At the heart of every political campaign is the question:
Which candidate should be elected?
The Charlestown Mayoral race this year presents voters with choices. With an incumbent who faces a primary challenger, voters will decide on May 7th who will face me in the fall.
We have options for change this year. The first question we face is do we need change? In order to answer that question we can look to the performance record of the incumbent.
In the city’s most recent newsletter, current Mayor Bob Hall said that he will “continue sticking to the comprehensive plan” that his administration adopted in 2016.
As you consider whether or not Mayor Hall should be elected again, you can look to the action steps in that plan to see if his performance has been successful.
Out of thirteen “immediate” action steps to be completed by 2017, the city only reported progress on FOUR of them.
- √ “Revise the zoning ordinance and subdivision control ordinance & streamline the development review process.”
- NOT DONE “Provide all development-related information online.”
- √ “Promote existing events & brand and market new and existing events.”
- NOT DONE “Integrate public services into areas of new construction and growth.”
- √ “Continue Clearitas and water main flushing program.”
- NOT DONE “Improve the perception of water quality.”
- NOT DONE “Complete a five-year parks and recreation master plan to plan & implement projects.”
- NOT DONE “Identify and support existing substance abuse programs.”
- NOT DONE “Develop a business incubator in Charlestown’s downtown.”
- NOT DONE “Become certified as a Main Street Community.”
- √ “Identify and establish redevelopment areas.”
- NOT DONE “Provide information about unsafe living conditions online.”
- NOT DONE “Create a facade improvement program.”
Out of twenty-three “short-term” action steps to be completed 2018 – 2020, the city has only reported progress on THREE of them.
- NOT DONE “Determine the feasibility of using impact fees.”
- √ “Create a consistent brand for Charlestown & promote Charlestown through a public relations campaign.
- NOT DONE “Adopt a complete streets policy.”
- NOT DONE “Connect parks, community facilities, community centers and neighborhoods.”
- NOT DONE “Coordinate road improvements with water/sewer improvements.”
- NOT DONE “Adopt access management regulations.”
- NOT DONE “Complete the Bethany Road Project.”
- NOT DONE “Improve traffic on County Road 403 and US 31.” (US 3?)
- NOT DONE “Determine the feasibility of trolley transportation for special events.”
- NOT DONE “Identify secondary educational opportunities programs and facilities.”
- NOT DONE “Encourage new subdivisions to include neighborhood parks.” (Although parks are going in, the CITY is putting them in, not “encouraging” the subdivisions to do it.)
- NOT DONE “Explore the feasibility of a revolving loan fund.”
- √ “Evaluate existing TIF & provide Tax Abatement.”
- NOT DONE “Identify priority areas for public art and amenities & provide incentives if public art is incorporated into a development plan.”
- NOT DONE “Preserve Charlestown’s history through programs and historic markers.”
- NOT DONE “Pursue tax and federal grant programs to provide low and moderate income housing.”
- NOT DONE “Provide wider sidewalks in areas that require build-to-lines.”
- √ “Provide pedestrian amenities.”
- NOT DONE “Perform a feasibility study for a youth sports complex.” (The consultants from Klipsch-Card hired to do this in 2017 abandoned the plan before it was complete. *Edit* Since this time the mayor has announced a conceptual design for a park but no cost estimate or detailed feasibility plan has been made available.)
- NOT DONE “Review and revise the At-Risk Rental Inspection Program.”
- NOT DONE “Provide a formal reporting mechanism for unsafe living conditions.”
- NOT DONE “Promote a clean-up program throughout Charlestown.”
- NOT DONE “Continue to add wireless hot spots in new parks and public spaces.”
You can view the list on page 75 of the Comprehensive Plan on the City’s website here: 2016 Comprehensive Plan. Do you think the mayor has performed well when measured by his own plan for success? It’s not enough for an incumbent to TELL you he’s doing a good job. You have the right to assess the information for yourself.
If you decide that Charlestown needs a change, then look to the candidates’ platforms. Ask questions of those running for office. Ask how they plan to be held accountable to you at the end of four years if they’re elected.
My platform is linked here: Issues.
I can also be reached:
- by phone (812) 896-5647
- through email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- on my social media pages
- Facebook: @trevaformayor
- Instagram: treva_e_hodges
- Twitter: @ctowntreva
I’m happy to tell you how I can work with you to Keep Charlestown First.