Editor’s note: The lingering impact of Hurricane Sandy was spread across the country on Tuesday as Internet providers and others who depend upon electronic communications were effected by the lack of service and the strange glitches with data missing within satellite and other transmissions. Not that it was the only reason but we had difficulty getting the written responses that some candidates had sent earlier. A couple of responses to individual questions was inadvertently omitted. Please know that these candidates submitted complete responses so we’ve gone back in and added those that didn’t appear in this week’s newspaper.

Eight men in Maumelle are vying for four open City Council seats in next Tuesday’s General Election with only one person currently serving seeking office — and he was appointed to complete an unexpired term.

It’s the biggest change in the makeup of the council in recent memory and probably since the council began. Three longtime council members chose not to run for reelection — Doug Ladner, Jamie Stell and Tony Brainerd.

Steve Ibbotson, a former Maumelle longtime director of parks and recreation who now holds a similar position in Conway is the only incumbent seeking election. He was appointed to fill Alderwoman Jan Hogue’s remaining one-year term when the council appointed her to fill out the remaining three years on Brenton Witonski’s term after he abruptly resigned after buying a new house out of his ward.

Witonski is seeking the Ward Three position currently held by Doug Ladner. Witonski is being challenged by Preston Lewis.

We asked each of the candidates to answer just a couple of late minute questions in order to give voters one last comparative glimpse of the candidates who’ve been working hard to gain name recognition and to meet the voters within the newly drawn wards. Most have initiated door-to-door campaigns and have been walking the streets of Maumelle since early last summer.

But some have been more energetic than others and these questions are designed to give the voters some insight into the direction each candidate wants to take the city.

The questions will be restated in bold and the responses will be listed by Ward, by candidate with their last name only preceding their response.

The candidates weren’t given a lengthy period to respond because by this stage of the campaign they ought to know the issues forwards and backwards and the winners will soon find that it’s been easy up until this point.

When they take office in January, or even before if they participate in the budget process, they’ll find the issues coming at them fast and furious.

Question # 1.

1. With outside consultants pointing out the city may spend more money on services than it will take in the future unless the tax base changes, what should the city do now to change that expected situation? Please expound on what you’d suggest to strengthen Maumelle’s retail tax base. Please indicate your thoughts on the community service fees. Should they stay the same, continue to be cut or done away with?

Any way you parse the terminology, the level of services provided now to residents might still need to be addressed shortly but not right now in next year’s upcoming budget.

However, your thoughts of where future cuts or expansion of services balanced by increases or restructuring of tax and or funding sources would still be appropriate.

Responses:

Alderman-Ward 1, Position 1:

Steve Mosley, 16 Riverwood Place ——— 501-240-6700

"As to expanding the retail tax base, 2 things immediately come to mind. The first is the large swath of undeveloped land within Maumelle’s city limits up at the Morgan entrance. This is rarely talked about, but it is a prime location for a big box store and other retail sites that could attract shoppers from Mayflower, North Little Rock, as well as Maumelle and provide us with good sales tax revenue. We don’t have to wait for a 3rd entrance to be built for such a scenario and it wouldn’t generate additional traffic congestion on the Boulevard as such retail stores would in the City Center area.

The second idea would be to create an attractive, resident friendly town center between Kroger and Neighborhood Market with an ‘architectural overlay.’ Such a plan should include shops, indoor/outdoor dining, plenty of green spaces, and perhaps even some upscale residential units that would allow Maumelle residents a way to congregate in a social setting and perhaps have residents preferring to spend their money in Maumelle as opposed to going into Little Rock for an evening out. The concepts used in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Utica Square Shopping Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma are ideas that I think Maumelle residents would enjoy and utilize. It’s currently difficult to want to spend your dining and entertainment dollars in the current strip center settings.

