The residents of the Town of Stevensville should vote to retain Gene Mim Mack as Mayor. As Mayor, Gene has proven to be a true, visionary leader and has worked tirelessly to get the job done right for the Town.
In these last two years, Mayor Mim Mack identified and brought to the Town Council’s attention an assortment of issues for discussion and decision. Each time, Gene not only researched the problem but offered specific suggestions to deal with the matter. And, the Town Council approved the actions taken. Gene spends countless hours working with contractors, engineers, consultants, funding agencies and town staff members to fix what needs to be fixed. Below are a few examples:
● Water – Mayor Mim Mack inherited a massive water project that had been approved by the previous Mayor and Town Council, including water rate adjustments to finance water improvements and the installation of water meters. Gene did not shrink from his responsibility to execute the town policy, but “took the heat” from the public, worked hard to help those most in need, and offered water conservation tips to residents. Gene did not, nor does he, say things just to get elected like, “I will lower your water rates” when we all know that until the project is completed and the cost of operations and debt service is fully known, one cannot “promise” any reductions.
● Financial – When the Town’s outside auditor completed his review of the Town’s financial records for the year that ended on June 30, 2009, he noted that the fund balances were not reconciled to the cash balances in the bank. In other words, the budgets starting in July 1, 2009, did not show a verified “beginning balance.” The recommendation to “balance the books” was made to the Mayor and Town Council, but did not happen until Mayor Mim Mack made it a priority. The Town Council now has access to actual year-end fund balances that have been reconciled with the Town’s bank accounts. No more guessing. As a result, the Town Council can finally look at our community’s long-term capital improvement needs and plan expenditures accordingly.
● Town Ordinances – Another example of what needed to be done included the Town’s lack of compliance with state law regarding our ordinances, the laws of the Town. Every five years, the Town Clerk’s responsibility is to have the ordinances codified or brought up-to-date so as not to be in conflict with state statutes. Mayor Mim Mack brought a proposal before the Town Council to do just that. The Council approved it, and after a 40-year hiatus, the 1973 Municipal Code has been updated and is now available to the public. It is at the North Valley Public Library and also available on the Town’s website (www.townofstevensville.com). This codification effort was just one of the means undertaken these past two years to open up town government and make it more responsive and accessible to Stevensville residents.
● Meeting Agendas/Public Hearings – Another example of opening up the government involves council actions. Agendas of council meetings along with a complete set of background documents for items on the agenda are now available to the public at the North Valley Public Library BEFORE each meeting and are displayed to the public on an overhead projector at council meetings. This did not happen before Gene was selected to be the Mayor of Stevensville. All, not just some, proposed ordinances and all resolutions that set rates or fees must now have a public hearing before adoption, with proper posted notice as well as published notice in the local newspaper.
Finally, let me say something about Gene Mim Mack, the man. Gene is a consummate volunteer and community supporter. When the Civic Club needs a sound system for the garden party, Gene is right there. When the call goes out to set up for Western Heritage Days, Founder’s Day, Creamery Picnic, Scarecrow Festival or any other community event, Gene is there to help and offer his personal labor and equipment as needed. When a downtown business wanted help getting new, energy efficient storefront windows, Gene arranged for the contractor and was there helping with the installation.
Gene Mim Mack was named the Town of Stevensville’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2012, “Neighbor of the Year” in 2010, and “Business of the Year” in 2006. We are fortunate to have Gene Mim Mack as our Mayor. My recommendation is to vote for him and keep him working for the Town of Stevensville in that capacity.
Town Council Member, Ward 1