SMITHVILLE — In the race for Smithville’s First Ward aldermanic seat, Dan Ulledahl and Arthur Smith will appear 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?
Ulledahl: “My primary goal is to promote growth while maintaining traditional values and the safety of our town.”
Smith: “Accountability for the citizens of the city of Smithville.”
In what areas of economic development does Smithville need to improve and how, as alderman, will you work to improve them?
Ulledahl: “I strongly believe Smithville should capitalize more on lake traffic. Additional lake-oriented businesses and city festivals during high lake usage times could help our economy. Finally, having more industrial companies located in Smithville would enable their employees to shop and enjoy our city.”
Smith: “Smithville needs competition in business. Old companies control the town, and new businesses have been blocked and do not come into Smithville. With the growth of Smithville, we need to be able to keep up so citizens don’t feel it necessary to travel to Kansas City in order to shop.”
Are you participating in the city strategic planning process? Why or why not?
Ulledahl: “Yes I do. I think it is very important to see and hear other community member ideas. I have seen a much bigger picture of what needs to happen to make Smithville a better place to live and work.”
Smith: “No, because times of meetings were not easy to obtain.”
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?
Ulledahl: “Yes. I think the current set of aldermen and mayor have done a very good job of setting Smithville up for future success and would like to help continue progress.”
Do you support passage of the park sales tax ballot issue? Why or why not?
Ulledahl: “Yes, although I am not a fan of raising taxes. I believe our parks are very well-used and need upgrading of equipment and amenities.”
Smith: “Yes, because I believe we need to do more to support the children of Smithville. They need a safe place to hang out and play. As a father and grandfather, I want a fun, safe place for kids to be outside playing and getting exercise.”
Do you support banning flavored vape/e-cigarette juice? Why or why not?
Ulledahl: “Yes. I believe strongly that vaping is a problem for youth in our community. Banning it would help stop them from being able to become addicted to smoking/vaping.”
Smith: “Yes. It is a matter of health for children and adults. There is enough evidence of the harm that is being caused, and laws surrounding vape/e-cigarettes should be strictly enforced. We need to have education available for families so everyone is knowledgeable of the harm that vape/e-cigarettes can cause ...”