As to the Community Service Fee, this was a tax source that Mayor Burch Johnson wanted to phase out in conjunction with the imposition of the 1-cent sales tax that went into effect sometime around 2005. The idea was to relieve Maumelle residents of some of the high tax burdens that had been placed on them to finance new infrastructure associated with rapid growth. In fact, Johnson and the City Council had it slated for a gradual phase out. However, once Mayor Mike Watson entered office, he and the Council canceled the phase out, leaving most of the fee still intact. Former Ward 4 Alderman Brenton Witonski led a successful effort a couple of years ago to get another small portion of the fee phased out. As a conservative, I would like to see this fee be phased out if at all possible. It has always been a problem to collect, thus there have always been a large portion of the population that simply hasn’t paid. This is not fair to the residents that choose to comply with the law and pay the fee. Proponents of keeping the fee try to alarm residents with the idea that Police and Fire would not be funded, but in reality, the Police and Fire are funded from the General Fund like most other City services during the budget process.

Kevin Corbell —— 123 Grenoble Circle, Maumelle, AR 72113 ——— 501-804-0896

It’s important that Maumelle consider the advice from the outside consultants when they say a healthy blend of residential and retail growth is needed to support the cost of city services. Future retail growth in Maumelle provides tax revenue that will allow city services to be funded at levels to avoid future deficits that could occur within 15 years if the city builds out all residential to existing city limits. As the tax base changes and city services are funded appropriately then I would be in favor of reducing the community service fees and eventually eliminating them.

Alderman-Ward 2, Position 1

Marc S. Kelley, 118 Traveler Lane, Maumelle, AR 72113 ——— 501-310-3126

"If Maumelle is to change the tax base, it is imperative that the city government strategically attract retail businesses that can assist in providing jobs and the needed tax revenue to ensure the future positive lifestyle enjoyed by the families of Maumelle. As a member of the City Council I pledge to make sound fiscal decisions, assist in strategic planning to attract retail business over the long term, and keep Maumelle fiscally in the Black. I share the vision of the elimination of the Community Service Fee. However, if elected, my primary position is to ensure the welfare of the citizens of Maumelle, to maintain the standard of living we enjoy and to keep the budget in the ‘Black’. The fact is that the essential services of Emergency Response (Police/Fire) and solid waste pick-up are funded via the Community Service Fee. The last reduction of the community service fee reduced revenue to the city by nearly $250K. While this fee reduction was popular no replacement revenue was identified. In good conscience I will not support the reduction or elimination of the Community Service Fee until a suitable replacement income source is identified. Our City faces some tough fiscal challenges in the near future and to reduce or eliminate a revenue source without replacement would be irresponsible and prove detrimental to the future of Maumelle. I realize this is a tough stance for a candidate, but as a future Alderman I can assure my constituents that I am committed to making the tough choices on their behalf."

Mark Bugg, 232 Summit Valley Circle, Maumelle, AR 72113 ——— 443-370-1745

Maumelle can avoid any scenario where the city is forced to reduce services or increase taxes. This can be done by careful forward looking planning for retail growth. The first step to this growth was taken when the citizens of Maumelle voted in favor of bond issues that allow a new economic corridor for the city. Continuing to follow a strategic plan will allow Maumelle to carefully develop into a thriving retail area while still having the small hometown feel we have all come to love. As the retail base expands, the service fee can be offset by sales tax receipts.

Alderman-Ward 3, Position 1

Brenton Scott Witonski, 6 Ozark Drive, Maumelle, AR 72113 ——— 501-551-2897

Preston Lewis, 14 Braeswood Place, Maumelle, AR 72113 ——— 501-813-7868

"I’m supportive of plans to expand our retail tax base to allow Maumelle to prevent future deficits by modernizing our tax structure. With regards to community service fees, I think it is important that Maumelle consider revising the name of this fee at some point to reflect the intended purpose which is to fund police and fire departments. We have a tax structure that is atypical for most communities because we have such limited retail revenue for a city our size. Our police and fire departments are top flight operations which have needed the extra revenue of the CSF. Many citizens receive that fee with their garbage bill and are not always aware that this fee isn’t just a ‘city fee’ for misc. purposes. As Maumelle’s tax structure changes the CSF should shrink by attrition; however, we must never ask our city and fire departments to do with less while population increases."

Alderman-Ward 4, Position 1

Steve Ibbotson, 46 Zircon Drive, Maumelle, AR 72113 ——— 501-472-4587

Steve was out of town and didn’t receive the questions in order to respond before Tuesday’s deadline. If we receive his response later, we will post his comments on our Website.

