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Questions of the Broken Bow Mayor candidates

October 27, 2010

Mayor Candidates Q&A
Cecil Burt and Mac McMeen
October 26, 2010
by Belinda Vavricek

What experience do you have that would make you a good mayor?

Cecil Burt:
Burt began by stating that he has lived in Broken Bow since 1979, making him familiar with the issues of this small rural town. He also commented about how he comes from an ag background, which gives him a common sense approach to solving problems. In the past, he has managed several businesses and has owned his own for approximately ten years.

Mac McMeen:
McMeen led by discussing his four years of experience as mayor and told that he found there to be a tremendous learning curve when first elected. He explained that it’s hard to walk into the position and instantly understand the municipality and that it takes time to learn the rules and become functional. McMeen also has prior administration experience as he was president of numerous boards and has operated a successful business for 30 years. Lastly, he said he finds the key to accomplishing what needs to be done rests with being able to compromise, cooperate, and communicate.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing our community right now?

Cecil Burt:
Burt started by commenting on the town’s need to continue growing. To sustain this reasonable growth, he feels that more job opportunities are necessary. He believes that in order to generate the new jobs and new businesses, the city needs to focus on its infrastructure. By doing so, the city will in turn have the means to supply the additional developments with power and plumbing.

Mac McMeen:
McMeen opened by saying that financially the city is in good shape, indicating that there’s no problem there. With that in mind, he then told how the focus should be directed towards slow and continual growth by adding more people, houses, and shopping. By bringing in more people and maintaining steady growth, taxes would decrease due to the spreading out of the tax load. By improving sales tax, the infrastructure would also improve, keeping people in the community while attracting new ones. McMeen believes the best way to initiate growth is to have attractions that interest people. These attractions sell the town and by having the necessary housing available, help to sustain interest in the community.

What would you like to see accomplished in the next four years?

Cecil Burt:
Burt didn’t hesitate to discuss infrastructure repairs, such as water mains, sewer lines, and the electrical facet. He feels these items have been neglected and are overdue for some attention and in addition, Burt also wants to see the power plant kept open. Next, the discussion turned to the topic of animal regulation within the town. In rural towns such as Broken Bow, Burt feels that laws don’t need to be as strict as those in larger cities, such as Lincoln or Omaha.

Mac McMeen:
McMeen talked about being able to do what the city wants, as well as having a comprehensive plan. To do this he’d like the utility board, electric department, and water department to each come up with a one, three, and five year plan for maintenance and preemptive measures. On top of this, he wants to keep the power plant operational in case of emergency. Next, McMeen discussed finishing the quiet zones on 9th and 10th streets, making sure the train horns aren’t blown as they go through residential areas. Also on the agenda, is the completion of the pool and street repairs. By working as a team with the council, he’d like to see the pool finished and be sure that 5th Street is at the top of the to-do list.

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