Louis B. Barta, candidate for Hannibal's Third Ward council seat, provided the following information to the Courier-Post.
Q Would you consider putting a charter change issue 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 Yes, I would consider putting a charter change issue on the August 2010 ballot. As a representative of our citizens, this would be appropriate should support continue to grow.
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 Yes, as an administrator we are elected to manage the affairs of our city. We search for and hire the most highly qualified candidate available for each department. As each department has a singular person responsible for its operation, that person must have the confidence and authority to direct their operation without being micro-managed by their superior or a single city council member.
Q Please describe one instance when you stood up for your convictions and were able to sway opposition to your way of thinking.
A A fond early example of “swaying opposition” occurred shortly after graduating college while employed as the store manager of a young men’s clothing store. My district manager and I were of differing opinions regarding how we presented our sale merchandise. Routinely, he would prefer to follow, as closely as possible, the “suggested” format from our corporate office, while I had differing thoughts due to interaction with my customers. After surveying and detailing my customers’ opinions and desires, I was able to convince my district manager to follow my suggested changes, resulting in a marked increase of items sold.
Q Why do you consider yourself the best candidate to serve as Third Ward representative ?
A In addition to my having well-rounded administrative management experience, I believe that certain personal traits are important. That being said, I believe that I am conscientious, open-minded, even-tempered, have a positive outlook on life, and am friendly and approachable.
Additionally, my understanding of service to the community began during my five years in the Boy Scouts of America, while earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Ultimately serving as our troop’s Senior Patrol Leader taught me much about being responsible for others who sought or needed aid and guidance. I’ve carried and added to that experience over the years as I’ve matured and feel that it is now time for me to step forward to offer my experience to all of our residents.
Q Please explain any management experience pertinent to council responsibilities.
A My pertinent management experience relating to city council responsibilities would include 25-plus years of managing budgets, staff, facilities, projects (working directly with architects and engineers), property management and special event. Also, I am currently the chair of the Facilities and Environment Committee at John Wood Community College and am the vice chair of the JWCC Leadership Council. This advisory council to the college president is currently previewing a proposed change to our employees’ compensation and classification structure.
Q Why are you seeking a council position? What are your goals in office if elected?
A I am seeking the Third Ward City Council position to help keep Hannibal on a path of progress. Recent years have see a tremendous re-investment in our community begin and it is of the utmost importance to keep moving forward. Our future success can only be assured by building a solid base. We have seen physical infrastructure improvements (roads, sewers, electrical distribution), expansion of Code Enforcement at many levels, increasing public interaction with our Fire and Police departments, consistent re-investment in our schools, a growing Parks and Recreation environment, as well as a vastly improved state road system linking us north-south-east-and west. Supporting the continuation of these positive points as well as increasing Hannibal’s visibility to our nation’s industry as a centralized, easy-access location for their business to develop and prosper are my goals. Our city is not just our home; it also needs to be viewed as a business that deserves to be professionally managed and I am asking for your support.
Meet the Third Ward candidate
NAME: Louis B. Barta
HOME ADDRESS: 1238 Bird St.
JOB TITLE: Director of Physical Plant
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT: John Wood Community College
HIGHEST EDUCATION LEVEL ATTAINED: BA from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Affiliations/Volunteerism Pertinent: Volunteered for sand-bagging operations and cemetery maintenance at Riverside Cemetery. Member of the Friends of Historic Hannibal.