Monica Williams, candidate for Hannibal's Third Ward council seat, supplied the following information to the Courier-Post.
Q Would you consider putting a charter change on the August 2010 ballot, to let voters decide if all city departments should be placed under the supervisory umbrella of Hannibal’s city manager? Why, or Why not?
A No, I’m a believer that “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” The department supervisors are paid to do a job ... a specialized job.
Demoting them and then asking them to report to someone who will clearly be overworked and unused to the activities of the departments doesn’t make sense unless it’s a ploy to make for bigger government in the City Manager’s office.
My position is to leave well enough alone and don’t try to justify the city manager’s job. If he’s not working hard enough, lay him off.
Q Do you agree with the statement: The role of a city council representative should be that of an administrator rather than a direct supervisor? Why, or why not?
A I think the city council position should be administrative. When it’s administrative, there’s an air of professionalism which is clearer in the voter’s minds.
Q Please describe one instance when you stood up for your convictions and were able to sway opposition to your way of thinking.
A In our neighborhood, I’ve stood up to drug dealers and those who wanted to jeopardize children’s safety. They’ve moved on, or the police have been called.
Q Why do you consider yourself the best candidate to serve Third Ward representative?
A I want what’s best for ALL of our ward, not just select neighborhoods.
Since I’m a prior candidate, in that time, my reason for running hasn’t changed.
Living conditions in our ward have only gotten worse. There is still a problem with crime. Drugs are still being dealt (although arrests have been made), homes or cars being robbed. There are shootings which when police investigate, they’re called “fireworks,” and the blight on our community is still spreading.
Now, others are seeing their neighborhoods declining and we’re seeing a lot more interest in the seat. It’s sad it took that to get them involved.
Q Please explain any management experience pertinent to council responsibilities.
A I’m on boards of organizations, my civic responsibility is demonstrated as follows:
Douglas Community Services Board member two+ years of service.
Pyrfeect Board member two years
Hannibal Community Betterment (Board to clean Robinson Cemetery) one year
Mark Twain Elementary School tutor two afternoons each week.
Q Why are you seeking council position? What are your goals in office if elected?
A I am running because I know I can make a difference. My goal isn’t to promise what I can’t deliver, but to show I care by doing something about problems we experience as citizens of the Third Ward.
My goal is to make our community better and safer. A lot of the things I want are as simple as making a phone call.
I’ve listed them as follows:
I am going to question why we don’t have better striping on darker busy streets to highlight both parking and center lines (Broadway extension, Harrison Hill/Palmyra Road, Chestnut, Market Street, Fulton Ave.)
What striping is there isn’t highly reflective and the outer parking area isn’t defined at all. In cases where parking isn’t available (Harrison Hill), the curbing should be painted yellow.
Another area I’m interested in working on is the initiating an effort to get Harrison Hill/Palmyra Road widened.
The road is dangerous. With it not having sidewalks, and not being wide, pedestrians and joggers’ safety is jeopardized. Accidents there are dangerous and deadly at times.
Yes, paint is cheaper, and I think that option should be tried before money is spent to widen it.
Another area I’m interested in is getting implemented is a “nuisance house” ordinance to support our police and get our neighborhoods safer ... similar to the same ordinance in Quincy, and Bowling Green.
The ordinance would stop the police from having to waste resources on repeat calls to the same addresses and put the violators in Municipal Court answering why they’re a nuisance to their neighborhood.
Parking on corners being patrolled.
Throughout our city, there are several areas where parking on corners isn’t being enforced. In other areas, it needs changed.
At the corner of South Ninth Street coming onto Broadway, the corner is dangerous at best. It’s my opinion when larger vehicles park on corners, the allowable limit for parking from that corner should be changed.
A driver shouldn’t have to yield into the lane of oncoming traffic in order to see because they can’t see around the SUVs.
One thought in that area would be to put in handicapped parking to help the church.
In other areas, where a wide space is not afforded (Grace Street 1700 to 1800 block), Fire Code should be enforced. If a fire truck or ambulance can’t fit, it needs to have “No Parking” there to a point one can fit.
Another safety concern is the walkway at the marina. It was damaged during the flood of ‘93 ... 17 years ago.
Six years ago, a wall collapsed and the whole area seemed to have orange fencing. At that time, I asked why the walkway hadn’t been repaired and got told to be patient. It’s still an unrepaired hazard.
Our riverfront should be a source of pride for everyone, not just certain areas of it.
Jobs. I agree our city needs more manufacturing, but it should strive to get well paying jobs with benefits, not companies which pay temp agencies to get employment at the lowest dollar without benefits.
I think it’s the council’s position to demonstrate we’re interested to the companies, not just one person. I’ll be willing to go speak on behalf of Hannibal when those opportunities arise.
As council representative, I’m also going to show fiscal responsibility to our voters by questioning the money spent in our community.
Instead of spending money for a select few, as in the airport, I’d much rather see the money going towards something everyone uses.
Another issue I would like to see changed is spending money twice. Rather than allowing a bid to be increased several times by ‘changes’ and ‘work orders’, I’m going to ask why our departments aren’t having performance ratings which reflect those cost overruns.
Another item in regards to this is to ask for a warranty when jobs are bid. The point I’m making is the “gravel streets” we paid for where there the bald spots make it look worse than before the money was spent. Anyone who lives on those streets knows what I’m referring to and yet, the city wants to point at the money spent, as “Betterment.”
I’m going to ask our bridges are inspected more often. The bridge collapse on Munger Lane affected everyone and cost businesses money thereby, it cost Hannibal money in lost revenue.
Lastly, I’m intending to ask an ordinance which gives a one or two year tax abatement to new businesses. It seems to me a larger business can come to Hannibal and get tax abatements, but a smaller business doesn’t get afforded the same consideration.
In our economy, getting jobs for our citizens by thinking “outside the box” means giving stimulation in a variety of ways. This is an idea which might mean the difference of jobs being made by enticing rather than taxing until a business is more firmly established.
Many in the Third Ward will note some of my concerns aren’t in the ward. It’s my view we are a community and what affects citizens of the Third Ward elsewhere shouldn’t be silently experienced, but voiced and changed.
I’m intending to demonstrate I’m a representative for the people of Hannibal whether they be Third Ward, or wherever. My phone will always be answered and your opinion will be heard ... no matter if you’re a citizen of the ward, or not.
Meet the Third Ward
NAME: Monica Williams
HOME ADDRESS: 2109 Spruce St.
JOB TITLE: LPN
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT: Mother, concerned citizen
HIGHEST EDUCATION LEVEL ATTAINED: Two years of college and a graduate of LPN school
How long have you been a resident of Hannibal: Life-long resident
• Douglas Community Services Board member two+ years of service.
• Pyrfeect Board member two years
• Hannibal Community Betterment (Board to clean Robinson Cemetery) one year
• Mark Twain Elementary School tutor one afternoon each week.