“Imagine receiving an email from the mayor at the end of each week detailing the past week’s events and highlighting the week ahead,” Gill said.
Mayor Art Ward, a Democrat seeking a second term, said that city leaders have been trying for years to find more ways to reach the public, including televising City Council meetings, upgrading the city’s website, producing public access television shows about municipal departments and the budget, and appearing on radio shows.
“We’ve been pretty open with the public,” Ward said.
The mayor said, though, that he’s always looking for ways to do better.
“We always strive for greater communication,” Ward said.
Gill, a 29-year-old attorney, said that it can be difficult for people to stay informed when times are so tough “and people are struggling to stay afloat.”
He said that using new technology to reach residents would make the city government more transparent and accountable.
“It can happen,” Gill said, “and it will happen if I am elected mayor.”
“The best part about the use of this new technology is it’s free,” Gill added.
Ward said he’s glad to have Gill in the race.
“That’s the basis for democracy,” the mayor said.
He said he’s never met Gill and hadn’t even heard of him until the attorney’s name was floated this week as a potential challenger.
Ward said he’s taking the challenge seriously.
“I’m going to campaign as I always do, fervently, with the intent of getting the message out to the voting public as to the direction we’d like to move forward to together.”
The Democrats formally endorse candidates Monday. There is no known opposition to Ward within the party.
Mayors serve two-year terms for $100,000 annually. The general election is November 3.
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Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org