Caleb Norris, 110 Pin Oak Cove, Maumelle, AR 72113

During the strategic planning meetings, the consultants detailed three scenarios. In the first scenario, the consultants explained that at complete build out of the existing city limits the city would be running at a deficit. In the other two scenarios, however, the consultants demonstrated that these budget shortfalls could be addressed by additional retail, commercial, and employment centers. These non-residential properties bring in more taxes than they consume in city services, so they will alleviate the tax burden felt by Maumelle residents. Ideally, these new developments will be located primarily at the outskirts of town so Maumelle can keep the small community feel we all love and avoid traffic congestion in the heart of town. The most obvious locations are near the I-40 in the area surrounding Razorback Pizza and the proposed 3rd entrance (assuming that is approved by the state). Being near the highway, these locations also have the benefit of being ideal for regional retail outlets, which would bring in additional revenue for the city.

The Community Service Fee continues to be a point of contention for Maumelle residents. If I had a magic wand, I would completely and immediately eliminate this fee. Unfortunately, the issue is more complicated than that. Currently, the Fire Department and Police Department rely heavily on this fee for their funding. I am NOT in favor of eliminating or reducing the Community Service Fee at the expense of the quality of service of our Police or Fire Department. What I would like to see, however, is a gradual shift of funding for these departments from the Community Service Fee to the city’s budget along with a corresponding reduction of the fee.

1. If Maumelle is to change the tax base, it is imperative that the city government strategically attract retail businesses that can assist in providing jobs and the needed tax revenue to ensure the future positive lifestyle enjoyed by the families of Maumelle. As a member of the City Council I pledge to make sound fiscal decisions, assist in strategic planning to attract retail business over the long term, and keep Maumelle fiscally in the Black. I share the vision of the elimination of the Community Service Fee. However, if elected, my primary position is to ensure the welfare of the citizens of Maumelle, to maintain the standard of living we enjoy and to keep the budget in the "Black". The fact is that the essential services of Emergency Response (Police/Fire) and solid waste pick-up are funded via the Community Service Fee. The last reduction of the community service fee reduced revenue to the city by nearly $250K. While this fee reduction was popular no replacement revenue was identified. In good conscience I will not support the reduction or elimination of the Community Service Fee until a suitable replacement income source is identified. Our City faces some tough fiscal challenges in the near future and to reduce or eliminate a revenue source without replacement would be irresponsible and prove detrimental to the future of Maumelle. I realize this is a tough stance for a candidate, but as a future Alderman I can assure my constituents that I am committed to making the tough choices on their behalf.

Question # 2.

How much money have you raised in this campaign and how much of that was loans or contributions from yourself or family member? How many contributors outside of your immediate family have you had?

Mosley:

I have spent about $1,000 all of which was provided by me personally. I have no loans and have accepted no outside contributions.

Corbell:

My campaign raised $2,175 in total from 15 contributors including myself. Contributions from myself and family totaled $375.

Bugg:

To this point I have had just under $1000 in campaign contributions. No one outside my immediate family or friends contributed. My goal was to find out more about what people in ward 2 were interested in and what concerns they had. I didn’t want my interests to be driven by contributors to the detriment of the people in my ward. Like all candidates, the itemized information is publicly available at the Arkansas Secretary of States website, http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/Pages/financialDisclosure.aspx

Norris:

My wife and I have contributed a few dollars shy of $600 to my campaign. I have not actively solicited other contributions nor have I accepted any.

Witonski:

a. How much? $2900 (None from loans)

b. From Family? $800 (From 16 family members)

c. From Others? $2100 (from 42 non-family members)

Lewis:

We raised 800 with donations from 12 individuals. I didn’t make a "loan" to myself, but I did make a 1200.00 self contribution from my own family (Preston & Tonya Lewis). Not being a professional politician, I wasn’t sure how this was best reported or customarily done, so I just counted it as a self contribution to help finance this campaign.

Kelley:

My campaign was financed with $1500 and the contribution was provided solely by me. Although donations were offered and our political process allows the financial support of candidates; I felt it important as an Alderman to maintain my position free from any appearance of bias or encumbrance.

