Mayoral candidates release platforms

Senter names top priorities for reelection

PLYMOUTH — Incumbent mayoral candidate Mark Senter released the following main topics for reelection.

Fiscal discipline: The Senter administration and the Republican candidates pledge to continue to build balanced budgets that provide quality municipal services within established and anticipated revenue streams. Living within our means has never been more important. Senter and the Republican candidates pledge to continue to establish a consistently level and low tax rate; the current administration has refused to implement the maximum available tax levy for three successive years. Senter also pledges to continue to release when warranted Assessed Valuation (AV) captured in Tax Increment Finance (TIF) allocation areas. The recent release of $30 million dollars in AV in 2011, $20 million dollars in AV in 2010, and $20 million dollars in AV in 2009, resulted in an unprecedented expansion of the tax base for the City as well as other local government units such as the Plymouth schools, the Plymouth library, Center Township and Marshall County.

Municipal asset development: The Republican candidates pledge to complete the expansion of the Pine Road Water Plant and refurbish the equipment at the Ledyard Street Plant without a water rate increase; and will continue with efforts to develop River Park Square in a phased, fiscally sound approach.
Clean neighborhood initiative: Senter will re-emphasize the enforcement of the Unsafe Building and Premises chapter, along with the Refuse and Public Nuisance chapters of the Code of Ordinances; and continue efforts in the area of methamphetamine detection, eradication and education.

Economic development: Senter and the Republican candidates pledge to continue their support of re-aligning and re-structuring the cultural platform from which local economic development efforts are consolidated with the resources of our neighboring towns and county government in order to maximize the cost effectiveness of outreach initiatives and will continue to pursue and support opportunities of public/private partnerships between the City and the private sector.

Management enhancement: Senter and the Republican candidates pledge to continue to seek innovative ways to streamline the management and optimize the efficiency of city government and its delivery of services. Senter’s initiative to consolidate the functions of two boards into the jurisdiction of just one Board of Public Works and Safety has resulted in streamlining the policy management of city departments by the same board members.

Senter said he will continue his practice of appointing to the various boards and commissions citizens with particular expertise and passion on the subjects within the specific board’s jurisdiction, stating that no longer are people selected based on their past support or politics (except when political affiliation is a statutory requirement) and that the selection is based upon those with the enthusiasm and excitement to make a positive contribution to our quality of life. The Republican candidates pledge this practice will continue.

Vinall says there are three distinct points from survey

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth Mayoral Candidate Jim Vinall has released his “Plan for Plymouth’s Progress.”
“We took the feedback received from the city-wide survey that was conducted by the Plymouth Democratic Party City Committee and developed this platform based on what the residents of Plymouth told us was important to them. We listened. When elected, we will act,” said Vinall.
The “Plan for Plymouth’s Progress” covers three distinct areas: Economic development, city streets and sidewalks, and the city trash service.
“The goal of economic development is to attract jobs to the city. In order to do so we need a full-time Economic Development Director in the city who will work closely with the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation,” explained Vinall.
Developing comprehensive 5, 10, and 15 year plans for city growth and expanding downtown revitalization efforts are two key components to the economic development component of this plan as well. Vinall said the immediate need is to bring jobs to Plymouth now.
The condition of the city’s streets and sidewalks were identified as a key concern from the city-wide survey.
“We must assess city-wide pedestrian safety which includes adding sidewalks to areas without them, repairing existing sidewalks, and identifying streets where bike lanes make sense,” said Vinall.
Vinall is also calling for a comprehensive street repair plan so that residents know when their street is scheduled for repair. He will also partner with the Plymouth school system and other local development groups for street and sidewalk projects and grant funding opportunities.
Since the beginning of the private trash service, there has been controversy surrounding the program. This sentiment was clearly expressed in the city-wide survey.
“It is clear from the city-wide survey that losing the spring clean-up and alley pick-up services did not go over well with the residents of Plymouth. We must renegotiate the contract, when it’s up for renewal, to include these valued services,” explained Vinall.
The “Plan for Plymouth’s Progress” also calls for the renegotiation of the trash service contract to prevent tax dollars from being used to subsidize the private service.
“This is the right plan at the right time for Plymouth’s progress. It is based solely on the residents’ feedback and is 100 percent supported by all of the Democratic candidates running for city offices,” said Vinall.
Vinall invited the public to join him and his fellow city candidates to discuss the “Plan for Plymouth’s Progress” at the City Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. the following days: Oct. 11, 19, 25, and Nov. 2.
The “Plan for Plymouth’s Progress” is also available online along with the city-wide survey results on www.vinallformayor.com.