The Lake County News-Chronicle asked Mayor Kent Shamblin to offer his thoughts now that the election is over and he will be settling into a new term.
What are your goals for the next two years?
Restore our municipal liquor bar and store to significant profitability so that it contributes materially to our city’s operating costs, thereby reducing property taxes. Recent financial analysis suggests that with improved marketing, some renovations and better operating efficiency this can be achieved.
Improve the visual attractiveness of our city. We have a citizens’ beautification committee that has become re-energized and with its perspective and recommendations, and the commitment of the city council to do what needs to be done, I believe this goal can be achieved.
Achieve needed repairs and improvements to our city streets. As a small city, we don’t have many, but some asphalt streets are in need of repair and we have some gravel streets that should be paved.
Keep our property taxes at or below our present tax levy (which was a material reduction this year from the levy for 2012)
As mayor, of what successes are most proud?
I don’t feel I can claim personal successes since becoming mayor in July 2012 and being re-elected. But individual members of the council and the council as a whole have, in the last six months, achieved major progress in dealing with some challenges and opportunities. As noted above, we reduced the city’s tax levy. We now know what we must do for the future financial viability of our municipal liquor bar and store—the Green Door. Recently we engaged, with residents, in strategic visioning and planning that I believe will lead to improvements in our infrastructure (utilities, streets, and buildings), expanded parks and recreation and economic development.
What are the challenges faced by Beaver Bay and how will they be resolved?
Our challenges are similar to those of other cities on the North Shore. We need to broaden the commercial tax base, maintain reliable water and sewer services, keep our streets in good condition, provide a citizen-oriented city administration, and improve the visual appearance of our city so that visitors will stop and patronize our businesses and enhance the residents’ pride in their city. The city council cannot do this without the support of our residents and businesses. That requires reaching out to learn what they want in their city and then not letting that input just sit around but commit to what it takes to achieve goals. And, we need to do all that without increasing property taxes!
Mayor Kent Shamblin
City of Beaver Bay