Seven candidates are seeking to fill two at-large seats on the Seymour City Council in the Nov. 5 general election.
Those on the ballot are incumbent Democrat Lloyd Hudson and political newcomers Republicans Bret Cunningham and Drew Storey, Democrat Joshua Ratliff, Libertarians Richard Meadors and Erin Meadors and Independent Eric DiBlasi Jr.
One of the candidates will replace appointed at-large Councilman Darrin Boas, a Republican who is running for Seymour clerk-treasurer.
Hudson has served more than 20 years on the council and said that experience makes him knowledgeable of the needs of the city. He also has attended annual state seminars that update city officials on changes in zoning laws and budget requirements.
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He said the top priorities for the city should be repairing local streets, upgrading sewers and completing the Burkart Boulevard southern bypass project, which includes a railroad overpass.
As a business owner, Cunningham said he is invested in Seymour and would easily be accessible as a public official. He has experience from maintaining financial well-being and handling disputes to leading a team to accomplish goals.
The city’s top issues the council needs to address are housing, available workforce and economic diversity, he said.
Storey said he should be elected to the council because he is forward-thinking, budget-conscious and will challenge the status quo. He has past experience in engineering and policy development.
He believes the city’s main priorities should be engaging the public on needs and expectations, sustaining ongoing progress in the health, wellness and quality of life for residents of Seymour and preparing policy, budgets and goals that support the city’s growth.
Wanting to help create a bright future for Seymour, Ratliff said he believes strongly in civic duty and has a strong love of serving his community.
His top priorities as a councilman include better communication with the public on how and why their tax dollars are being spent, updating infrastructure and creating and promoting events for the public to attend.
As a Libertarian, Richard Meadors said he wants to provide another voice for voters who are looking for more individual freedom and responsibility for their own success.
If elected, he said the council should work to find ways to keep and encourage families to settle down in Seymour. But Meadors believes some projects, especially those that involve arts and entertainment, should be privately funded rather than with tax increases.
He also said the city would benefit by attracting more businesses downtown and needs to make the downtown more appealing to entrepreneurs and start-up companies.
Erin Meadors said having a Libertarian like herself on the city council will add balance to local government. She said the city needs leaders who promote the idea that the community can come together without the need of more spending and more government oversight.
She said the top issues the city should be addressing are infrastructure, spending and the elimination of local ordinances that don’t benefit residents.
DiBlasi said he learned early on in his career the importance of being engaged in the community and giving back. He also said it’s important to have all of the facts and understand all of the possible outcomes of a decision before making it.
In the next four years, he said the city needs to focus its efforts on completing the Burkart Boulevard southern bypass.
He also said the city needs to work with local employers and educators to make sure people in Seymour are employable for the jobs that are available. And finally, the city needs to do a better job of marketing itself, he said.