven track record of meeting goals during his first term, he said.
Furr has introduced several ordinances and proposals to improve the town. The most recent was a graffiti ordinance that would require businesses and homeowners to remove the markings. The ordinance was recently tabled at a meeting to review resident’s suggestions on how to improve it.
He feels people should vote for him because he is aware of the time commitment the office requires and to maintain the health and energy level of public service that is required.
Furr would be completing his second term, if elected.