On Tuesday, April 2 the residents of Grayville will elect a new mayor.
With long time mayor Joe Bisch choosing not to run for a second term, voters will chose between Andy Brock and Travis Thompson. Brock currently serves on the Grayville Council, as well as the White County 911 Board, while Thompson is the Chief of the Little Wabash Fire Protection District and the Grayville Zoning Committee.
Thompson noted his experience rebuilding the fire protection district as evidence of his ability to lead and manage.
“I have a proven track record of being a hardworking, dedicated and goal driven individual,” he said. “I took over the Fire Department when it was in a deep decline. We had equipment outdated from the 1970’s and missing pieces which could have resulted in a firefighter getting hurt or worse killed.
“I have spent the last three and a half years with the hard work of not only me, but my fellow firefighters building it back up to where to it should be.”
To back this claim, Thompson cited the $10,000 in grant money collected and $30,000 in updated equipment purchased through fundraisers, donations and fiscal responsibility with tax dollar allocations.
According to Brock, his experience on the city council and his willingness to be open to the opinions of others is what makes him ready to assume the mayorship.
“I feel, that keeping an open mind on all issues, listening to peoples views, concerns and opinions is a very important part of serving as an elected person,”
For Brock, the top priority of the new city government couldn’t be more clear.
“Water problems have plagued our city for too long,” he said. “It will be a priority of my administration to create a budget and a timeline for the replacement of old waterlines, maintenance of the water tower and an effective water treatment plant.
“Clean water is a vital asset to a growing community.”
Brock also noted that the city is currently working on obtaining IEPA & CDAP low interest loans/grants through with the help of the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission to start such upgrades to the town’s water infrastructure..
Thompson shares Brock’s concerns regarding the water of the city.
“I feel the most important issue in this election is dirty water we have been experiencing for some time,” stated Thompson. “In an effort to fix this issue I believe it is important to come up with a plan that I would announce to the citizens, because I believe it is important to keep our people informed to lessen confusion amongst the community and ensure them we are dedicated to fixing their concerns.
“We will have to budget out portions of the town to get started on of updating their water lines.”
Thomspon also made it clear that he intends to attack the city’s water issues from multiple prongs.
“We will continue to apply for grants in order to try to receive state and federal help,” he said. “But that cannot and will not be our plan of just applying for grants.
“The people of Grayville deserve better water to not only drink, but to bathe and do laundry.”
Brock also called attention to the development surrounding Interstate 64 on the outskirts of the city.
“The I-64 Plaza presents enormous opportunity for our community to grow by adding jobs and adding to our tax base, thereby reducing the tax burden on individual home owners,” he explained. “I plan to focus on bringing more business to the Plaza, especially in retail and a great restaurant chain.
“At the same time, I will not neglect our historic downtown.”
Thompson highlighted open communication and transparency as hallmarks of his prospective administration.
“I know I can not bring positive change if I don’t have help and input from our residents and city employees,” he said. “I hope to implement a Facebook page and other social media, which will allow residents who don’t get the paper, and are unable to attend council meetings to stay up to date on current events, emergency response protocols, and can contribute their input on important matters in the community.”
Thompson envisions a Grayville that will modernize and thrive under his leadership.
“Grayville must adjust to the times, to attract visitors and future residents that will boost our economy and grow our resources,” he said. “We must spark interest and sense of community loyalty in our young people, as they will carry on the torch of our great community. We must support and care for the elderly in our community as they are the ones that built our legends and began our traditions.
“Together we can build an even greater community.”
Brock laid out a similar view of the future of Grayville, outlining a plan that involves cooperation with other entities within the town to get there.
“My goals are to continue striving to attract future businesses to locate in Grayville and also work with the existing businesses we currently have,” he stated. “I want to continue to pursue cleaning up and demolishing unsafe eye sores around town as property comes available for ownership by the City.
“As a City we need to work with our school district, current businesses, churches and organizations and find ways to attract more new businesses as well as finding ways to get the kids more involved in the our community.”