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Voters’ Guide: Bailey, Larsen running for Wellsville mayor

October 31st, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Nick Rust

WELLSVILLE–As the general elections approach, Wellsville will choose between two retired educators for the mayor’s office. Thomas G. Bailey and M. Kent Larsen both hope to lead the city they love for the next four years. One of them will replace Mayor Ruth P. Maughan, who has held that office for the last 20 years.

Thomas G. Bailey, a city councilman for the past three and a half years, is a lifelong resident of Wellsville. Bailey said his priorities as mayor would be to continue the improvement of the sewer system, bringing in tax revenue through new small businesses and improving ponds and roads. He would also work with the community to help maintain city codes and ordinances.

If elected Bailey said he would set aside one night a month at his office for citizens to voice concerns about the city. He said he loves the people because of their friendliness and willingness to volunteer their time to help the city.

“I am somebody to count on,” Bailey said.

M. Kent Larsen lived in Wellsville for the first 21 years of his life and returned in 2003 after he retired from the school system in Wasatch County. “It’s a nice place,” Larsen said. “The people have real strong values and work ethics. This where I chose (to retire).”

Larsen has never served in city government, but he said his work history gives him plenty of experience to tackle the role of mayor.

“I’ve had enough experience with public service,” said Bailey referring to his time as a school administrator and counselor. He said his first order of business as mayor would be maintaining Wellsville’s rural quality and managing growth.

Larsen also voiced his concerns over city code and ordinance violations. He said most of the citizens are good neighbors, but some people are taking advantage of the system. “I think it’s a pretty big issue,” he said. ”Everything (all violations) needs to be enforced.”

According to Larsen, Wellsville used to have retired marshal who was hired to enforce violations, but the city council didn’t always follow through. Larsen said the marshal got fed up and quit. He said laws are no good unless they’re enforced.

“I think we need more openness in government,” Larsen said. “The city government needs to reach out. “There’s an issue…,” he said. “We need to keep people up to date.”

Larsen said he chose to run for mayor because he had been approached by several people who wanted change.

Wellsville city will also elect two members of city council. The four candidates are current councilman Ron Case, planning and zoning commissioner Carl P. Leatham, Kaylene Ames and Colin Harrison.

Voting will take place on Tuesday Nov. 3.

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