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Friday, Dec. 9, 2016

Some Thayer city council candidates address city issues

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Of eight Thayer City Council candidates, six responded to a South Missourian News questionnaire this month regarding issues facing the city.

Of those, Alderman Robert Freeman, former Alderman Junior Brewer and newcomer Dorsey Williamson responded to the questions as presented, while Mayor Earl "Buddy" Rogers, former Alderman Joe Barbee and newcomer Terry Tillman instead submitted letters.

Alderman candidate Paul Wilson Jr. and incumbent Robert "Bob" Grimes did not respond.

On April 5, Rogers will face Freeman, who is giving up his North Ward seat for a chance at the mayoral position. Freeman was elected alderman in April 2009. Rogers was elected mayor in the same election after serving 28 years as North Ward alderman.

Tillman and newcomer Paul Wilson Jr. are vying for the seat Freeman is vacating. In the South Ward, incumbent Alderman Robert "Bob" Grimes is challenged by Williamson and Brewer, who held the seat from April-October 2007 before resigning.

Below are the candidate questionnaire responses.

Thayer mayor

Robert Freeman, 64, retired.

Reason for seeking office: Having spent many years working and serving this community in several ways by owning and operating a business which has served the public, I am looking forward to returning to the city of Thayer the experience and knowledge that I have gained in the past.

Other public offices held: I have held positions in many different committees and have worked closely with the school and young people, and working on bringing on manufacturing to the area.

Elected alderman in 2009.

Qualifications: Owned and operated Korner Plaza Restaurant for eight years; managed and operated Thayer Redi-Mix for 20 years; served two years as alderman for the city of Thayer.

The three most important issues facing the city: 1. The finances of the city; 2. Provide better communication and working to improve the city; 3. To meet the needs of the citizens.

How should those issues be tackled? 1. The finances of the city need to be operated as a business and on a budget; 2. Work to communicate with the citizens and let them know what plans the elected officials are working on; 3. Presently working on a project to establish a new business in Thayer for jobs.

How should the voter-approved law enforcement sales tax funds be spent? Keep a strong police force. Study the needs of the police department. Study the renovation of the police building to meet the needs of the department.

Earl "Buddy" Rogers, current mayor.

"To the citizens of Thayer,

"It is hard to believe that two years have gone by since I was elected to serve you as your mayor. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your mayor. I have served 28 years as an alderman in Ward 1 on the north side of the city and now two years as your mayor.

"We have come a long way since April 2009, when I took over as mayor. The city had been hit hard by a devastating ice storm, leaving the city very low on funds and emergency funds gone, and lots and lots of cleanup efforts to be done. We took the funds we had and crippled through until we could begin to see daylight. I have tried very hard to do the very best possible to move the city forward with the funds that were available and also facing bad economic times, trying to be as fair as I could to citizens' needs and expectations.

"I am always available to talk to you at City Hall or by phone anytime a problem arises. My mornings start early, as I am out and about all over town taking care of city business. That is my job; that's what I do.

"I want to praise our city employees, as they are top-notch people who also serve you with their expertise in their fields to make sure your city operates in a proper manner.

"This city is your city, and is about you, and your needs. I am very proud of you good citizens that saw the need for the capital improvement tax to improve our wastewater treatment system to meet DNR's requirements, as our system was old and was in need of many expensive repairs. We can be very proud of that accomplishment. Its completion is very near. The electric building on Front Street is in bad need of replacement. We have the concrete floor poured at the new location near the street shed and hope to work on that project in the near future. We also need to concentrate on our water lines, as they are old and many of them need to be replaced. Our police sales tax is in place, being used as the ballot stated it be used, voted in by the taxpayers.

"In office and out of office, Thayer is my home. It is where I live, and where my heart has always been, helping my neighbors and community in any way I can.

"If it is the citizens' will, I would like the opportunity to serve you as your mayor two more years.

"I urge you to go vote, and ask for your vote and support in the April 5 election."

Ward 1, North Ward

"Hello, I'm Terry Tillman and I'm running for the office of Thayer alderman, Ward 1.

"I have been a resident of Thayer for 18 years. I am married to Teresa Mustion, who is a lifelong resident of Thayer. We have four children, two of which still attend school at Thayer. We are members and attend Thayer Freewill Baptist Church. My parents are Frank and Pat Tillman and have been residents of Thayer since 1980.

"My wife and I are both employed at Thayer schools. My occupation is bus maintenance/grounds maintenance. My wife is a teacher's aide and latchkey coordinator.

"It is with these ties to this community that I have chosen to seek office. I bring no personal agenda, therefore, I am for the betterment of the city of Thayer. Realizing that the city has limited revenue, a plan to improve infrastructure in Thayer is much needed. As with my current job, I realize one must have tools to work with the while maintaining a budget. I voted for and supported the sales tax increases, realizing also this may not always be the answer.

"When going to the polls April 5, I, too, am thinking about what is best for my family and what is best for the city of Thayer."

Joe Barbee, retired Thayer High School history teacher.

"Two years as councilman for a revision of the flood plain map for the Thayer area with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As of December 2008, the correct flood plain map became official for the revised areas of Thayer. Instrumental with the Sen. Claire McCaskill called meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers director, Mike Biggs, regarding the flood plain and possible new flood study for the city of Thayer. Informed the public regarding the insurance premium refund as a result of the map revision compiled and completed. Involved in the following negotiations with the city of Thayer and Missouri Highway Commission and BNSF Railway Company in the permanent closure of the Warm Fork Road and rail crossing: 1. MoDOT funded $187,200 toward the construction of the new bridge over Two Mile Creek. 2. Thayer received $100,000 as an incentive for the permanent closure of the crossing.

"Helped in the Thayer Public School system efforts to provide a flashing caution light as a safety measure for school traffic.

"Life-long Thayer resident; bachelor's degree in education, four-year Navy veteran."

Paul Wilson Jr.

No response.

Ward 2, South Ward

Junior Brewer, 63, retired auto dealer.

Reason for seeking office: Work to make the city a better place to live and try to get jobs here.

Other public offices held: Alderman from April-October 2007.

Qualifications: Business-man experience in buying/selling for 40 years; working with people/public.

The three most important issues facing the city: 1. Jobs; 2. Streets; 3. Electrical department.

How should those issues be tackled? By aldermen and the mayor working together and common sense. These issues need upgrading.

How should the voter-approved law enforcement sales tax funds be spent? For equipment, supplies, overtime, schooling. I would have to look at the options.

Dorsey Williamson, 66, self-employed.

Reason for seeking office: This is my home. I would like to see the city and people working together to make a great city.

Other public offices held: None.

Qualifications: Dale Carnegie 13-week course -- Getting People to Work Together. For 20 years managed the biggest store in Houston, Texas, with 30 people under me. A 19-year owner of Stateline Restaurant with 18-20 employees. I work well with people.

The three most important issues facing the city: 1. City financial budget; 2. Water lines; 3. Bringing new business to town.

How should those issues be tackled? With common sense. It is not two or three people saying, "I want to do this or I want to do that." It is what is good for the city and people.

How should the voter-approved law enforcement sales tax funds be spent? The police department first. Common sense. Then where needed in the city. It's not police town or Thayer town. It's all together.

Robert "Bob" Grimes, incumbent.

No response.

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