Question # 3:

3. What are the top two issues in your race?

Mosley:

Because of Ward 1’s location near the southeastern entrance of the City, I have found that traffic and high density housing, such as apartments, have been on the minds of most ward 1 residents. Despite the need to preserve what little capacity we have left on Maumelle Blvd between here and I-430, the Maumelle City Planning Commission and the City Council have largely pretended that traffic is not a problem and have taken highly illogical actions such as approving rezoning for more apartments in the Counts Massie bottleneck. I am in favor of a moratorium on high density housing at least until an interchange for a 3rd entrance is constructed that can drain additional traffic. We need the reasonable ability to enter and exit our city, and current Maumelle residents and commuters need to be protected. With the Boulevard near capacity, it needs to be incumbent on developers to show us how we will get in and out of town, not the other way around.

Corbell:

The issues repeatedly brought up when talking with my neighbors in Ward 1 are Traffic and Water. Residents are tired of sitting in traffic twice a day and they especially don’t like receiving notices in the mail regarding their water being shut off or not meeting certain standards

Bugg:

The biggest issue of the race is the growth of Maumelle. Ward 2 has a great deal of natural land and is still developing. Ensuring that development happens in a manner consistent with the lifestyle that all residents of Maumelle are accustomed to is the first priority. In line with this, the second issue is concern over Maumelle Water Management.

Norris:

The most important issue to Ward 4 residents is that they want to know that their local government officials are working for them. I am running for city council to be a voice for the residents of Ward 4. As such, I am running as an individual and do not bring an agenda; nor am I beholden to special interest groups. Instead, I believe that by reaching out to Ward 4 residents, I can help them have a say in what goes on in their city’s government.

On both my door hangers and campaign "business cards," I list four principles that I believe ensure that this system works properly: Transparency, Responsibility, Accountability, and Humility. If elected as your alderman, I will adhere to these principles.

Transparency is crucial to the proper functioning of government. Without it, residents are unable to properly weigh in on the issues important to them. Additionally, elected officials must take Responsibility for those issues that are important to their constituents. They should also be held Accountable for their actions (or inactions), not only once every four years during the elections but each and every day. Though not required, Humility in an elected official creates an environment where residents feel that they can give their opinions and are welcomed in doing so.

Kelley:

3. The top two concerns voiced by the Citizens of Ward 2 are the morning and afternoon Maumelle Boulevard traffic congestion and concerns with Maumelle Water Management. The development of Counts Massie Road extension and eventual entrance to I-40 should help to ease traffic congestion. However, in the short term I believe the city should explore a coordinated traffic control system with North Little Rock to help control traffic flow on Maumelle Boulevard during peak congestion periods. Maumelle Water Management is addressed in the next question.

Witonski:

a. Issue 1) Maumelle Water Management

b. Issue 2) Traffic Concerns

i. We need a moratorium on apartments on Maumelle to limit future impacts to traffic in Maumelle

ii. We need to work with the State regarding options with what we have. The third entrance is great, but it has been worked on since 1996 and it is still 7-15 years away. We need to work on solutions that are more tangible and immediate. We need to stop hinging everything on a third entrance because it seems to never come and the traffic keeps getting worse. We need to work with what we have.

1. First, we need to fix the lights on Maumelle Blvd. Even as far as making several lights never turn red. Making certain areas right turn only during high traffic times.

2. Second, we need to work with the State on more creative options such as making Maumelle Blvd three lanes by making one side of the blvd

split during high traffic times.

iii.

These are things we need to be working on with the state now that will impact our traffic now.

Lewis:

The top two issues are city growth (broad issue) and water (at least these are two of the common themes when going door-to-door).

3. The top two concerns voiced by the Citizens of Ward 2 are the morning and afternoon Maumelle Blvd. traffic congestion and concerns with Maumelle Water Management. The development of Counts Massie extension and eventual entrance to I40 should help to ease traffic congestion. However, in the short term I believe the city should explore a coordinated traffic control system with North Little Rock to help control traffic flow on Maumelle Blvd during peak congestion periods. Maumelle Water Management is addressed in the next question.

