» Why did you decide to run for mayor?
I made the final decision to run for mayor because I am confident in my abilities to govern Seymour in a way that moves us from where we are to where we need to be, utilizing my past successes and leadership experience, staying focused on the future. My decision has also been based on the fact that this is much less about me and is actually more about serving the citizens of Seymour.
» What experience would you bring to the mayor’s office?
My decision-making process has allowed me time to identify specific experiences that have developed my personal and professional strengths that can be used to benefit our community. Having served on the majority of not-for-profit agencies in our community is a tremendous benefit to understanding issues and concerns we must face and handle and honing the skills needed to work with boards and other decision-making powers. Holding executive positions has allowed me to better understand the intricacies of decision-making. Having had the opportunity to be involved in raising over $10 million for local and international projects, through both my employment and volunteer opportunities, demonstrates my ability to motivate teams of people and the community to work toward and successfully set a vision, have a unified mission and attain goals to benefit our community.
» What specific projects or initiatives should the city prioritize? Why and how should those be funded?
There are many initiatives and projects already in place in various stages of discussion, development and/or implementation. They include transit software upgrades with a need for a full-time director; upgraded or replacement of state-of-the-art equipment for police department personnel; the need for a new fire station on the west side of town, remodel of Station 1 and investing in a new ladder truck; plans for road funding, sewer rate increase and infrastructure investment; capital improvements to city hall; and revitalizing housing areas and neighborhoods.
» Do you think there should be more collaboration between the city and the county on projects (i.e., work release center and judicial center) and how would you foster this relationship?
I firmly believe collaboration, or working together, is important and necessary, especially in the today’s environment. Our community does not exist in a vacuum. We are influenced both positively and negatively on an everyday basis, both within and outside of our city limits. By the city and county working together, we strengthen our ability to affect positive change. If there are barriers that exist, we must dissolve individual and group agendas that are not in the best interest of all.
» Do you think the city should invest in solar energy? Why or why not?
It is evident that the current streetlights in downtown have become obsolete, and this issue needs to be addressed. As in any decision, looking at both the advantages and disadvantages that change will make is important to meeting the desired outcome. In the end, as mayor, I will be a part of the final decision when needed, and this decision will be made based on whether the advantages exceed the disadvantages or not, have the right experts come together to look at the information and data available with the mayoral voice playing a key role in the decision-making process.
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Name: Rexanne Earley Ude
Family: Husband, Jim Ude; two daughters, Andi (Jason) Bukowski and Blair (Josh) Mullins; and three grandchildren
Occupation: Schneck Medical Center (13 years as director of development and executive director of the foundation)
Organizations: Member of Central Christian Church; member of the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department trails committee; Seymour Rotary
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business management
Other: Winner of the 2015 Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce Citizenship Award