SMITHVILLE — In the race for Smithville’s Third Ward aldermanic seat, incumbent Marvin Atkins is challenged by Jerry Stewart on the April ballot. The Courier-Tribune provided questions to each candidate, asking for biographical details and where they stand on city issues.
Candidates were allowed 50 words to answer each question. Answers exceeding the limit were edited for fairness to all candidates with an ellipses (...).
What will you make your primary goal for the city of Smithville, if elected?
Atkins: “My primary goal for the city is to continue with our citizens, city management, mayor and board of aldermen our comprehensive future plans and put them into action.”
Stewart: “Maintain community feel and pride and manage future growth.”
In what areas of economic development does Smithville need to improve and how, as alderman, will you work to improve them?
Atkins: “Smithville’s economical development will be successful with increased industrial growth followed by commercial growth, but still maintaining our small-town feel. This can increase by developing and following a good citizen-supported comprehensive plan.”
Stewart: “Manage residential growth and encourage new industries and promote increase of local jobs. I will participate in planning and promotion programs tailored that way to help keep new revenue in Smithville and I will work with others who do so.”
Did you participate in the city strategic planning process? Why or why not?
Atkins: “I am honored and excited to be a part of the teams creating our strategic plan, city survey, citizen-supported strategic plan, and currently with the citizen-based comprehensive plan.”
Stewart: “No. I was still working and my focus was elsewhere at the time and I had trusted who Smithville citizens had placed in that role.”
Do you believe the city is doing enough to forge community partnerships to set Smithville up for future success? If not, what would you do differently as an alderman?
Atkins: “It is vital that us citizens and local government work together for any success. I was part of a team that hired and continue to support a forward-thinking city manager whose strategic actions are already enhancing our city staff with experienced people and positions and encouraging staff ... .”
Stewart: “I hope they are. I hope to cooperate and work with others who are.”
Do you support passage of the park sales tax ballot issue? Why or why not?
Atkins: “Citizens are now seeing the necessity and benefits in tax increases to obtain the quality of life and amenities they desire. The success of the citizen’s strategic and comprehensive plans will rely on the passing of the park tax vote.”
Stewart: “Yes, if it improves our city and affordably increases enjoyment for our residents.”
Do you support banning flavored vape/e-cigarette juice? Why or why not?
Atkins: “Banning flavored vaping products will ultimately be decided by state and federal government. While I respect any adult to purchase as they please, I am against any product that can get into the hands of our youth that might hurt them. I feel parents should guide their children, not government.”
Stewart: “Where I believe in freedom for business to compete and provide for citizens needs, attempted exploitation of our children should be controlled.”