Question # 4

4. What are your thoughts on solving the Maumelle Water Management problems?

Mosley:

Maumelle’s water function is actually mentioned by about everybody when going door-to-door. It ranges from water quality, to last summer’s water rationing, to the high cost, to the lack of control and accountability. Essentially, people are fed up with the water function and the City’s insistence that nothing can be done. As to how to start addressing the problems, it’s time for City Hall to stand up for residents and insist that the 3 unelected commissioners of Maumelle Water Management relinquish control to a democratic process. Maumelle Water Management needs to allow residents to select who they want as Commissioners, or it needs to enter into discussions for turning the assets over to the City. As co-founder of Maumelle Residents Coalition, I have challenged MWM Commissioners to sit down with our group and City leaders and begin moving in that direction. They have not responded. The bottom line is that before any other issues should be addressed with MWM, it needs to be under democratic control.

Corbell:

It’s my understanding, the City of Maumelle doesn’t regulate/govern the Maumelle Water Management but instead it’s governed by the State of Arkansas. The city has its hands tied to a certain extent, without any input over how the MWM operates. The water situation this past summer was a major problem, and we must work to find solutions to prevent a repeat of what happened. Until we can find an alternative source of water or change how MWM is operated, we will have to work with them to create a better relationship where there is at least improved communication.

Bugg:

MWM provides an essential service to Maumelle but is not owned or run by the city government. The first step is to improve communication between citizens and MWM. Recent efforts by the City and the Mayor to have laws enacted at the general assembly were overturned by the county court. We must continue to try every available avenue, through discourse and legal means if necessary to have a say in MWM. It is completely unacceptable to receive a notice of failing EPA testing again and again. MWM needs oversight to improve customer service and training to improve water collection and testing techniques.

Kelley:

To understand the issues involving Maumelle Water Management you must understand the relationship between the City of Maumelle and Maumelle Water Management (MWM). As stated on the MWM website: "Maumelle Water Management is a Suburban Improvement District (MSID 500) and was created by Arkansas law. Under this law MWM is governed by specific guidelines for its structure as it relates to its authority, board member positions, and operations. Control of the MWM is exercised by a three member Board of Commissioners who must be Maumelle property owners and receive no salary or compensation for their duties. The Commissioners’ actions are subject to judicial review by the Circuit Court of the state of Arkansas. In addition, the Statues contain regulatory provisions to exclude potential conflicts of interest and to assure that the interests of property owners are protected. MWM Commissioners handle the fiscal, policy and procedural aspects of the utility. They hold an open meeting the second Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at the MWM Training Center located at 418 Hyman Drive, Maumelle."

Unfortunately, as stated on the MWM website the City has no real power to govern Maumelle Water Management. The real power rests with the State Legislature and the Circuit Court. However, I believe the City can work closely with the MWM to ensure enhanced communication with the citizens of Maumelle regarding service concerns, capacity, and conservation. I have also heard speculation that that the city should receive services from Central Arkansas Water - CAW instead of MWM. CAW is a reservoir system and MWM is a well system. It is my understanding that these water sources can not be combined. Both of these water management systems pose their own problems. My position is that before a move regarding a change in water sources is explored that a full examination of costs, infrastructure impact, and policies would be warranted.

Caleb Norris:

As far as the City’s part in solving the water quality and quantity problems in Maumelle, the City Council first needs to declare that we will vigorously seek a solution to the problem. Currently, there is debate about what power, if any, the City actually has over the water issues and Maumelle Water Management. I believe that the City has jurisdiction over the quality and character of the water supplied by Maumelle Water Management. While I drink more than my fair share of Maumelle tap water, I am hardly an expert in water supply, but I do know that the City cannot effect a change in the quality of our water without first committing to do so. My commitment to Maumelle residents is that I will actively work to find a solution to our water problems

Witonski:

a. I believe there are two courses of action that we need to consider

i. FIRST: Continue working with the State Legislature to change the law that governs MWM. The water board needs to be increased in size from 3 members to at least 5 members and all of the members need to be directly elected by the citizens of Maumelle. MWM must be directly accountable to the citizens

ii. PLAN B: If it is not possible to change the laws to bring MWM directly accountable to the citizens, then we need to consider the alternative; what

would it take to have CAW provide Maumelle with its water needs. This is the most costly and labor intensive in my opinion and should only be the last resort, however, we need to be planning for this contingency. The water issues in Maumelle are too real and too critical not to be exploring all possible options.

