Marion City Council candidate Duane McCarty was unable to attend the candidate forum Sunday because he was on duty with the sheriff’s department. However, he discussed the questions asked afterward.
McCarty emphasized his local roots. His grandparents and father were from Marion, and he graduated from Marion High School. He was raised in Florence and moved to Marion about 10 years ago.
McCarty said the council should be aware of and involved in development. He said the city should offer tax breaks or other incentives to help small businesses start up, because it takes a lot to get a business started.
“I miss Duckwall’s. I’d like to see something like that here,” he said.
The relationship between the mayor, council, and administrator
McCarty said the council members should get along and communicate well with each other and with city employees. He said it would be good if the council took more of an interest in how city departments function day-to-day and what employees do.
Budget and streets
He hears from a lot of people about the condition of city streets. Getting them all in good condition will be a long process, because the city can’t fix everything at once.
“We don’t have the manpower,” McCarty said.
Because the city needs the same money to operate regardless of where it comes from, he supports setting utility rates high enough that they can subsidize the city’s general fund.
McCarty said he would want to survey residents about recycling before making any decisions about instituting a curbside recycling program.
Assessment of the city
He said the city should take advantage of quality of Marion’s schools and facilities, hospital, and police department to attract people.
He also said the city should focus on helping retirees and young people find the things that matter to them in Marion.
Reason for running
McCarty said he plans to spend the rest of his life in Marion, and he wants to take steps to help Marion in the long term. He said his law enforcement career has given him lots of practice at listening to people, and he hopes people would come to him with concerns and ideas.