Election day is Tuesday, April 3. Carthage residents will choose one of three candidates to be the next mayor of Carthage for four years. On the ballot are Dan Rife, Jason Shelfer and Brad Cameron. These three candidates answered a list of questions from The Carthage Press to allow us to give you a snapshot of these people who are seeking your vote.
I live in town with my wonderfully supportive wife Teresa. I have son Jake, who lives in Tulsa, step-son Bobby, his fiance Kaitlyn, and our granddaughter Makenna, who live in Purdy.
How long have you lived in Carthage:
I have lived in Carthage my entire life, with the exception of the time I was away in College.
What do you do for a living:
I work for Clark Community Mental Health Center, with locations in Pierce City, Monett, Cassville, and Greenfield. I supervise mental health care coordinators that serve Barry, Lawrence, and Dade counties.
What made you decide to run for mayor:
I have served on the City Council, first in Ward 5, and later in Ward 4, for eleven years. I have been chosen by the council to serve as Mayor Pro tem for the past eight years. I have been assigned to all council committees, during my time on the Council, with the exception of insurance, audit and claims. I believe I have the experience, knowledge of city government process, and proven leadership ability needed to move Carthage forward. I believe voters need a conservative option in this election. Carthage has a long history of being a wonderful hometown, and a great place to raise a family. We need to keep that hometown feel, while growing and expanding our services to meet future needs and to attract new business into town.
Are there issues in Carthage you feel are not being addressed by city leaders:
I think Carthage has been lucky to have good people willing to serve as mayor. They have served the community well, and managed to help Carthage get through difficult financial times. Other communities, that were not as diligent in managing their budgets, were forced to lay off staff and/or reduce services. There are equally as critical issues facing communities in the future, that need to be overcome. We need to protect our reserve to enable Carthage to, not only continue, but improve our services, while dealing with future issues; both known, and unknown.
What is good about Carthage:
Carthage has a great history. From before and through the Civil War, to the Victorian era that left us with the magnificent buildings and homes throughout town, to the world recognized industrial leaders. It's people are what make it such a great place to live and visit. We are a town of diverse makeup, industrial, agricultural, professional, and service, Carthage has it all. Route 66 has been, and continues to be part of Carthage's past and future.
What can be improved about Carthage:
There is always room for improvement. Carthage, like many communities is growing and expanding in a world that changes rapidly. We need to make sure that our infrastructure grows to meet current and future needs. We need to address coming financial challenges that are impacting all communities. Carthage has great potential, we need to make sure the systems are in place to realize that potential. We need to strive to attract new businesses to town, and visitors to enjoy the many sights and attractions that Carthage has to offer.
Anything else you want to say:
It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve Carthage as a Council member, and Mayor Pro tem. I have enjoyed Carthage my whole life, and consider it a privilege to give back to the town I grew up in. With your support on April 3, I will continue to serve Carthage as it's next Mayor.