Q: What do you feel is the biggest issue for Saltillo’s voters?
WILLIAMS: A very big issue in Saltillo has been and remains water quality. Over the last four years we have implemented an aggressive and regular water system flushing program. The results are very positive. Also, Saltillo Water Works scored a perfect 5 on our 2008 State Health Department inspection. A first in the history of Saltillo. Our water quality has improved greatly but there will always be work to do.
TURNER: They are tired of the water rates they are having to pay for the quality of water they are getting. This is one of the biggest issues I’ve heard while out campaigning, so the choice is not clear, we still have many water problems.
BOARD: The biggest issue in Saltillo right now seems to be the fact that so many things in Saltillo have been patched up rather than fixed. One example of this is the Saltillo water situation…. Now obviously, the answer to this issue will include replacing the old, antiquated water lines here and it will be costly and time-consuming, but there are grants that can and will be obtained when I get elected. In solving this issue, I can also solve another huge issue at the same time which is the fire ratings in Saltillo. Our present water lines are different sizes throughout our municipality. Replacing our lines with standard size pipes will increase water pressure and aid in lowering our fire ratings, in turn, lowering the insurance costs for our citizens.
Q: What qualifies you to be the next mayor of Saltillo?
WILLIAMS: Before becoming mayor in 2005 I spent 23 years working for Renasant Bank, the last 14 of which I managed the Saltillo office of Renasant. Those years of experience prepared me for the responsibilities of mayor because I became friends with many of our citizens and learned a lot about Saltillo and the needs and wants of her citizens. Also, while at the bank I learned how to manage personnel, finances, budgets and gained a wealth of business experience. The city of Saltillo has an annual budget of over $6 million. Our city needs someone with my background and experience to efficiently manage such a large budget. I am the only candidate in the race with such experience and I am the only candidate in the race that has actual hands-on experience as mayor.
TURNER: I am the most qualified candidate in this race because I have worked eight years as your alderman for the city of Saltillo. I worked in helping budget the taxpayer’s money, made many accomplishments with it and still left the city in good financial standing. I also have 23 years of experience in owning and managing a business, where I was responsible for all areas of accounting and personnel. I am a man with a public servant’s heart who will meet the needs of all of our citizens.
BOARD: I am a graduate of Morris Harvey College in West Virginia with a degree in business. I am also a Vietnam veteran. I will work with whatever I have available in Saltillo to make the citizens’ lives better. I spent my career with FMC Technologies working in sales. My career in sales has instilled a characteristic in me that will be a positive asset to my career as mayor of Saltillo, that being my ability to accept nothing less than the most for my city. I already support the Saltillo Business Association and I will continue to support the businesses in the municipality. Being qualified to be mayor means more than a good education of a business/accounting background. This type of qualification comes from life’s experiences and being able to listen to the concerns of the people around you.
Q: What would you change about the way the town has been run over the past four years if you’re elected?
WILLIAMS: If I am elected I would continue to manage my responsibility in the same fashion that I have for the last four years. In our form of government it is the duty and responsibility of the mayor to see that all ordinances, policies and procedures adopted by the board are enforced and to ensure that all employees carry out their assigned duties in an efficient manner. This is accountability. Our citizens work hard for their money and they deserve to have city operations and employees working hard for them. I have and will continue to hold myself accountable to the citizens and do all I can to see that others are held accountable also.
TURNER: I would have been very conservative and stopped wasteful spending. I would not have thrived on what the past administration has or has not done, because no administration is perfect and we all make mistakes. I would have taken on the responsibilities of our city’s tasks and worked with our contractors, businesses, personnel and citizens to keep our tax dollars at home. In order to have progress for a city, you have to plan for the future, not live in the past.
BOARD: There are definitely things that I will change about the way this town has been run in the past. Our City Hall was known as a people place in the past. Anyone felt welcome at City Hall. I want to bring the city departments back together with the City Hall, offering a true “Open Door” atmosphere. The town belongs to the citizens and the employees of our town actually work for the citizens. So many people have complained that they feel uncomfortable when they visit the city with a problem. Being able to work together with the people and letting the citizens have a say in what happens in our town is of great importance.