Shelbyville mayoral candidate Brad Ridgeway laid out his “Citizens First Plan” at a town hall meeting Wednesday at the Shelbyville VFW Post 2695.
Ridgeway, a Republican, stumped from the stage for approximately 75 minutes, detailing key points that he would address if he were elected mayor in November.
“I am excited to bring you a plan of hope, action and respect for this community,” said Ridgeway, a former common council member who was defeated in the 2019 mayoral election by Tom DeBaun, who was elected to a third term.
“The community is divided. They don’t trust the government,” continued Ridgeway. “We have to break that down. The only way we can do that is for us to go out to our citizens and talk to them, to get them involved, get them involved in the decision-making process. We have to bridge that gap. We need to go to them.”
Ridgeway’s Citizens First Plan includes:
- Enhanced communication with citizens by holding quarterly public meetings on local government.
- Redirect $3.2 million dollars from the budget to enhance quality of life and provide necessities for the community.
- Reform and reconstruct tax abatement policies to bring more money into the community.
- Recognize crime and safety as a quality-of-life issue and work on improving the morale and allocating resources to further commit to programs such as the Crime Suppression Unit.
- Support House Bill 1278 – non-disclosure act.
- Double down on the commitment to children in the community in wellness, health and education by focusing on working families and implementing more programs.
- Eliminate the slush fund and bring the budget more in line with citizens’ best interest.
- Bring back the finance committee with public hearings.
- Start a homeowner grant assistance program to assist with aesthetic repairs, similar to Mainstreet Shelbyville’s façade program.
- Spend a bigger portion of allocated funds on neighborhood streets that are in despair.
The small gathering at the VFW post also included DeBaun, city clerk-treasurer Scott Asher and David Finkel (photo, right), also a mayoral candidate running against Ridgeway and former mayor Scott Furgeson in the primary election.
Ridgeway’s campaign will focus on neighborhood repairs, public safety and a transparent government. He wants to improve city streets and improve public safety with more street lights in neighborhoods.
Ridgeway vows to tackle homelessness and drugs in the community, but he did not get into specific initiatives Wednesday.
“I want to lead this city with integrity, honesty, respect and passion for one another,” said Ridgeway. “And a commitment to help everyone and not just those with a political purpose.”
The Primary Election is May 2 where Shelbyville residents will select Ridgeway, Finkel or Furgeson to be the Republican candidate for mayor.
DeBaun, a Democrat, has not ruled out running for a fourth term.
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