By Alena Davis
And Marissa Russo
Mason Times staff writers
MASON—Candidates for Mason City Council said the economic state of the city is one of the major issues playing into the outcome of Tuesday’s election.
“I’m not happy with the way things are,” said candidate Leslie Bruno. “I think we are way over our heads in expenditures with declining revenues. We don’t have the revenues to offset that.”
Candidate Barbara Tornholm said possibly raising millage rates could help meet costs.
“We are facing a big problem financially (and) we may need to increase the millage,” said Tornholm. “It will be a tough issue to decide unless we get a few breaks financially.”
Incumbent Mayor Leon Clark said although he has a good grip on the economy, it’s hard to predict how the economy will look in this upcoming year and what priorities the council will establish.
“We’re going to start talking about budget here pretty soon and our budget meetings actually are in April,” said Clark. “We won’t have any idea until sometime after the first of the year how our income is going to loo, based on property values.”
Since budget meetings commence in the spring, Tornholm said, if elected, she plans to immediately clean up the Mason parks.
“My first order of business is to encourage and continue work on the council. The budget things won-t come up till next spring,” said Tornholm. “We really need to get the Ingham County drain commissioner to clean out the ponds at Raynor Park.”
Candidate Seth Waxman said his main focus is to devise a long-term plan for Mason.
“I think we need to make Mason a vibrant place in order to make sure it can survive for 150 years or more,” said Waxman. “My first order of business is to take a good hard look at the strategic plan and devise a master plan.”
Clark said that, if re-elected, he plans to continue with his present course of action.
“I think that there are a lot of things that have to be done and things that I’ve been involved with that I want to see go all the way through,” said Clark. “I think I have done a decent job helping the city council run the city.”
Bruno said he cannot comment on his plans for Mason.
“(I plan to) sit back for a while and see where things are going because I have no idea, based on who is running at this point, who will get elected.”
Other candidates running for Mason city council could not be reached.