Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 22, 2017

Incumbents share goals for next term

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Nov 03, 2017
Ed Malloy

Fairfield’s municipal elections are Tuesday, when voters will fill four seats in city government.

None of the races are contested, though, so the four names on the ballot should sleep easily Monday night.

The seats up for election are the mayor’s, an at-large spot, and the councilors from the 2nd and 4th wards. Mayor Ed Malloy, at-large representative Doug Flournoy and 4th Ward representative Michael Halley are all incumbents, while Paul Gandy was the only newcomer to throw his hat in the ring for 2nd Ward. If elected, he will replace John Revolinski, who is stepping down.

Mayoral terms last two years, while council terms last four years.

 

Ed Malloy

When Malloy won the election to be mayor for the eighth time in 2015, he stated publicly it would be his last campaign. He had been the mayor since 2001, and was ready to let someone else take the reins.

A few recent developments made him change his mind. First of all, no one else filed papers to run. Secondly, city hall was about to lose two pillars of local government with the departure of city administrator Mike Harmon and city clerk Joy Messer. Harmon left in August to take a job in South Dakota, and Messer retired from her post in October after 37 years.

Malloy felt the council could use some help steering its way through this time of transition.

The mayor said he also wanted to see through projects that have begun in the past few years, such as changes to city finances that have improved its bond rating.

“We’ve now completed the downtown facade restoration project, which we’ve been working on for three years,” he said. “I’ve been inspired by the work we’ve done with the Fairfield Convention & Visitors Bureau on wayfinding initiatives, too.”

Malloy mentioned how happy he was the council created a new position of city engineer, a position Melanie Carlson assumed in May.

“She has added a lot to the city,” he said. “I really think that was a big step forward.”

Securing millions of dollars in subsidized loans and grants from the United States Department of Agriculture for sewer repairs is another highlight from the past few years.

 

What’s next for Fairfield?

Incoming city administrator Aaron Kooiker will join the staff Nov. 20, and the mayor is excited about what he can offer the city. Malloy’s goals for the next term are partnering with developers to build new housing, given the city’s apparent population growth of 750 people from 2010 to 2016, according to the United States Census Bureau.

“We’ll also follow through on recommendations of the wayfinding commission [to improve signage], and continue with projects related to the wastewater treatment plant. We live in a growing and attractive community, and we will do everything we can to keep Fairfield as strong as possible.”

Malloy is president of Danaher Oil. He has lived in Fairfield since 1980.

 

Michael Halley

Halley is seeking his third term on the council. He said the accomplishments he is most proud of involve leveraging outside money to enhance the safety and wellbeing of Fairfield’s residents. For instance, the city was able to pave a sidewalk two years ago on the north side of Jefferson Avenue between Sixth and Ninth streets thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Wellmark Foundation.

“We created a safer route to the new gym, and it wasn’t paid for by local taxpayers,” Halley said.

Halley also mentioned a number of tree-planting projects that have been funded with outside grants. He is proud of helping Fairfield to become a railroad Quiet Zone, which took effect in the fall of 2012.

Since Fairfield became a Quiet Zone, trains do not blow their horns when traveling through town unless there is construction near the track or the conductor sees someone too close to it. To become a Quiet Zone, the city had to build 2-foot wide and 10-inch tall medians spanning 100 feet north and south of all railroad crossings. The project cost about a quarter-million dollars, most of which came from private donations.

If Halley is re-elected, his goals for the next term are to assist the new city administrator and city clerk with their roles, and to ensure Fairfield is serving all demographics.

“I want to work on initiatives that focus on the long-term future of Fairfield,” he said. “I want to make sure we have a good mix in our population of different age ranges, having enough children in our school system and enough working-age people.”

When not attending to city business, Halley works fulltime in business development for Ideal Energy Solar in Fairfield. He has lived in town for 24 years, having grown up in Greenville, Ohio.

 

Doug Flournoy

Flournoy became a city councilor in dramatic fashion, winning a run-off election by 27 votes in 2013 to fill the at-large seat previously held by Connie Boyer.

In his first year on the council, Flournoy served on the personnel committee that recommended hiring Mike Harmon as city administrator, something he takes great pride in.

“I think that process worked very well and resulted in a very good hire,” he said. “We have improved the financial position of the city, and its bond rating has improved as well.”

Moody’s Investors Services downgraded Fairfield’s bond rating from Baa2 to Baa3 in June 2015, citing the city’s continued operating deficits and lack of reserve funds. City staff and the council tightened the budget and introduced other financial changes. Thanks to their work, Moody’s upgraded the city’s bond rating to Baa2 with a positive outlook the following year.

Flournoy said he was also proud of the “excellent progress” on the Step 1 and 2 improvements to the wastewater conveyance system and treatment plant.

As for his goals for 2018 and beyond, Flournoy said getting the new city administrator acclimated to his job was high on the list of priorities.

“We must begin the process of preparing the budget for next year. Long-term, I think our biggest challenges are to find ways to address our housing needs and to continue to support economic growth,” he said.

Flournoy is a chemistry professor at Indian Hills Community College.

The Ledger will feature Paul Gandy in an article next week.

 

 

 

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