Monroe Common Council
Odd-numbered wards on the Monroe Common Council are up for election this April. In Ward 1, incumbent Tom Miller is unchallenged. In Ward 3, incumbent Michael Boyce is unchallenged. In Ward 5, incumbent Charles Koch is unchallenged. In Ward 7, incumbent Louis Armstrong is unchallenged. Armstrong is also running for mayor. In Ward 9, incumbent Richard Thoman is challenged by Chris Dearth.
City/town of residence: Ward 1 Monroe
Family: Wife - Mary, Grown sons Paul and Mark
Education: B.S. Industrial Engineering Technology
Previous elected positions held: Ward 1 Monroe - 2012 and 2014
What are the top issues facing this district/municipality and how would you work to resolve it?
We need to look at how we want to use tax dollars and how/if we want Monroe to be well maintained. Each year, instead of raising taxes higher, capital expenditures and maintenance costs have been cut. Some examples: $26 million was spent on the wastewater treatment plant which might have cost less if it had been updated and maintained over the years as it should have been. The streets have gotten a lot worse the last ten years due to budget cuts of money that should have gone towards repairs. Budgets have also been reduced so water/sewer lines have not been repaired and/or replaced as needed. Repairs on City Hall have not been performed and now some stairways are blocked off due to safety concerns. For years money was cut from the budget instead of being used for parking ramp repairs. Now we have a parking ramp that is deteriorating prematurely due to not being maintained. It is important that capital expenditures and maintenance costs be seriously addressed in the budget. Each yearly budget should be constructed to maintain the good quality of life that we have in Monroe.
What are other key issues facing the district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve them?
Monroe's downtown is a growing and attractive place. We need to continue to invest in the downtown to keep it growing. Look at what the downtown has to offer now compared to ten years ago. Along with the changes from the streetscape project, there are many events that have been added to attract people to spend money downtown. Some of them are: concerts on the square, the summer themes, the garden, Farmers Market, Car Shows, sidewalk cafes, Muggles Day Out, Celtic Pub Crawl, and the growth in the parades. With the creation of the Theater Guild building and the expansion of the Monroe Arts Center, there is a lot to offer people downtown. Monroe needs to continue to invest in the downtown to ensure the continuation of growth. An investment in downtown of a new two level parking ramp financed over the next 40 years or so would be an indication that Monroe is serious about the future of the city's growth. A new parking ramp will also contribute to additional property tax revenue from prospective investors that are interested in the downtown district if a new ramp is built.