Lewis:

There remains an ongoing debate that tends to point to the reality that Maumelle city government has no oversight with Maumelle Water Mngmt. My feeling is that this relationship needs to be clarified (legislatively or legally). Maumelle’s city council is a voice though for the citizens, and I intend to be firm in my message to MWM that the rhetoric has to improve. It’s unacceptable for a utility to blame citizens for a crisis and vandalism. It’s also unacceptable for a utility to get phone calls laced with profanity and name calling. The solution Maumelle needs on this issue can come in the form of a change in water provider or reform of MWM, but it needs to happen. Maumelle shouldn’t have to ever re-live the 2012 summer.

4. To understand the issues involving Maumelle Water Management you must understand the relationship between the City of Maumelle and Maumelle Water Management (MWM). As stated on the MWM website: "Maumelle Water Management is a Suburban Improvement District (MSID 500) and was created by Arkansas law. Under this law MWM is governed by specific guidelines for its structure as it relates to its authority, board member positions, and operations. Control of the MWM is exercised by a three member Board of Commissioners who must be Maumelle property owners and receive no salary or compensation for their duties. The Commissioners’ actions are subject to judicial review by the Circuit Court of the state of Arkansas. In addition, the Statues contain regulatory provisions to exclude potential conflicts of interest and to assure that the interests of property owners are protected. MWM Commissioners handle the fiscal, policy and procedural aspects of the utility. They hold an open meeting the second Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at the MWM Training Center located at 418 Hyman Drive, Maumelle."

Unfortunately, as stated on the MWM website the City has no real power to govern Maumelle Water Management. The real power rests with the State Legislature and the Circuit Court. However, I believe the City can work closely with the MWM to ensure enhanced communication with the citizens of Maumelle regarding service concerns, capacity, and conservation. I have also heard speculation that that the city should receive services from Central Arkansas Water - CAW instead of MWM. CAW is a reservoir system and MWM is a well system. It is my understanding that these water sources can not be combined. Both of these water management systems pose their own problems. My position is that before a move regarding a change in water sources is explored that a full examination of costs, infrastructure impact, and policies would be warranted.

Question # 5:

5. Why should your neighbors and friends elect you instead of your opponent?

Mosley:

I have spent the past 2 years as co-founder of 2 resident advocacy groups (Maumelle Residents United and Maumelle Residents Coalition) leading public efforts to stand up for residents on issues like water, rezoning, high density housing, traffic, taxes, and ethics. Essentially, I am a proven entity who will ask the hard questions and stand up for the resident, his way of life, and his property values. I really haven’t seen or heard my opponent take a stand or offer specific solutions to any resident issue. Therefore, I think voters have a clear choice. If you, as a voter, are like me and want to see a shift in the City Council toward resident sensitivity and a preservation of our quality of life, then I’d appreciate your vote on November 6th. Thank you for your consideration!

Corbell:

I believe that Maumelle should be a leader in solving the traffic issues that affect us, and not let the city of North Little Rock continue to control access to our town. I have spoken publicly about possible solutions. My opponent in this race has no solutions. When asked, he only says it needs more research. Well, the research has been done. It’s time to take action, and I will help move solutions forward so we can improve our traffic problems and to solve the other issues facing Maumelle.

I will bring a spirit of collaboration and a fresh perspective to the Maumelle City Council. I have enjoyed getting to know more people in my ward, and I will continue to engage the residents in our ward to make sure I understand what is important to them, so I can represent them on the city council. It is important to me that residents have their voices heard, I will work to represent those voices.

Bugg:

I bring a fresh perspective to the City Council. I am very detail and data oriented. I will make sure all the facts are laid out so that the decisions that are made move Maumelle forward.

