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Alderman Candidates talk issues
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McMinnville Alderman Candidates
Candidates for McMinnville alderman discussed their views for the city last week during a political forum sponsored by Southern Standard and WCPI. Four candidates are running for three spots

Neal discussed his vision for McMinnville as a city official:
"The Board of Mayor and Aldermen is a place where ideas are born and expressed and countered with other ideas and thoughts in an effort to find those ideas which will enhance the lives of our citizens," said Neal. "Some might say the efforts of the board are to create progress. The thing about that term progress, though, is everyone has a different idea, a different picture of what progress looks like."
He said he often talks with new members of the community at his Main Street store:
"Most of these new additions to our community are in search of a better life for themselves and their families. They’re looking for a safe place, a beautiful place, a place with a light tax burden, a place with high moral standards, a place where there’s a sense of community."
On the future:
"The members of the next board and future boards will be faced with the decisions of finding the right balance in regard to the route our progress takes, having progress in a way that maintains our unity and way of life without us becoming something we don’t want to be. What things from our past can we cling to while reaching for the future for those things which will strengthen and improve our community? Searching for this balance has been my endeavor for the last four years and if you decide to return me for another term, that will be what I continue to search for."

Newman discussed his experience and representing agencies as an attorney:
"Through my parents I’ve learned a lot," said Newman. "They’ve instilled great values in me which I think I’ve brought to the board and will continue to do ... I know how governments interact with agencies and the struggles they sometimes have. This helps me make decisions for the city on behalf of the people who elected me to make decisions."
On the city budget:
"We’ve worked tirelessly with our department heads in coming up with a good budget and that’s something I think a lot of folks can’t say they do with their governments. We’re able to do that in McMinnville with the leadership I’ve brought to the council and other people as well."
On his plans for the future:
"One thing I see we do going forward is building upon our community. Friends of the Greenway, Chamber of Commerce, coming up with a tourism plan ... I look around and I see so much progress downtown and with the city as a whole. I hope to expand on that, expand on our parks, make them better, not necessarily bigger, but better. Our Park Theater is wonderful. Our dog park which will be coming soon will be wonderful. Restrooms in our parks which will be built will be wonderful. And we can do this with a balanced budget."

Alsbrook discussed her reasons for running for office:
“Service is how you give back to your community," said Alsbrook. "I’ve been called to serve and I want this position to give back to my community."
On promoting tourism:
"I think the board has laid the groundwork for a tourism development board I totally intend to support. I think by bringing in fishing, kayaking, camping, we can enhance what we have here and get money from other counties with the tourists who come in here. Also with that, blueways and greenways that we have enhances our healthy initiatives in our community."
On serving the city and being the only female candidate in the race:
"I have a special interest in the health of our community. I’ve been raising a son here so I think things like the Civic Center, I think that needs to be renovated and brought up to ADA guidelines and this will help future generations like my son Carter. I believe I’m a great representative for young women in this community, for young families in this community."

Bonner discussed his accomplishments as an alderman:
"Here are some of the things I’ve helped to do. We just passed and are getting ready to start a $4 million sewer plant, which should be ready to start getting built around the first of the year. I helped get the Park Theater up and running and I think that’s one of the best decisions the people of McMinnville and the Board of Aldermen have made. I helped with the mayor and aldermen to keep the Driver Testing Center open so y’all don’t have to go out of town."
On building a new police department:
"The police department has never had a home they’ve been able to call their own and I think it’s time the board steps up and decides to build them one."
On the fate of the Blue Building:
"Of all the things we need to do, we need to figure out what to do with the Blue Building. It’s been tossed up and down and nobody wants to do anything. It’s come to either spending money on it and fixing it up, which is going to be a lot, or sell it and let someone else do something with it, or tear it down.”
On alcohol:
"I’ve stood against allowing drinking on any city property and I’ll always stand against it."