Name: Emmett Wetta
Address: 126 W. Third
Occupation: Business owner/operator
What are the top three issues facing the city of Tonganoxie, and how would you address them, if elected?
I believe improved infrastructure and services, city growth, and generation of revenue head the list of issues most pending and most important to the citizens of Tonganoxie. All three of these are tightly interrelated and fully dependent on one another. If the city of Tonganoxie is to continue expanding, while still striving to retain a firm grip on its tradition and roots, we must be certain it is based on a solid foundation. I believe this foundation is comprised of many elements, including the increased promotion of diverse and competitive small- and large-scale business, beautification and structural improvements to our weathered roads and water system, the maintained, full support of expansive and ambitious city planning and a strong devotion to public safety services, such as city police and emergency medical and fire-rescue response crews. If we, as citizens of Tonganoxie, are to endure future city growth, we must preserve our foundation by fortifying these elements, and by welcoming those businesses or services that might make us stronger and more competitive. In addition, we must explore, in depth, all possible sources of revenue. We need to upgrade the effort to generate revenue in a manner other than simply increasing taxation. We must be more creative and ambitious, and we can do so without compromising the integrity of our city and its citizens. Furthermore, I cannot promise to provide absolute solutions for all of these issues, I can only promise to contribute honestly and wholeheartedly to the strengthening and betterment of Tonganoxie.
How do you believe the city should address increased pressures on its budget?
The city should not look to relieve increased pressures on its budget simply by upstepping taxation. This should be a final measure, not a catalyst for future trends in generation of revenue. Again, I believe that until we begin to search seriously for creative means of revenue, we cannot hope to address and fund every "wish list" project that approaches the city table. We, as a city, must address immediate budget pressures simply by isolating priorities, then working within strict budget limitations to see that those priorities are funded in a manner that keeps them functioning at an optimal level.
What unique qualifications would you bring to the City Council?
I wouldn't necessarily say that I would bring any specific unique quality to the City Council. In fact, in a greater sense, I believe that I would bring just the opposite of uniqueness to the City Council. In this, I simply mean that I share an identical interest with every other citizen of Tonganoxie, and that is an interest in the well-being and development of our city, an interest in serving and strengthening our community.
Do you favor a casino in the Tonganoxie area? Why or why not?
I do support the introduction of a casino. Plainly, a casino governed and stipulated, so as not to diminish the integrity of Tonganoxie, can only be seen as a potentially considerable source of revenue and, conversely, as an initiator of city growth. A casino is a good example of ambitious and creative, yet logical, alternative sources of revenue. Furthermore, it is this type of revenue, I believe, that is going to have to be sought more relentlessly in the future if we are to maintain strong infrastructure and city services and promote city growth.
Is the city correctly addressing growth-related issues? Please be specific.
I do strongly believe that the current City Council is properly handling, to the best of its abilities, growth-related issues. However, certain concerns, such as maintaining an adequate water supply, demand immediate attention. If we do not focus on strengthening our foundation, building and growth, inevitably, will halt. We must prioritize problems, such as water supply, then work to establish the appropriations necessary to correct the problems. We can only work within strict budget limitations, and thus we shouldn't spread ourselves too thin. Instead, we must use what we have to solve one problem correctly before considering the next.