Editor's Note: This is the first of four profiles of candidates for the Pratt City Commission.
Family: I have a spouse, Nancy; three daughters, Natalie, Nicole, and Naomi; and a son, Nelson.
Work/professional experience: U.S. Air Force, worked on defense contracts for FMC, roughly 15 years in law enforcement and corrections fields. Currently I work for Dillons Grocery Store.
Political experience: Unwittingly, I have been participating in the political process far longer than I even give myself credit. In the last 5 years, I began actively participating in City Commission meetings and campaigning for office when I felt like the residents needed representation.
Community involvement: I moved our family of six to this area in 1997. I was the American Legion Chaplain for 3 years and director of the American Legion Riders for about one year
Why are you running for this office? I feel like the Commission could use a little fresh air. There is such great responsibility for those serving our city. I would like to join the Commission in the hopes of providing fresh insight into the needs of the community.
Pratt does not have the business to support bringing our kids back to the city for a reasonable salary. I am running for this office because we need to listen to what the residents really want. And take an active role in getting larger businesses in Pratt so we can, eventually, grow our community.
What do you believe are the top 3 priorities for the city in the next three years and your stance on each?
• Spending Smart: Right now the economy is in the toilet. We're funding another wing to the hospital. Sure, it would be nice to have better spaces, but we are not in a position to be spending willy-nilly. We have residents that are barely able to afford food and mortgages.
• Bring money back to town: At the risk of sounding corny, I dream of a City that utilizes its resources efficiently, from the city's electrical systems to providing an area where people can afford to live. If people could afford to live, comfortably in Pratt they'd be more inclined to spend their money here. Right now, our city is over $13 million in debt. What are our taxes paying for?
• Maintain infrastructure: Our sewer, water, electrical, and roadways are constantly being repaired and/or band-aided. We need a plan to rebuild and replace our systems when we have the opportunity and financial resources. This I believe would show potential businesses that Pratt is a community with visions of a future.
Page 2 of 2 - My biggest interest is in using our tax dollars for preserving what we have, while we ride out this storm. Once it passes, we can revisit bigger projects.