Carlton Soules believes the current economic development taking place in the city’s tenth district is a sign of more things to come if he is re-elected.
Soules said he’d like to help the council focus more on providing essential services in the city, which is why he voted “no” on two of the city’s recent big ticket items.
“I've obviously been on the opposite side of a few things like streetcars and Pre-K 4 SA. Not because I don’t think that they might at some point be worthwhile, but at the end of the day that’s not our primary focus,” Soules said.
“I’m very big on basic services making sure our roads, our sidewalks, are taken care of. We have libraries that are closing early because we don’t have them properly staffed. We have parks that have a lot of needs so I want to continue focusing on basic services.”
Arthur Thomas agrees that the city is spending too many tax payer dollars.
If elected, he said he would try to cut down the city’s government.
“They certainly have ideas of how they want to spend people's money and how to grow government,” Thomas said. “I really think we need people on the council that say, ‘How do we cut down government?’”
Thomas said economic development in District 10 is a good thing, but he’d like the bidding process on projects to be more transparent.
“If you're going to create a tax incentive or a tax program it should be across the board. It should be fair. It should be clear to all businesses and all people how it’s working and not pick and choose winners and losers.”
Soules’ other challenger is Celeste-Montez Tidwell.
She said the councilman should do a better job of reaching out to everyone in the district, and push for development in other parts of the district.
“I think that he stays a lot in his area. He has started the corridor but it's not finished and hasn’t really moved much,” she said. “The vacancies, that’s a big issue. It naturally draws unsettlement.”
When discussing city spending Montez-Tidwell said she would make budget decisions for the city the way she does for her own family.
“We are meticulous on what we can do, what we can’t do. I plan on taking those tactics to city council just like I run my household.”