With election season under way in the city of Palmetto, candidates are talking about their goals and priorities if elected to the city council.
The five remaining candidates are Michael Arnold, Franklin Smith and incumbents Laura Mullis, Lucinda Rockemore and Gregory Rusch.
Arnold said his tenure as a Palmetto resident for 35 years makes him a good candidate.
“I’ve witnessed many changes in the city and I understand the needs and challenges confronting it,” he said.
Arnold said serving as a zoning board member in the city made him interested in the future growth of the area.
“My hope is that we can attract more businesses to this area while still keeping the small city atmosphere of Palmetto,” he said.
If elected, Arnold said his main priorities include traffic control and easing taxes.
He and wife Dianne have two sons.
Rockemore said her commitment to improving the quality of life in the city makes her the best candidate.
“I became a council member to service residents, business owners and concerned citizens,” she said.
Rockemore said her work with code enforcement to clean and beautify the city is just one example of her work in the community.
She said listening to the concerns of the taxpayers is important to her.
If reelected, Rockemore said she wants to focus on economic development and controlling revenue increase.
She is a contractor and she and husband Frank have one daughter.
Rusch said his creative thinking and problem solving will get things accomplished in the city.
“I’m open to new idea and I’m not just a ‘yes’ person because I listen and evaluate,” he said.
Rusch said maintaining the charm and history of the area while striving for positive growth is important.
“My involvement with the extensive renovations and preservations of the Train Depot and the city’s overlay plan are some of my accomplishments,” he said.
If reelected, Rusch’s priorities include applying for grants and making use of technology to benefit the city.
Rusch owns and operates Rusch Home Interiors, an interior design business.
Smith said his desire to be a voice for the people lead him to run for the council this year.
“I’ve seen a lot of growth in the 54 years that I’ve been a resident in Palmetto and I’d like to get citizens more involved with these changes,” he said.
Smith said after personally seeing many issues in the city, he wanted to be able to speak for the concerns of residents.
“My main priorities if elected are to help with more recreational activities for children and work for seniors in the community,” he said.
Smith and wife Jessie Kate have three children.
Farmer, Mullis and Wilson could not be reached before publication, despite numerous attempts.