Lowell’s First Look met individually with each of the candidates running for City Council who will appear on the ballot on Tuesday, November 2. There are three seats up for election by voters. The two who receive the highest number of votes will receive a four-year term and the person who receives the third-highest number of votes will receive a two-year term.
Each candidate received the same questions. Each week in October we will bring you responses to the questions we asked in addition to a candidate profile. Answers are published verbatim and have not been edited.
What do you think should happen to Recreation Park after the Kent County Youth Fair moves to its new location? How should your idea be funded?
Personally, a campground for families. Looking at state & federal grants.
I think recreation park should be kept as is for the time being, minus the fair of course. I think it should be kept as an open green space until the City is in a better financial situation. I think the city should work with the Arbor Board to plant more trees and create more shade in that area, as well as work with Lowell light and power to move the powerlines away from the middle of the fairgrounds south of Bowes road, but I say leave it as an open green space. Our infrastructure, like our streets, is a bigger priority at the current time.
Losing the Kent County Youth Fair is bittersweet for me. Though I wish them well on their growth, expansion, and new location – as a citizen I will miss having the fair so close to home. This leaves us room for new opportunities, and I am a huge fan of new endeavors! What to do with the space sparks creativity and the space to dream big! Though I can think of a few things I would really love to see in Lowell – a pump track, campground, splash pad. What I dream of is a space that invites families to be outside, together. I think the first step is understanding what is practical to exist there. Being in the flood zone, I am concerned in investing in anything that we don’t know can hold up against the floods we see in Lowell.
I am still open on what should happen to the property. I believe addition public comments should be heard again, I would like to see something that will generate nex tax bars for the city.
What role, if any, do you think the City of Lowell should play in the development of a community center?
Working with the townships to see if this can be a reality and with the volunteers that are working to make this a reality.
The city should play a limited role. Be involved in the process, but ultimately a community Center is best left as a nonprofit or something through the YMCA. I am on the Lowell Community Center Committee, so clearly, I support the concept. I simply do not support the idea of Lowell taxpayers subsidizing a community center with tax money. The people of Lowell in 2019 made it clear they do not want to pay more property taxes, and I personally do not support another property tax increase when taxes are already so high in the City and our problems are other issues are so expensive.
As a City of Lowell resident, I have personal interest. I do love the idea of a community center here in Lowell. I have spoken to one of the Community Center committee members many times about the matter. I plan to attend their next meeting. As for the City of Lowell, I think our degree of involvement truly depends on what the committee is hoping to create, build and see come to life. I am eager to learn more about the committee’s plans.
At this time I do not believe the city is in any way ready to support finically a community center. While the concept is good we need support for all the surrounding communities to make this happen.