10/27/11 Ryan Jessen, President of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce was pleasantly surprised with the attendance at the Mayoral Debate held Wednesday evening at the Plymouth Public Library. 55 citizens took about an hour out of their event to listen to Mayor Mark Senter and Democratic challenger Jim Vinall answer ten pre-received questions.
Mike Lintner from Marshall Starke Development Center served a Master of Ceremonies for the event introducing the two candidates and reading the questions.
Each candidate had two minutes for opening statements. Mayor Senter told those gathered that he had been campaigning since January 1, 2008, the day he took office. He said, “Listening is the most important part of communication and I enjoy a fact to relationship with the citizens.” He noted that on his 9th day in office the city faced a 25 year flood. He also commented on the new Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, the combining of the water and waste water system with a single utility director and major improvements to the Water plant on Pine Road next year without a rate increase. Meth has been an issue he has tackled, improvements to Oak Drive that should be completed next month, the South Gateway with the demolition of the Cook building in 2012 and the release of Assessed Value in TIF #1 in 2009, ‘10, and ’11.
Jim Vinall’s opening statement let folks know that he was born and raised in Plymouth. He said, “I love our city.” The spoke of his job experiences noting that he was in management leadership with a large company for many years and then moved back to Plymouth and worked as the 2nd Shift Forman at Bomarko before starting his own business. Vinall said, “Plymouth has been good to me and I enjoy it.” He commented, “It has a long ways to go with the times the way they are.” He continued by saying, “The job rate is down and I believe I can increase jobs and see unemployment at the less.” Jim said the City Center; his business was a public private project working with the Redevelopment Commission. He said that he got money and “I pay it back with taxes every year.”
When asked what qualifies you to be mayor of Plymouth Jim Vinall said, “I have been a resident here most of my life. I’ve been in business and had my own business in Plymouth for over 30 years….I’ve got leadership capabilities. I’ve been on boards in our city including the Chamber of Commerce, PIDCO, and one of the founding members of the Plymouth Farmers’ Market.” Vinall closed by saying, “I believe my leadership capabilities is what will make me a good mayor of Plymouth.”
Mayor Senter answered the same question by saying, “Leadership. From my days as an eagle scout to working the road for 7 years with the State Police and 21 as detective seeing and managing some of the most horrendous crimes you can imagine, and now 4 years as your mayor, I have been a leader. A leader makes tough decisions that cannot make everyone happy.” He continued by saying, “I’ve been very involved in the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, currently the vice president of the Northern Indiana Mayor’s Round Table, Chairman of the IACT education committee, active member of the Indiana conference of mayors, founder and chairman of the Plymouth Downtown Revitalization Committee, involved in MACOG, MACOG policy committee, Marshall County Solid Waste board chairman for 3 years and for 6 years the public relation chairman for the Marshall County Blueberry Festival.”
The entire debate is on podcast at am1050.com