Kelley:

My opponent is a fine man and has much to offer our community. However, please keep in mind that the next four years are going to present very real fiscal challenges for our city and require principled leadership. I believe I possess the necessary budget and business experience, education, and integrity required to meet the challenge of ensuring that Maumelle remains a city that we can continue to be proud to call home. My life has been one of service: twenty-eight years in the military and four years as a Maumelle Volunteer Firefighter. I would consider it my duty and a privilege to serve as your Alderman.

Norris:

My neighbors and friends should vote for me because I am committed to representing them. In order to keep Ward 4 residents informed and seek input on the issues important to you, I have put together an email list of concerned residents. Ward 4 residents can be added to the list by emailing me at calebjnorris@gmail.com. Additionally, I believe that your representative should be accessible and approachable, so I freely give my personal cell phone number (501 697-1323) to folks who want to share their opinion. If you’re looking for an elected official who actually represents you and the things important to you, then vote for Caleb Norris. Oh, and be sure to stop by and say hi when you see me holding signs at the polls.

Witonski:

5. Why should your neighbors and friends elect you instead of your opponent?

a. Proven Record – It has been proven with over 5 years of service to the citizens of Maumelle as an Alderman that I will represent them. I am fiscally responsible and work hard to ensure money is being spent well. I reduced taxes in Maumelle by $150,000 through Ordinance 783, in the 2008 budget I saved the taxpayers $324,582 under Resolution 2008-01. I have worked to improve our walk paths, build tennis courts, construct a skate park, build the North Fire Station and increase our Fire Personnel to its current numbers as well as numerous other initiatives that have benefited and improved the lives, safety and finances of Maumelle citizens. By electing me, Maumelle citizens can be certain of exactly what they are getting and that I will represent them.

b. Positive Experience – I have demonstrated to the citizens my ability to keep them informed, listen to their responses and actively advocate for them at the City Council. Several residents of Ward 4, who I used to represent, have stepped forward on their own regard (I did not ask) and have spoken favorably toward my ability and history in representing them well. I represented Maumelle citizens when no one else would. I feel that the positive experience citizens have had with me will continue after I am elected and makes me the ideal candidate. You know you are getting a good Alderman

that will work for you.

c. Prepared to Act – I know the issues facing Maumelle because I have dealt with them directly for 5 years. I am prepared to immediately hit the ground running with efforts to enact a moratorium on apartments in Maumelle and increase our Fire Safety appropriately in Maumelle. I am ready to start meeting the direct needs of Ward 3 with regard to our neighborhood parks and water concerns. With my experience and my track record, I am ready to start making a positive impact for the citizens of Maumelle and Ward 3 from day 1.

Lewis:

I’ve been fortunate to draw an opponent that is a kind and decent man. I consider him a friend. That being said, we offer two different styles as Alderman. As evidenced by the recent bond election vote, I was the only candidate in this race that would tell how he voted prior to the votes being counted ( I voted yes on all 3 questions). According to residents we’ve both canvassed, Mr. Witonski wouldn’t reveal how he stood on these issues.

My decisions are routed in conservative principles and conviction. My opponent admittedly will change his vote within minutes based on popular opinion of those who attend a meeting. While this kind of philosophy may be expedient for an audience, it falls short in representing the silent majority of citizens who care about Maumelle but may not be able to attend council meetings.

5. My opponent is a fine man and has much to offer our community. However, please keep in mind that the next four years are going to present very real fiscal challenges for our city and require principled leadership. I believe I possess the necessary budget and business experience, education, and integrity required to meet the challenge of ensuring that Maumelle remains a city that we can continue to be proud to call home. My life has been one of service: twenty-eight years in the military and four years as a Maumelle Volunteer Firefighter. I would consider it my duty and a privilege to serve as your Alderman.The top two concerns voiced by the Citizens of Ward 2 are the morning and afternoon Maumelle Blvd. traffic congestion and concerns with Maumelle Water Management. The development of Counts Massie extension and eventual entrance to I40 should help to ease traffic congestion. However, in the short term I believe the city should explore a coordinated traffic control system with North Little Rock to help control traffic flow on Maumelle Blvd during peak congestion periods. Maumelle Water Management is addressed in the next question.