Archive for Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Usher: More money’s key for city’s survival

March 28, 2001

During the eight years he's served on the Tonganoxie City Council, Ray Usher said, he's seen many improvements.

But the city has many more miles to go, he added.

"There have been a lot of things, a new fire department is one," he said. "Insurance rates have come down because of our dedication to improving the fire department. That's made rates lower for everybody. I know that's a sore subject, but Fourth Street is a nice place now. We've had a city administrator system we've improved on each time we've gotten a new city administrators. Mayors and councils cannot take care of daily business anymore."

Usher is seeking his third four-year term on the council. Other candidates are Jonathan Boone, Steve Gummn, incumbent Kathy Graveman and Emmett Wetta.

In the past few years, he said, the city's street system has improved.

But funding for infrastructure improvements remains an obstacle, Usher said.

"It doesn't come free," he said. "To have those things takes money and that's the biggest thing facing the citizens. Increases in population bring expenses. You have to figure out where the money's going to come from to support increases in population."

During the past year or so, Usher has been an outspoken city council member concerning junk cars in the city.

"I'd like to see that enforced stronger to beautify the town," he said.

Usher, 59, who lives at 1188 Delaware with his wife, Pat, moved to Tonganoxie nearly 23 years ago. He was raised in Marshall County, graduated from high school and joined the U.S. Navy. Three years later, he enrolled at Kansas State Teachers College at Emporia. He moved to Kansas City, taking a job with TWA, and then with Box Staple Company in sales. In 1970, he joined General Motors as an electrician, and he's worked there since.

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