Waitsburg City Council candidate Jim Romine
October 21, 2021
Candidate for Waitsburg's city council, Jim Romine currently serves on the council and is running unopposed for position 2. Unfortunately, he had not received our request and was not included in last week's article. The Times apologizes to the candidate and are happy to publish his responses to our questions this week.
Why have I decided to run for a position on the Waitsburg City Council?
During my four years on the Waitsburg City Council I have tried to learn all I can about how the city operates and what its needs and challenges are. I would like to continue to work on the tasks we have started. We cannot do things the way our grandparents did. Meeting the demands of today and planning for the future aren't easy. The past two years have been especially difficult for us all. But I know we have to listen to each other and do the best we can. Hopefully we can make the hard choices that must be made while staying true to our heritage.
What challenges do I see for the city in the next two years?
Waitsburg will face many challenges in the next two years. We continue to have an aging infrastructure that was designed with the knowledge and standards of another era. Unexpected and planned repairs and maintenance collide on a constant basis. New and successful businesses are needed to expand our tax base to improve the lives of all our citizens. Flood control is vital to protect the property and peace of mind of people living in the areas of Waitsburg in the flood plain, a large part of the city. Getting and retaining quality employees for the city is a constant struggle. Part of that struggle is, of course, financial. We have to be able to pay these employees a living wage, or they will keep going elsewhere. Waitsburg does not need to increase managerial salaries, but we do need to compensate the hardworking front-line workers who are so vital to our daily lives. A huge challenge in the next two years will be meeting the needs of our youth. Unfortunately, the swimming pool has proven to have huge infrastructure issues that we are going to have to address. Alternatives being discussed must be decided by a consensus of all the residents. The same applies to the fairgrounds, which does buzz all spring and summer with ballplayers and 4-H and FFA youth. Keeping those grounds in good, usable shape for everyone requires a lot of work, but it is worth it. So is the upkeep of our cemeteries. Perhaps the biggest challenge I think Waitsburg may face in the next two years mirrors what is happening everywhere. Divergent needs and differing opinions must be listened to and respected. Public safety must always be our primary goal. If we aren't safe and secure, not much else matters. Folks who work in city government in Waitsburg must be "people persons," who enjoy serving and listening to the public.
What do I think voters can expect from me as their representative?
Voters can expect me to be what I have been: someone who will listen to them and take their concerns to City Hall and the City Council. They can expect me to welcome their calls, visits, emails, texts, and gripes. They can expect me to listen when they tell me that I am wrong or misinformed. They can expect me to be watching for dangerous situations or potential problems, and to bring those promptly to the attention of the right people. As their representative I will attempt to speak for the residents of Waitsburg, try to make good decisions to improve their lives, and always have their best interests at heart.