Groves’ residents call for accountability, honesty in upcoming elections

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 8, 2020

GROVES — The Groves City Council officially approved an order calling for a general election to be held Nov. 3.

Four city council positions will be up for grabs this fall, including mayor, city marshal and councilmembers for Ward’s No. 2 and No. 4.

With the announcement of the election, Groves’ residents are already formulating the ideals, characteristics and issues they are hoping to see in their elected officials.

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Joel Waldrep echoed the sentiment of Tim Cole’s two words — transparency and honesty.

“The politically correct narrative has gotten us nowhere,” Waldrep said. “How about an elected official who will be honest, hard working and will answer questions when asked to keep his/her private life private? It doesn’t matter what they do in their off time, but how they stand up to help the community.”

Waldrep cited the need to meet the feelings and interests of everybody.

“Budgets need to be reevaluated for city maintenance, and ordinances need to be looked at again for particular housing interests,” he said. “Flood zones need to be addressed, pump maintenance needs to be upheld for disaster relief and emergency orders need to be set up.”

Barbara Hansen Edington, who coordinates the city’s annual Tour de Groves bike ride, said she’d like to see more accountability and oversight.

Breaking it down per a position, Edington referenced a mayor that will publicly support the city’s best interest and councilmembers that will respond to the residents’ concerns.

“I’d like to see councilmembers respond to concerns citizens have and take action by meeting those people to address those concerns,” she said. “If a resident emails a councilmember, I’d like to see them given a little respect instead of ‘blocked email.’ I believe all councilmembers should be available to residents via email as well as phone.”

Daniel Diaz called for the same things people have been asking for years, change, new faces and fresh ideas.

“We need more transparency on finances, especially in the EDC funds, roads and the commitment to continuous positive change,” he said. “Genuinely, they are for the citizens and not a personal agenda. To stand up for the rights of taxpayers and not be influenced by the others on the council.”

Diaz said he even asked for term limits and performance reviews for salaried employees.

“Change is needed and only will happen if everyone exercises his or her civic duty,” he said. “In 2018, there were around 9,000 registered voters in Groves. Less than 4,000 voted. It can be better. Vote.”

Currently, the open positions include Mayor Brad Bailey, City Marshal Norman Reynolds Jr., Ward No. 2 Karen Theis and Ward No. 4 Kyle Hollier.

All four incumbents are eligible to run for re-election.

Councilmembers serve two-year terms. The first day to file for a place on the ballot is July 18 and runs until Aug. 17.

Early voting begins Oct. 19.