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Ward I Commissioner candidates discuss issues

Two candidates for the City of Slaton Ward I Commissioners seat were asked a series of questions by The Slatonite. Mike DeLano and Tony Newton are running for the seat. Newton is the Incumbent and DeLano is the Challenger.

Early voting has begun and will continue through May 2.

Voting will be at the Slaton Community Clubhouse, 750 W. Garza St. in Slaton. Times are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and will be closed Saturday and Sunday. Election Day is May 6 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

(Editor’s note: The Candidates were emailed questions and had to submit them by 5 p.m. Monday (April 24) to be included in the paper. Candidate responses are in alphabetical order for fairness).

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Question: What are some ideas you have to reduce the debt the City has?

DeLano: There are many Federal, State, and private grants to be explored. The federal government just passed a $6 trillion dollar infrastructure bill. Surely there are some funds there for small cities.

Newton: We have to increase the City’s revenue and the best way to do that is increase the population as well add business.  With increased population the number of houses will increase therefore property tax revenue and sales tax revenue would increase.  We have to make Slaton a desirable city that people want move to. 

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Question: What would be your plan to improve the City infrastructure, including the municipal water system and the City streets?

DeLano: Become more efficient with our city operations, try to retain our present employees instead of having to hire and train new ones.

Newton: Slaton’s water infrastructure is definitely high on the priority list, for example we need an additional water tower to accommodate for new growth. The cost associated with such improvements is extremely high and will take a long-term plan to implement which the current city council is acutely aware of.  City streets are the same, it is not something that will improve over night it will take a long-term plan to make these improvements as well.

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Question: Keeping in mind the number one question dealt with the Police Department and it dealt with defunding the police department… what is your plan for keeping the City of Slaton safe and clean?

DeLano: Defunding the police is a very bad idea. Once again try to retain the officers we have and take advantage of training grants.

Newton: Slaton PD is a vital asset to the citizens of Slaton.  I’m a very big supporter of our police department and recognize their value.  I will always work to keep our police department trained, equipped and compensated for their service.

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Question: What leadership experiences have you had to help you qualify to lead as our Commissioner Ward I?

DeLano: I am a retired international  sales manager of a turbine pump manufacturer with extensive experience dealing with foreign governments. I was the president of the Texas Air Museum which operated in the Slaton area  for a number of years and managed to stay debt free while building an extensive inventory of aircraft and rare artifacts. I also served on the Slaton Chamber of Commerce for a number of years and  am presently on the Slaton planning and zoning commission.

Newton: I have managed 3 different Ag Cooperatives and served on many different boards which has given me valuable experience in management.

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Question: Why do you want the job?

DeLano: I want the job because I feel that  we need to bring new faces and fresh ideas to the city government. I also feel that it is every citizen’s duty to participate in the government whenever possible.

Newton: It’s certainly not the notoriety.  I just want to help make Slaton a place that everyone is proud to call home.

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What would you do to make sure that council works as a team, and an effective team?

DeLano: We should try to represent our individual wards but also as a team for the good of the entire city.

Newton: I feel that the current commissioners and I have bonded well as a council and we all have a common goal to keep improving Slaton and I would like to keep on that track.

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What is your plan to increase the economic base, whether it’s revitalization, continued revitalization of downtown or bringing other business?

DeLano: We need to team up with SEDCO and explore  options to help  bring a large chain hotel and service type organizations such as tractor supply or Gebos to our area. In order to do this we need our streets water supply and overall appearance to be much better.

Newton: We have to continue to pursue new businesses to help increase the number of businesses in Slaton.  I would love to see SEDCO continue to push for new businesses and we need to provide the tools and support to do so.

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 If the City were to receive a grant that could be used for any project or improvement to the City, what would you propose it be used for?

DeLano: The city needs several grants to improve our streets, water supply, and police and fire departments.

Newton: Water infrastructure because of the extreme cost associated with its growth as well as street improvement.

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