CENTERVILLE — 1. What is your background? I have been married to my wife Angella for 46 years. We have two children. Cindy who lives in Ottumwa and Brenda Fry who lives in Centerville with her husband Eric and their son Cameron, whom is my pride and joy. I have been an active member of the Centerville Fire Department for the last 32 years. Prior to working for the city of Centerville I worked construction for a local contractor for 14 years. I am highly skilled in the installation of private and municipal sewer and water systems. I am a licensed HV AC installer. I have my Class B Master's Electrical license. I also own and operate several small businesses, which are R&A Auto, R&A Mini Storage and Ron Creagan Excavating.
2. Why should people vote for you?: I have lived and worked in Centerville my entire life. I am very concerned about the future of our town. I would love to see my hometown grow and prosper.
I have served two consecutive terms on the city council, from 1981 to 1985. I was employed with the city of Centerville for 26 years, five years as assistant street commissioner and 21 years as street commissioner. During my employment with the city my employees and I brought many new ideas to the street department. We installed new sewer systems, paved several blocks of streets, intersections and city owned sidewalks. Under my supervision the street department demolished over 30 homes, several of these lots were sold and new homes have been constructed on them.
The street department along with assistance from the county secondary road crew built the Cottonwood Bridge at the reservoir. The street department with the cooperation of the City Council, were responsible for the addition in the Oakland Cemetery. This addition is now known as the Shanahan Addition. Under my supervision the new shop was also built for the street department.
During my employment I was responsible for preparing up to seven budgets; road use, street department, community protection (traffic signals and signs), park, pool, cemetery and sanitation. I am obviously not a stranger to city government. During the past 31 years I have attended and participated in over 750 council meetings, this does not including budget and special meetings. I was also a member of the Park Board for several years and chairman of the board during the last year of my employment with the city.
I think with all of my knowledge and hands on experience with city government I believe I would be the best person for the job. I am fair, honest and hardworking. I would like to see our community grow and prosper.
3. What do you hope to accomplish if you are (re) elected?: If elected I will bring my knowledge of city government to the table. I hope to have the opportunity to work with all the departments, to listen to their concerns, ideas and needs. I think it is important for all departments to prepare a five year comprehensive plan, and keep these plans on a regular schedule. I would also like to see a plan on where our water and sewer rates will be in the next five years. I feel it is important for our residents to know where these rates are headed. We don't need any more bombshells dropped on us.
4. What are some of the main issues facing the community and where do you stand on them?: Lack of funding is the main problem. We need to attract more industry, even small ones to create more jobs and increase our tax base. We need to give some kind of incentives to attract businesses to our area. Our city is still in the transition stages of changing city government. This change has not fared well with the community. Our new government is possibly here to stay. We need to educate everyone on the knowledge and ideas that our new city administrator is bringing to our town.
I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak to our new administrator on a few occasions. Patrick has mentioned several positive changes he will be making in the near future. If elected to the city council I will have the opportunity to work with Patrick and share my thoughts and knowledge as well. With my experience and a good support system I know I can make a positive difference. I may not have all of the answers, but will work hard with an open mind to achieve as many goals as we possibly can.